The answer is ‘very limited’, but wouldn’t you like to know ‘how much’?
The doctor may specify that the dose equals 0.13 milliSieverts, but this does not provide a clear picture of exactly what the charge is. Wouldn’t it be much better to know that either you just exist for 13 days, or you do a mammogram, the radiation you receive is the same?
According to a very useful article by Costas Kappas, Professor of Medical Physics – Radiophysics at the University of Thessaly Department of Medicine, the radiation we receive in imaging exams can be compared to the dose we receive in our daily living environment.
For example, a patient who does a chest X-ray is charged with 0.02 mSv equivalent to the radiation she will receive in 2 days simply because she is alive.
Applying this method, called B.E.R.T., facilitates the patient to understand in daily terms how much radiation s/he is exposed with each examination.