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The medical field is very diverse, and there are a lot of professional specialists whom we often ignore or don’t think about right away. A radiologist often belongs to this class, as they mostly work behind the scenes and we don’t think of them as often unless we need their expertise – when we need images of our bodies to understand where a problem lies.

Radiology is relatively new compared to other medical sciences, after all; it’s a field that came about with the invention and innovation of imagery. So, what does a radiologist do, and what should a person with such ambitions do? Here’s everything you need to know about what it takes to become a radiologist: what to expect.

What exactly does a radiologist do?

A radiologist is a medical professional who specialises in taking images of the body in order to be able to give a diagnosis in the best way possible. The radiologist specialises in the technology and decides which images should be taken. Here are just some of the responsibilities:

  • Deciding on how the images should be taken
  • Consulting the treating physician
  • Interpreting images
  • Managing a crew of technicians
  • Advising on treatments
  • Providing proper reporting and administration

Different specialties

There are different specialties in the field – not all radiologists do the same job. Here are just some:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Breast procedures
  • Gastro-intestinal
  • Cardiovascular

Required skills

It’s not easy to become a radiologist; it requires certain skills. An eye for detail, great analytical skills, and a good memory are just some of the requirements. You’ll need to have a good grasp of technical and technological instruments. Most of all, you need to apply scientific thinking every day.

Educational path

It’s not the easiest career to pursue, but it’s certainly worth it. All in all, it will take an average of 13 years. Here’s why:

  • 4 years of undergraduate school
  • 4 years of medical school
  • 4 years of residency
  • 1 year of specialisation

It’s worth noting that the job satisfaction amongst radiologists is very high – with a 72% satisfaction rate, it’s a field in which there are much happier people than in many other fields. Many people attribute this to the fact that the salaries are quite high, and radiologists are often at the centre of the action. Here’s some great news for those who have ambitions in that direction: it’s projected that by 2020, the demand for radiologists will grow by an average of 24% per year. They’re needed, so it’s certainly a career worth considering.

Jose Nguyen

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