Clinical Correlation

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A form of hedge, clinical correlation is a phrase used by radiologists (Correlatus clinicus) to purposely anger any provider not in the field of radiology.[1][2] The phrase is such a prevalent part of medical practice that February 2 of every year is dubbed Radiologist Day: if a radiologist sees his or her own shadow, then there will be 6 more weeks of clinical correlation.[3][4]

An Infinite Loop of Clinical Correlation

On August 3, 2016, Radiology recommended clinical correlation with pathologic findings and Pathology recommended clinical correlation of radiologic findings causing an infinite loop that has yet to this day been broken.[5]

A Radiologist Clinically Correlates

Though rare, it is possible that when a radiologist is extremely bored he or she may do the clinical correlations themselves.[6]

No Clinical Correlation

However, there have been two recorded instances of clinical correlation not taking place: the first was a radiologist protecting a patient by telling the ordering incompetent physician directly that the patient had appendicitis and to consult Surgery[7], and (2) the second was during the annual Joint Commission safety purge when clinical correlation was suspended for 12 hours.[8]


  1. Combative Little Old Lady Requires Record-Breaking 11-to-1 Sitter
  2. Lost Your Car in the Hospital Garage? Order a Consult
  3. Radiologist Day: 6 More Weeks of Clinical Correlation
  4. Radiologist Responds to In-Flight Emergency, Hedges, Asks Pilot to Clinically Correlate
  5. Pathology and Radiology Reports Recommend Correlation with Each Other, Endless Loop Ensues
  6. Bored Radiologist Clinically Correlates Everything Himself
  7. Radiologist Recommends Against Clinical Correlation
  8. The Joint Commission Announces First Annual “Patient Safety Purge”

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