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Where Can I Receive a Diagnostic Imaging Examination?

Over the past 100 years since the discovery of x-rays, radiology and diagnostic imaging have been administered in doctor's offices and in specialized x-ray or radiology departments in hospitals. However, in the last few decades, freestanding, outpatient centers have been built which offer the full spectrum of diagnostic imaging in a pleasant environment.

Hospital based imaging centers and radiology departments

Just about each of the 7,000 acute care hospitals in the United States has a radiology department. While the size and sophistication of these departments vary depending on the size of the hospital, excellent radiology is performed all over the U.S. in hospitals of every size. Radiology equipment is also often also located in the emergency room or in specialized operating rooms. Special, mobile x-ray systems and fluoroscopic systems find multiple purposes throughout hospitals. Most ultrasound systems have mobile configurations so they can be used in various departments in the hospital (obstetrics, cardiology, vascular and orthopedic surgery, etc.).

Freestanding / Outpatient Imaging Centers

Additionally, there are approximately 2,500 to 3,000 outpatient imaging centers in the United States. Some only offer conventional x-ray examinations while others offer many types of diagnostic imaging and employ imaging systems which rival those at large university medical centers.

Other Specialized Centers and Locations

Diagnostic imaging is also completed on an outpatient basis in women's centers and obstetrician offices, in urology clinics, in orthopedic and sports medicine centers and in urgent care centers. Many ear, nose and throat specialists also have x-ray systems installed in their offices for imaging the head and sinuses. Of course, nearly every dentist and orthodontist also has dental x-ray equipment in their office.

Updated: August 2010