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Radiologist (MD) Careers Radiology Technicians
Subspecialities in Radiology Other Careers in Radiology
Nuclear Medicine in Radiology Radiation Therapy


Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests.

There are two types of physicians: M.D.—Doctor of Medicine—and D.O.—Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians. While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care.

Most radiologists work in the hospital environment. Many are also employed in outpatient care centers that provide specific diagnostic procedures.

Radiologists are either self-employed or work within a group practice environment. A growing number of physicians are partners or wage-and-salary employees of group practices. Organized as clinics or as associations of physicians, medical groups can more easily afford expensive medical equipment, can share support staff, and benefit from other business advantages.

Job growth is expected to be higher than average over the next ten years as the population ages and the need to trained radiologists increases.

According to the American Medical Group Association 2007 Physician Compensation Survey, physicians in the radiology field averaged an annual salary of $371,218.

Self-employed physicians—those who own or are part owners of their medical practice—generally have higher median incomes than salaried physicians. Earnings vary according to number of years in practice, geographic region, hours worked, skill, personality, and professional reputation. Self-employed physicians and surgeons must provide for their own health insurance and retirement.


Radiologic technologists held about 196,000 jobs in 2006, with 60 % of all jobs in hospitals. Other jobs were available in offices of physicians; medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers; and outpatient care centers. Hospitals employ most radiologic technologists. Employers prefer to hire technologists with formal training.

Job opportunities are expected to rise more than average over the next 10 years. This is due to the aging population and the higher demand for radiological services as well as advancement in the radiological technologies.

Technologists willing to relocate and who are experienced in more than one diagnostic imaging procedure (CT, MR, and mammography, etc.) will have the best employment opportunities as employers seek to control costs by using multi-credentialed employees.

Experienced technologists also may be promoted to supervisor, chief radiologic technologist, and, ultimately, department administrator or director. Depending on the institution, courses or a master’s degree in business or health administration may be necessary for the director’s position.

Some technologists progress by specializing in the occupation to become instructors or directors in radiologic technology programs; others take jobs as sales representatives or instructors with equipment manufacturers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings of radiologic technologists were $48,170 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,840 and $57,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,920. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of radiologic technologists in 2006 were medical and diagnostic laboratories ($51,280), gernal medical and surgical hospitals ($48,830) and offices of physicians ($45,500).

Industry Demand for Radiologists:

Advancements in technology over the past ten to twenty years have created a boom in radiology careers and uses for medical imaging. A variety of newly developed imaging machines and radiologic equipment utilizes a wide range of technologies including nuclear and radioactive materials, magnetic imaging, (MRI), computers, cameras and digital imagery, and sound waves (ultrasound) to name a few. Medical imaging allows doctors to more accurately and quickly diagnose a variety of maladies, and do so in a much less invasive way than exploratory surgery or other methods.

Salary and Compensation for Radiologists:

Radiology is one of the most lucrative medical specialties a physician can practice. According to the Medical Group Management Association, general diagnostic radiologists earn $470,939 on average. Interventional radiologists, who have completed additional fellowship training in interventional radiology, earn $507,508 on average.

What's to Like about Being a Radiologist:

Physicians enjoy the practice of radiology for a number of reasons:

• Compensation: As noted above, radiologists enjoy some of the highest salaries and best benefits of all physicians.

• Vacation: Although being a radiologist is stressful, (a mistake can be very costly, and radiologists read tens of thousands of images annually), radiologists also enjoy a lot of perks. Radiologists also have time to enjoy their salaries, as they have more vacation than most physicians, at an average of 8-12 weeks, nearly twice the average of 4-6 weeks other physicians typically command.

• Schedule and work flexibility: Due to the nature of their work, radiologists can take call from home, reading scans on a computer linked into a hospital network. Also, the portability of radiology allows for additional flexibility in work schedules, including "nighthawk" coverage. Nighthawk coverage is provided by radiology services, sometimes overseas even, to cover overnight call for radiologists, so they don't have to work in the middle of the night like physicians of other specialties. Most traditional, full-time radiology jobs still do require the physician to be on-site at least part of the time, however, if not full-time.

Radiologist (MD) Careers Radiology Technicians
Subspecialities in Radiology Other Careers in Radiology
Nuclear Medicine in Radiology Radiation Therapy
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