What is a Radiologist?
A radiologist is a classically trained medical doctor with the
standard 4 years of undergraduate study, followed by medical school
There are many subspecialities in radiology, each requiring
different areas of study. These include breast imaging,
cardiovascular, tomography (bones & organs), diagnostic, emergency,
genitourinary (reproductive and uniary tracts) and gastrointestinal
What is a Radiology Technician?
A radiologist technician takes patient x-rays and administers
non-radioactive materials to patients to diagnosis illness.
What are the requirements to be a radiologist?
Radiologists must complete the requirements to become a medical doctor, or physician. This requires:
• 4 years of undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree)
• 4 years of medical school (Medical degree)
• 4 years of residency training
• 1 year of (optional) fellowship training for sub-specialization
A radiologist must then meet the additional requirements to practice medicine in the United States, including passing the USMLE exam, obtaining a state medical license, passing the board certification exam in Radiology, and obtaining hospital privileges and credentials. Some of the optional radiology subspecialty fellowships include interventional radiology, mammography, musculo-skeletal, body imaging, neuroradiology (brain imaging), to name a few.
Every medical student will be required to
do hours of clinical rotation in a hospital or clinic facility
associated with the university. For example, Stanford University
Medical School requires 15.5 months of clinical clerkships, some of
which is to be completed at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration
Hospital. Students at McGill University would be affiliated with
Montreal General Hospital.
Do the radiologists work for the hospital?
Rarely. Usually, the radiologists do not work for the hospital, even
though they work on the premises, use hospital equipment, and work
with hospital-employed technologists.
What are radiologists' hours like?
Compared to other physicians, radiologists' hours might be shorter,
but they interpret images any time of day and any day of the week,
including nights, weekends, and holidays.
Can radiologists really interpret images from home?
Yes. CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and MR images can be
transmitted from the imaging site to a computer in the home of the
on-call radiologist. Very little information, if any, is lost in
this transmission. X-rays are much more difficult to transmit
because of the quantity of information necessary (very large gray
scale as compared to digital images). This technology is, however,
What is the Basic Medical Curriculum?
• Medical students wishing to specialize in radiology still must take the
standard medical curriculum. Though each medical school is different
in the order they teach the courses, the foundations of medical
education consist of the following:
How is Medical School for someone
Radiologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis of
diseases and ailments through radiologic images. Images are also
used in the treatment of various conditions to determine their
existence, progression or regression. The technology used to create
radiologic images, includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
computed tomography (CT), sonography and X-rays. As of 2010, the
average salary for a radiologist is $143,000 per year, according to
Radiologists are required to undergo the same education and training
as other physicians, beginning with a bachelor's degree from an
accredited college or university. Popular pre-med majors include
biology, chemistry or physics, but a science-related major is not
required as long as students meet the basic academic requirements
necessary for medical school admission. Students should take
biology, physics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, English
and statistics. Courses in anatomy, physiology and microbiology are
also recommended. In addition to completing the prerequisite
coursework, undergraduate students planning to apply to medical
school will need to sit for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions
Test). Out of a possible score of 45, medical schools with
competitive admissions expect applicants to earn a minimum score of
30. Other requirements include a GPA of "B" or better, letters of
recommendation from professors, advisors or mentors and a personal
Because radiologists are medical doctors, they are required to
complete four years of medical school. Enrollment into medical
school is contingent on completing an undergraduate degree in a
science-related major and receiving strong scores on the Medical
College Admissions Test. Medical school combines academic coursework
with hospital training. Students are able to complete the hospital
training through rotations in various areas of medicine, including
radiology, neurology, surgery, emergency medicine,
obstetrics. After the second and third years of medical school,
students take the first two parts of the three-part U.S. Medical
Licensing Examination (USMLE). The first part assesses a student’s
ability to understand medical concepts, while the second part
determines their ability to practice medicine.
A radiology residency program is four years in length and prepares
graduates for the certification examination available through the
American Board of Radiology. During the first year, residents take
the final part of the USMLE, which ensures they are qualified to
practice medicine unsupervised. Residents are able to learn more
about radiology and specializations through lectures, conferences,
rotations and research opportunities. Radiologic specializations are
available in breast imaging, pediatric radiology, nuclear medicine,
noninvasive cardiovascular imaging, abdominal imaging and
musculoskeletal imaging. During the fourth year of a residency
program, residents are able to assume more responsibilities with
patients and focus on a specific area of radiology.
Fellowships allow prospective radiologists to continue their
education and training in a specific area of radiology. Fellowships
can last anywhere from one to two years and fellows are given
opportunities to treat patients, participate in procedures and
attend conferences. In order to be accepted into a fellowship
program, applicants must submit their scores on the USMLE, three
letters of reference, a personal statement and copy of their
Following a radiology residency, physicians are required to become
board certified in their specialty. Radiologists must pass a board
certification exam administered by the American Board of Radiology,
the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology, the American Board of
Medical Specialists, or an equivalent certifying organization.
After obtaining an M.D. or D.O. degree, future radiologists are
required to sit for a state-administered licensing exam. Examinees
who pass the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)
receive a legal license to dispense medical treatment.
What are the Degrees for Radiologists?
Master of Science in Radiological Sciences
Earn a Master of Science in Radiological Sciences from the
University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine. The two-year program
is split between classroom learning the first year and clinical
rotations at the university's medical department in the second year.
Required classes include radiation biology, physics of nuclear
medicine, radiation dosimetry, regression analysis, experimental
design, radiation protection, introduction to physiology and
radiologic instrumentation, and engineering. Students rotate through
clinical experiences in diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and
therapeutic radiology. Before graduating, all students complete a
written thesis research project.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in physical sciences; a
major in physics is preferred. The candidate should have a minimum
bachelor's grade point average of 3.0 and submit Graduate Record
Exam (GRE) scores, three letters of recommendation and a statement
of goals and objectives.
University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
234 Goodman St.
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0757
Master of Science in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences
Thomas Jefferson University is the only university in the
United States offering an accelerated Master of Science in
Radiologic and Imaging Sciences. It is also the only northeastern
college offering the standard version of the major. The program,
which may be completed within 12 and 24 months, is taught with a
combined method of in-class learning, online classes and independent
study. Classes include radiologic science, advances in technology,
the health care system, sectional
anatomy, scanning procedures, and
physics and instrumentation. Students complete a capstone project
prior to graduation.
Candidates require a resume and a bachelor's degree in radiologic
and imaging sciences. Students also must complete a medical exam
evaluating their manual dexterity and their ability to distinguish
colors, sit for up to seven hours, lift patients and carry lead
aprons. Prospective students may be refused admission if they suffer
from aneurism or have cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants or
embedded shrapnel or other metal objects.
Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson School of Health Professions
130 South 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5233
Master of Health Science in Radiologist Assistant
Quinnipiac University offers a Radiologist Assistant Master
of Health Science program, the only program available of its kind in
Connecticut. The two-year program includes course work in medical
terminology, pathophysiology, human
anatomy, image critique,
clinical pharmacology, interventional procedures, pathologic pattern
recognition and patient assessment. Students gain real-world
experience through the school's cadaver labs, imaging technologies
and picture archival system, plus rotations through clinical
assistant placements, accumulating a total of 1,500 clinical
The program requires a bachelor's degree and certification from the
American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Candidates must also
have a track record of 2,000 hours of direct patient care, CPR for
health care professionals certification and prior undergraduate
course work in chemistry, biology, math, physics and
275 Mount Carmel Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518-1908