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 in these 4-year programs 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 radiology residency program qualifies doctors to become board certified radiologists.
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. Many programs also require interviews before being admitted.
Radiologist School Residencies
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:
- Nuclear medicine
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Job growth for physicians and surgeons was anticipated to increase by 14% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Physicians practicing medical specialties, including radiologists, were expected to have especially good prospects. The median annual wage in 2015 for radiologists was upwards of $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.
Aspiring radiologists need to have an undergraduate degree, pre-med courses, and competitive MCAT scores to enter into M.D. programs. After graduating from medical school, completion of a residency program in radiology is required for prospective radiologists to seek licensure to practice.