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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions - Skill Requirements

Radiologist Job Description and Skill Requirements
Most radiologists spend the majority of their time in an office setting, reading reports and interpreting images, recording their results and diagnosis to be reviewed by the treating physician.

Unlike many other types of physicians, radiologists typically do not spend as much time directly interacting with patients, unless they practice interventional radiology. Interpersonal skills are still helpful to radiologists, as some of their work is collaborative and consultative, coordinating with the techs and allied health professionals who obtain the digital images, and also collaborating with other physicians.

For example, an oncologist may order a CT scan or MRI of a patient to determine the size and location of a tumor before treating it. A technologist will operate the CT machine to obtain the image, which will then be viewed by the radiologist. The radiologist will then interpret the information and put it in a report for the oncologist, who then reviews the report to decide on the best course of treatment. Often, the radiologist would not ever interact directly with the patient, or the oncologist, unless there is a question or further clarification requiring personal consultation.
Radiology is used in conjunction with most medical specialties, to diagnose problems in a variety of areas within the human body, including the brain, heart, digestive system, and just about any organ or system within the body.

What are the requirements to be a radiology technician?

A Bachelor's degree is not required to become a radiologist. Schooling can last from one to four years. Technicians can earn certificates, associate's or bachleor's degrees. Programs are offered in hospitals, colleges and universities, and less frequently at vocational-technical institutes.

1-year certificate programs are available for experienced radiographers or individuals from other health occupations, such as medical technologists and registered nurses, who want to change speciaties.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits most formal training programs for the field.

What are the admission requirements to enter medical school for radiology?

Each learning institution determines its own admission requirements, but there are several generally accepted requirements to admission to medical school. These include, a bachelors of science degree (in any field), a GPA of at least 3.5 and completion of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Other optional requirements include, research, physician shadowing and volunteer service.

What are the admission requirements to enter a technician program?

Again, each learning institution will have varying admission requirements, but there are some standard requirements for non-bachelors programs. A high school diploma or GED, at least 18 years of age, a GPA of 2.5 or higher, prerequisite courses in math and science as required by the school.

In addition, bachelor of science candidates will need all or any of the following tests, ACT, SAT, ASSET or COMPASS.

What types of degrees/certification can I earn in the technician field?

M.D., D.O., Ph.D., Bachelors of sciences, associate in science, associate in applied science, certification and advanced certification.

What entrance exams are required to enter medical school for radiology?

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Are their entrance exams required for technician programs?

Bachelor of science candidates will need all or any of the following tests, ACT, SAT, ASSET or COMPASS.

What are the application timelines for medical school?

Timelines are different for every institution. In general, academic years begin in the August/September. Application timelines can range from January to May due dates.

What are the application timelines for technician programs?

Timelines are different for every institution. In general, academic years begin in the August/September. Application timelines can range from January to May due dates.

What are the application procedures for medical school?

Your medical school application should reflect your motivation for a health career, your accomplishments, skills, and personal qualities. Identify your strengths and determine how you wish to present a unique and personal application. Consider ways that you might distinguish yourself from other applicants.

There are many criteria that are used to select successful applicants for medical school admissions. No single criterion will necessarily include or exclude one from successful competition. Important components include the grade point average (GPA), science GPA (biology, chemistry, physics and math), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, evaluation letters, clinical experience, research experience, scholarly activities, extracurricular activities, personal attributes, and the personal interview.

ALWAYS submit your application in a timely and professional manner.

What are the application procedures for technician programs?

If applying t high school (United States), students should take high school classes that will expand on their communication skills, such as writing and speech. Science classes such as biology, anatomy, physics, and chemistry are the bulk of background study for radiologic technology pre-requisites that radiology programs look for during the application process.

Creative classes such as figure drawing (the eye hand coordinated knowledge of the body, its landmarks and joints etc.) and drama (use of body language and other non-verbal skils) can be helpful to the prospective radiographer.

Along with academics, students should be able to demonstrate compassion and patience. They should be flexible, and possess critical thinking skills so they can adapt normal procedures to patients needs and abilities. Their personality should be extroverted and they should be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner. An understanding of medical terminology and hospital procedures is also helpful prior to entering a program, but not required as the radiography curriculum will include this material.

How long will it take to complete the medical school program to become a radiologist?

In general, the student will earn a 4-year bachelor's degree. The medical school portion of the education consists of two years composed mainly of classroom education and two years primarily include rotations in clinical settings where students learn patient care firsthand.

Upon successful completion of medical school, students are granted the title of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O., if they attend an osteopathic medical school).

Upon graduation, physicians who plan to independently care for patients must complete a residency which is a supervised training period of three to seven years.

Physicians who sub-specialize or who desire more supervised experience may complete a fellowship, which is an additional two to three years of supervised training in their area of expertise.

How long will it take to complete the program to become a radiology technician?

A Bachelor's degree is not required to become a radiologist. Schooling can last from one to four years. Technicians can earn certificates, associate's or bachleor's degrees.

1-year certificate programs are available for experienced radiographers or individuals from other health occupations, such as medical technologists and registered nurses, who want to change speciaties.

What are the average fees for medical school?

Depending on whether you attend a public or private medical school, the costs can be anywhere from $41,000 - $70,000 per year. For public colleges, fees also depend on whether you are a resident of the state the school is located in.

What are the average fees for radiology technician programs?

What type of certification should a Radiologist obtain?

Radiologists should be board certified. Board certification is obtained by passing an examination in the field by either the American Board of Radiology (for a medical doctor) or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (for an osteopathic doctor).

What type of certification should a Radiology Technician obtain?

In 2007, 40 states required licensure for practicing radiologic technologists and technicians.

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers voluntary certification for radiologic technologists. Many States use ARRT-administered exams for State licensing purposes. To be eligible for certification, technologists generally must graduate from an accredited program and pass an examination. To be recertified, radiographers must complete 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

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