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Radiologist School and College Program Overviews

Learn about Doctor of Medicine degree programs that prepare graduates to become radiologists. Review career information for radiologists, including salary and employment outlook.

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Essential Information

Radiologists are medical doctors who interpret diagnostic images, such as x-rays, to diagnose disease and injury. Radiologists may be primary care physicians or consultants to other physicians. Radiologists must graduate from medical school before pursuing a radiology specialty.

Doctors specializing in radiology enter 4-year residency programs in radiation oncology or diagnostic radiology. They learn how to order scans, evaluate patients and treat disease with radiation. These doctors study all areas of radiology, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound. Further specializations are available through radiologist school residencies, including vascular, pediatric and neuroradiology. The successful completion of a radiologist residency program qualifies doctors to become board certified radiologists.

Educational Prerequisites

A Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is necessary for radiologist school residencies. Medical school application requires an undergraduate degree and MCAT scores. Residency programs use interview sessions to narrow down the competitive pool. In order to enroll in M.D. programs, students must have bachelor's degrees and extensive experience in pre-medicine subjects like biology and chemistry.

Program Coursework

Radiologist school residencies incorporate patient care and research with technical and clinical training. Doctors learn using state-of-the-art equipment and are prepared for fellowship programs. Technologies covered include:

  • Arteriogram
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Mammography
  • Myelogram
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Job growth for physicians and surgeons was anticipated to increase by 24% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( Physicians practicing medical specialties, including radiologists, were expected to have especially good prospects. The median annual wage in 2012 for radiologists was $187,200.

Continuing Education Information

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) certifies radiologists upon the successful completion of written and oral exams. The board certification is good for ten years; radiologists then take a re-certification exam. Since technology changes, radiologists are expected to learn and improve their skills through personalized programs. Additional certifications exist for radiologists who choose to sub-specialize, and fellowships offer the extra training needed.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics