How to Ask Your Doctor for Diagnostic Medical Imaging

July 29, 2022 – 3 min read

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Chronic pain can have a negative impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, many common imaging studies, such as computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provide valuable information on bone and joint conditions, as well as other issues that can cause pain. However, you need a doctor’s order before you can undergo diagnostic medical imaging studies.

When to ask for imaging

Doctors may begin with conservative measures for certain types of pain, such as lower back pain, before ordering imaging. Your insurance can also play a role in what treatments you need to try before they will cover an imaging scan.

However, in some cases, patients feel that doctors don’t take their pain seriously enough. If this happens to you, or if treatments such as physical therapy or over-the-counter pain medications fail to improve your symptoms, you might need to talk to your doctor about having an imaging study to help find the source of your pain.

Touchstone Medical Imaging offers an affordable option for outpatient diagnostic medical imaging to help your doctor determine what is causing your pain. After getting an order from your doctor, find the Touchstone Medical Imaging center most convenient for you.

Tips for talking with your doctor

When discussing your condition or injury with your doctor, it’s important to be prepared to ask questions. It’s also beneficial to keep a record of your symptoms and medical visits, including the date you started experiencing pain, treatments you have tried and notes from conversations with your doctor. This way, you can refer to your records later instead of relying on your memory.

Talk to your doctor about the next steps if your pain has not improved after trying conservative treatment methods. Examples of questions to ask include:

  • I started noticing this pain on (date). How long do patients typically experience pain from this condition?
  • What other causes could there be for my pain that we haven’t yet talked about?
  • What kind of diagnostic medical imaging scan would be the most helpful to determine the cause of my pain?
  • Could scan results change the course of my treatment?

Remember, whether your doctor recommends imaging for diagnostic purposes or you are the one who starts the conversation, collecting as much information as possible will help you understand your options.

Selecting a diagnostic imaging provider

You can choose where you would like to get your diagnostic medical imaging done after your doctor has given you the order. Touchstone Medical Imaging offers advanced imaging studies interpreted by subspecialized, board-certified radiologists. Our friendly team members help put you at ease by making it easy to schedule your scan and obtain insurance authorization. At your appointment, your technologist can answer many questions you might have, including:

  • How long will the scan take?
  • Will the scan be uncomfortable?
  • When will my doctor receive the results?

Requesting results of diagnostic medical imaging

You have the right to obtain copies of your medical records, including imaging results. Touchstone Medical Imaging makes the process easy. Simply follow the steps on our website based on the location where your imaging was done.

Touchstone Medical Imaging offers cost-effective, convenient imaging services you and your doctor can trust at multiple centers. After receiving an order for a scan from your doctor, get started by finding the Touchstone Medical Imaging center nearest you.