How to become a Radiologist

Want to become a Radiologist? Know the Job and Carrer as Radiologist. ....

Yisha Joshi
Yisha Joshi

Sep 26, 2020 10:43:03

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Are you interested in becoming a radiologist but you have any questions about how what is radiology? Here is everything we know which can help you understand how to become a radiologist!

What Is Radiology?

Radiology also is known as diagnostic imaging. The professionals in this field do a series of different tests and provide the treatment.

What is a Radiologist?

Radiologists are the medical professionals who use medical imaging techniques to diagnose, detect, and treat the diseases which are inside the bodies of human beings.

What does a radiologist do? Role of a Radiologist:

So a radiologist is a medical doctor who has to complete the appropriate post-graduation course or degrees. He or she then can interpret medical images, communicate these findings to other physicians, and use the imaging to perform medical procedures. Radiologists are also known as The radiographer or the Radiologic Technologist. Radiologists are the medical professionals or doctors who have done specialization in detecting and treating injuries or diseases inside the human body or any Animal using medical imaging techniques.

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Radiologists play a very vital role for us. They are the ones because of whom we can detect the diseases in our bodies. They are the professionals who do the medical imaging and prepare the detailed reports to provide us with the proper required treatment. Radiologists help the patients to detect their disease by the use and help of medical imaging techniques. They do the diagnosis and give the properly required treatment.

Exploring Degree Paths for becoming a radiologist:

Basically, there are 4 essential steps required to become a Radiologist:

  • Undergraduate degree (4 years)

  • Medical degree (4 years)

  • Completing a radiology residency (2 years)

  • Fellowship (2 years)

So radiologist is an overall 13-15 years long career.

What are the techniques used by the radiologists?

There are various imaging techniques used by the radiologist to detect the disease. Some of them are X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These techniques are used to image the disease so it can be further treated.

Radiologists use a variety of imaging techniques, including:

  1. X-ray radiography

  2. Fluoroscopy

  3. Ultrasound

  4. Computerized tomography (CT)

  5. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

  6. Positron emission tomography (PET)

  7. Nuclear imaging

Different types of Radiologist:

The specialization training in radiation oncology, pediatric radiology, or interventional radiology.

  • Diagnostic Radiologists:

Diagnostic radiologists are the radiologists who use the various techniques of imaging procedures to detect and diagnose the patient's condition. Thus a radiologist plays a very important role in our health. They give us the expert consultant and by doing the proper examination they provide us the proper treatment. So diagnostic Radiologists are the ones who interpret and report on the resulting images, recommending treatment and, only when appropriate, additional tests.

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Diagnostic radiologists can also specialization in these following radiology subspecialties:

  • Breast imaging (mammograms)

  • Cardiovascular radiology (heart and circulatory system)

  • Chest radiology (heart and lungs)

  • Emergency radiology

  • Gastrointestinal radiology (stomach, intestines, and abdomen)

  • Genitourinary radiology (reproductive and urinary systems)

  • Head and neck radiology

  • Musculoskeletal radiology (muscles and skeleton)

  • Neuroradiology (brain and nervous system; head, neck, and spine)

  • Pediatric radiology (imaging of children)

  • Interventional Radiologists

Interventional radiologists are the doctors who do the diagnosis and give the patients the proper treatment with the help of various Radiology techniques such as X-rays and MRI. Interventional radiologists are the ones who carefully guide the instruments used in the radiology technology through tiny incisions in our body and detecting or reach the source of the disease and provide the proper treatments.

Interventional radiology is used for the treatment of various diseases. Some of them are heart disease, stroke, cancer and uterine fibroids, offering less risk, pain and recovery time compared to traditional surgery.

  • Radiation Oncologists

Radiation Oncologists are the medical professionals who have been trained in radiology who prescribe and follow up with the proper treatment plan to the diseased person. Radiation Oncologists as the name suggests using radiation therapy to treat diseases like cancer. They keep an eye on the patient's progress, their treatment. They take care of the patients, see to it that there are no side effects.

Become a Radiologist in India

Radiologists have to complete almost a six to seven years training to be a professional radiologist. The training will include a four years degree and an additional one or two years of specialization training.

