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Cardiology

Many hospitals have instituted quality assurance systems that require that all EKGs be read by a hospital cardiologist, just as X rays are read by a hospital radiologist. Cardiologists who review routine EKGs must realize that this creates a duty to ensure that the results of the reading are acted on properly. These duties may be more extensive than the duties of a pathologist or a radiologist because cardiologists also act as treating consultants. A cardiologist is expected to know whether the drugs the patient is taking are appropriate to someone with particular EKG findings and to intervene if they are not. A dangerous finding on an EKG may create a duty for the cardiologist to do a full evaluation and consultation in order to ensure that the patient is being cared for properly.


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