Background Patient empowerment requires that patients have enough information to make decisions concerning their own health. If patients are to discuss imaging results with radiologists, they have to know who these medical professionals are and what they do. Purpose To examine whether patients understand the role of radiologists, and if particular subgroups are better informed than other ones. Material and Methods Consecutive radiology outpatients in eight radiology centers could complete a web-based or printed questionnaire. Respondents indicated on a five-point Likert scale their level of agreement with 18 statements on the role of radiologists and their preferences concerning contacts with radiologists. Results were rearranged to allow comparison of predetermined subgroups. Dichotomous results were analyzed using χ2 statistics. Results A total of 1,146 questionnaires were found eligible for analysis. Results showed confusion as to the question whether radiologists are medically qualified and enjoy all the privileges thereof. Medically qualified or highly educated respondents were modestly better informed. Patients in private practice were better informed than outpatients in hospitals. Conclusion Patient empowerment requires better understanding of the role of radiologists. Different population subgroups necessitate specific information strategies.