To become a professional radiologist in India one has to do a 7 years medical education to the minimum. The degree starts with a bachelor's degree in radiology with a specialization in biology and physics. Later the aspirant has to do a master's degree in radiology. You can visit various sites to know more about the information of specific exams.

How to Become a Radiologist?

Steps to Become a Radiologist:

  • Step no. 1: Get into a BACHELOR'S  degree

The path of becoming a radiologist starts with a 4 year Bachelor's degree from University. Here the aspirant of radiology will get volunteering experience and clinical research which are required for the further studies in this field. A high GPA and above-average scores in the Medical College admission test (MCAT) is required.

  • Step no. 2: Study the Bachelor's degree

After getting admission to an M.D. or D.O. medical school the student is expected to complete the 4 years Bachelor's degree with a great GPA. Here in the medical school the student is taught anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and pathology.

In the final year of the Bachelor's degree, the applicants will have to apply to their post-graduate residency programs in various specialties and the ones who have to become a radiologist has to select the specialization in radiology.

  • Step no. 3: Complete your internship and residency

After graduation from medical school, the student is awarded an M.D or D.O degree. Radiologists have to spend their first year as a intern hence this year is called as ' intern year'. Here they have to practice general medicine, surgery, or both. Here they take care of the patients.

The students have to spend many hours in the hospital interpreting thousands of medical imaging. They have to even do the counseling of the patients and perform various procedures required. At the end of this training, the students have to pass multiple sets of exams.

  • Step no. 4 Enter a fellowship program.

The students who has now graduated through the residency will have to apply to a 1-2 year-long fellowship. The fellowship is a program in a subspecialty of radiology. It includes neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, and interventional radiology, etc. In this period of 1-2 years of fellowship, the student undergoes the final steps of training and learns the most advanced imaging procedures.

  • Step no. 5 Get licensed

After the successful completion of the 2 years of fellowship, the student is finally ready as a Radiologist. He or she can finally apply and use their skills independently but for this the licence is necessary. So a license exam covering medicine, anatomy, imaging modalities, and physics is taken. The one who passes this exam is now ready to be a radiologist.

Subspecialty areas of Radiology:

Depending on your personal interests and choices an individual can choose from the following subspecialty areas:

  • Neuroradiology

This Radiologist does the Imaging, diagnosis, and treat disorders of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord).

  • Interventional radiology

This radiologist uses imaging to guide procedures such as stent placement in a blood vessel.

  • Pediatric radiology

This radiologist learns to image and treats conditions affecting newborns, infants, and children.

  • Radiation oncology

These Radiologists treat cancer and related diseases using ionizing radiation.

Salary and Job Outlook of Radiologists:

The annual salary of a Radiologist is 4 lakh globally. This is the average salary for radiologist specialists. This salary may increase with the experience and also is different at different locations overall the world. There might be a variation because of the location or post at which the radiologist is working.

It might also be different for large hospitals and for private sector hospitals. The job outlook for this profession is strong according to the surveys. So overall a possession as a radiologist is a successful career plan in regards of the salary and job outlook.

Keys to Success as a Radiologist

Academic excellence is very important when it comes to medical degrees. The competition is really high so the students must be able to cope up with the competition and top the academics. The student of radiology should be fierce and should have keen observation and attention. This is required for proper imaging and diagnosis.

Along with this, the radiologist must have very good conversation skills. He or she should be able to work in groups and even lead sometimes to work in harmony with the patients and colleagues. But along with these all the most important thing required to become a radiologist is that the student has to work really very hard in medical school and also the radiology residencies.

An additional thing is the board certification which is s technically optional but its desire is very high by the employers, hospitals, and patients.

Workplace Details

Radiologists work in hospitals or diagnostic centers. They use a technology called as teleradiology. With the help of this technique, they are able to locate the disease in the human body and treat it. Due to this digital technology of teleradiology radiologists can use this anywhere where there is a high-resolution monitor, computer, and internet connectivity.

Radiologists do not have to talk face to face most of the time but sometimes they have to when they work on the patient's treatment. The job of Radiologists is not easy it includes irregular working hours. They have to do shifts at night and even on weekends sometimes.


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