Becoming a Diagnostic Radiologist

Diagnostic Radiologists specialize in capturing medical images of human organs through x-ray, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) or ultrasound technology. They evaluate imaging results of a patient’s organs, bones, and tissues with other tests’ conclusions in order to diagnosis and advise the patient regarding the required treatments procedure or additional testing.

Their responsibilities include reviewing and interpreting the results of diagnostic imaging procedures, assisting in radiation-based treatments procedure, maintaining patients’ medical histories, providing counseling to radiologic patients and ensure accurate information regarding treatments and diagnoses. In addition, these professionals administer radiation in oncology or nuclear medicine.

Diagnostic Radiologists work at verities of healthcare settings such as diagnostic imaging centers, radiation therapy treatment facilities, outpatient care centers, hospitals, or private practices. Most of them work full time. Some of these professionals may be required to work in evenings or weekends.

Educational Requirements

To become a Diagnostic Radiologist, the aspiring candidates need to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Then they must have to complete a graduate from medical school and complete several years of on-the-job training in the field of radiology. Internships and residency programs will likely provide with the hands-on training, which may take around 5 years to complete. The syllabus includes¬†¬† ultrasound, pediatric radiology, thoracic radiology, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, abdominal imaging etc.

Certification and Licensure

Since a Diagnostic Radiologist requires to be licensed in all the states of USA, the aspiring candidates must have to pass a licensing exam. These professionals can also obtain an exam-based certification from the American Board of Radiology.

Skill Set

Besides the clinical knowledge and technical skills, a Diagnostic Radiologist possesses various traits such as excellent eyesight, high level of attention to detail, empathy towards patients, high medical ethics, ability to work under pressure, critical thinking abilities, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, competent in computer operations etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Diagnostic Radiologist remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 18% from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Diagnostic Radiologist was $375,936 in 2014.