A quick conversation with Radiology Interpreter Expert Dr. Cliff Tao
Dr. Cliff Tao is a chiropractic radiologist based in Orange County, California. Dr. Tao specializes in the professional interpretation of spine and musculoskeletal imaging with plain film, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and computed tomography (CT).
Dr. Tao reads diagnostic imaging studies for a variety of doctors including chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, and medical physicians. His highly-detailed reports are provided within 24 hours, with stat reports available usually within 30 minutes. Although also trained to read imaging of other parts of the body, Dr. Tao is more focused on the spine and musculoskeletal regions. Dr. Tao also provides second opinion interpretations.
We had a chance to ask Dr. Tao some questions recently.
Why should Chiropractors be referring out to you or other experts for viewings?
Because it’s the right thing to do. Chiropractors adjust, take care of patients, and have some training in reading x-rays, but are NOT radiologists. Let the experts handle it. Should massage therapists, physical therapists, naturopaths, or acupuncturists be adjusting/manipulating patients with their minimal training? Absolutely not. Same thing with x-rays.
How does that help a DC make more money, save money and/or make life easier?
You make money by giving more value to your patient and thereby helping with patient retention and more referrals. In PI cases it gives the attorney more negotiating power. You minimize loss of income and massive headache from being less likely to be sued. The average chiropractor would take too long to try and properly read an x-ray, and the end result is a sub-par report – that time could be more well spent with patients, while the radiologist gives a more formal and accurate report, and at the same time spreading the liability.
What is your favorite part of working with other Chiropractors
Helping them see and unsee things on an x-ray or MRI. Helping manage the patient for the best outcome and consulting on a variety of cases. Seeing how the different practice and business models work and succeed.
Why do you think radiology is so important to Chiropractic, the Doctor, and the Patient
Radiology is very important to the chiropractic profession because it gives us objectivity as part of the complete evaluation of a patient. So many parts of our evaluation is subjective. An x-ray does not lie and can expose the truth. Radiology helps the doctor help the patient. It helps by identifying abnormalities – subluxations, arthritis, postural changes, etc – which help guide the chiropractor in forming a plan for the patient to return to wellness. Radiology also helps with educating patients during the typical report of findings and showing patients their own body’s changes.
Following graduation from National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, Dr. Tao completed his residency at LACC and then did musculoskeletal radiology research fellowship training at UCI Medical Center. He is a regular post-graduate speaker and is published on the topic of musculoskeletal radiology.
Dr. Tao is part-time voluntary faculty at LACC and former voluntary instructor of radiology at the UCI Medical Center. Learn more about his accomplishments by visiting his website.