Radiology is a branch of medicine that deals with studying and interpreting diagnostic images, such as those obtained from X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, nuclear medicines, positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasounds. A radiologist is a physician who specializes in the field of radiology. A radiologist treats problems through radiation and finds work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, radiology centers, dentist’s offices and nursing homes. Radiology is one of the fastest growing and most sought after branches in medicine with many students opting for this field. In case you are one of those desiring students, read through the lines and find tips for becoming a radiologist.
Tips For Becoming A Radiologist
- Studying radiology requires a long and intense course of study and training. Since radiology involves all areas of medicine, you should be prepared to dedicate at least 15 years for training. Get yourself enrolled in advanced high school courses in mathematics and science.
- Enroll yourself in extra classes and take pre-medical courses. You need to get excellent grades, especially in science, to qualify in a good medical college.
- Also, take creative writing classes and communication. These will help you develop good written and verbal skills required for becoming a radiologist.
- Give the written examination and get into a medical college. Study hard, word hard and get excellent grades in chemistry, organic chemistry, advanced biology and physics.
- While the first two years would be spent in classrooms and laboratories learning physiology, anatomy, neuroscience, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology and pathology, during the third and fourth year, you would be rotating through medical specialties in hospital and outpatient settings.
- Next, complete your five year residency by learning how to diagnose conditions, such as gallstones, kidney stones, broken bones, torn ligaments, pneumonia, internal bleeding and cancer. While one year is spent in a non-radiology residency, four years are spent in a radiology residency. You must be eager and thirsty to gain knowledge and perform procedures in order to become a good radiologist.
- Pass your medical board examination with good grades and practice or qualify for a fellowship program that lasts for one or two years.
- In case you go in for a sub-specialty, you will have to spend additional years of residency. These sub-specialties include breast imaging, cardiovascular radiology, chest radiology, emergency radiology, gastrointestinal (GI) radiology, genitourinary radiology, head and neck radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology, pediatric radiology, nuclear radiology, radiation oncology and interventional radiology.
- You will have to pass a comprehensive examination that includes different types of exams, such as a written cognitive exam, a physics exam, a cancer exam, a clinical exam and an oral exam. After successfully passing them, you will be a Board Certified radiologist after which, you can practice radiology.