Examine the prerequisites for becoming a radiologist. Find out what degrees, training, and licensure are required for this profession and how to become a radiologist.
A radiologist is a physician or medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), or computer tomography (CT).
For example, if you break your arm, a radiologist will most likely examine an X-ray of the injury to establish its severity. Interventional radiologists are trained radiologists who combine imaging with procedures involving catheters or other tools to treat diseases or injuries. Radiologists, for example, can place stents in blood vessels to free them up and avoid blockages.
Here, we will explore how to become a radiologist 2021. Radiologist education is extensive and includes numerous components, including:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree program
- Completion of medical school
- Completion of a residency
- Medical licensure
- Fellowship in a specialized field and certification (optional)
How To Become a Radiologist
1. Earn an Undergraduate Degree
A bachelor’s degree is usually the first step in becoming a radiologist. There is no specific undergraduate major required to fulfill the requirements for a radiography degree, but you must take many prerequisite classes to prepare for medical school.
Biology, chemistry (general and organic), biochemistry, physics, and several more disciplines are required for medical school admission. To obtain experience, several college students choose to work or volunteer in medical environments. Before applying to medical school, you must also take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
2. Attend Medical School
The path to becoming a physician continues with four years of medical school. Then, two years of classroom education in the sciences, including anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and biochemistry, are typically followed by two years of clinical rotations in various areas of medicine, such as pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and internal medicine.
On the other hand, some medical schools have altered their curricula to reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom and increase the time spent on clinical rotations. You will receive an M.D. or a D.O. after four years of medical school, completing the most important of the radiology degree requirements.
3. Complete a Residency Program
After graduating from medical school, a prospective radiologist must undergo a radiology residency, a combination of specialist medical education and paid on-the-job training. Residents participate in clinical rotations in several radiology subspecialties, attend lectures, and do research. Residencies allow licensed doctors to practice medicine in a specific sector while supervised by a more experienced doctor. The radiology residency program requires at least four years, bringing the total years spent in school for a radiologist to twelve.
4. Pursue a Fellowship
Some radiologists then go on to extend their education to specialize. Interventional radiology, for example, necessitates 1-2 years of fellowship training after completing a residency and requires clinicians to use catheters, wires, and other probes during some imaging procedures. However, several abbreviated residencies and fellowship programs allow physicians to specialize in interventional radiology immediately after medical school, decreasing the number of years needed.
Furthermore, the ongoing development of new technologies necessitates additional training for equipment to be utilized safely and accurately. Therefore, even expert radiologists with many years of experience are likely to participate in specialized training programs.
Radiologist Requirements for Licensure & Certification
After radiologist schooling, a radiologist must be licensed to practice medicine, and licenses must be renewed periodically. Licensure can be earned by bypassing the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX) and meeting any other state requirements. In addition, many radiologists are certified through the American Board of Radiology (ABR) or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR). Board certification is optional but requires continuing education to be maintained.
A radiologist’s day-to-day job duties might include interpreting the information gathered through imaging techniques, communicating results with doctors and patients, writing medical reports, and explaining treatment risks, benefits, and alternatives to patients. Typically, a radiologist oversees a team of imaging technicians and assistants. In addition, radiologists can stay current on the latest developments in radiology through online classes and other forms of continuing education.