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Pediatric Radiologist: Career Information and Education Requirements

A pediatric radiologist requires significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Pediatric radiologists use imaging systems in order to diagnose health issues in young people. They need an M.D. degree in addition to completing a specialized medical residency and fellowship. They must also obtain medical licensure in order to practice, and board certification is optional.

Essential Information

A pediatric radiologist is a specialized physician who uses radiological imaging technology to diagnose illnesses, diseases and injuries in infant, child or young adult patients. Education and training requirements can be extensive, lasting 14 years or more. All pediatric radiologists must pass state medical licensing exams, and many also opt to complete requirements for board certification in this field.

Required Education Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, then a clinical residency with specialized work in radiology and a fellowship focused on pediatrics
Other Requirements Medical licensure required; board certification in radiology available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 14% increase for all physicians and surgeons*
Median Salary (2016) $286,902 for all radiologists**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

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Career Information for Pediatric Radiologists

Radiologists in this specialty area use advanced imaging technology to diagnose internal afflictions in young patients and typically work in children's hospitals, private practice offices or in another facility that offers children's medical services. These imaging systems can include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRIs), computer tomography scans (CTs) or ultrasounds. They report their results and subsequent diagnoses to other pediatricians or their patients' families.

In addition to being able to understand and counsel young patients, pediatric radiologists also have a comprehensive understanding of specific medical conditions and illnesses that affect infants and children. Leading their team of radiological technologists and technicians, they must make quick decisions and problem-solve effectively.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, salaries for most radiologists ranged from $101,778 to $436,058 as of January 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook is good for physicians and surgeons in general, and there is expected to be a 14% employment increase from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS also notes that as the healthcare industry expands, job opportunities for physicians should be best in rural and low-income areas.

Education Requirements

Pediatric radiologists are held to rigorous education and training standards. They must have an advanced medical degree, such as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), which requires a 4-year bachelor's degree as a prerequisite.

After completing four years of medical school, potential pediatric radiologists must then complete at least six years of general and specialized residency training, including one or more years in clinical medicine, four years in diagnostic radiology and one or more additional years in pediatric diagnosis.

Certification from the American Board of Radiology (ABR)

After completing training, these radiologists often choose to take the pediatric radiology certification exam from the American Board of Radiology. To be eligible, test-takers must have completed one year of fellowship training and one year of practice experience after their residency. Once obtained, the certification credential lasts for ten years.

Pediatric radiologists spend many years on the training and education required to work in their field. They not only earn an M.D. degree and licensure, but also spend up to six years in clinical residencies and fellowships. However, after all of their hard work, pediatric radiologists can expect an above average job growth rate through 2024, in addition to a high median salary.

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