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A Radiology Physician Can See Right Through You

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A radiology physician is a doctor with specialized training in obtaining and interpreting medical images. These images may be obtained from x-rays, fluoroscopy, radioactive materials, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging. The career and training paths for diagnostic radiologists similar to other specialties, but they are distinctive in their approach for their individual disciplines.

Diagnostic Radiologists

Upon completion of medical school, the candidate must complete a residency in diagnostic radiology. The first year is spent in residency completing work in a primary care specialty, such as Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, etc. After that, the next four years are spent in a dedicated radiology residency. During this five-year span, the candidate can choose from a number of sub-specialties including:

Cardiovascular Radiology - devoted to the diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including the arteries, veins, and the lymphatic system.

Chest Radiology - concerned with diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of diseases of the chest, especially the heart and lungs.

Emergency Radiology - dedicated to the diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of trauma and non-traumatic emergency conditions.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Radiology – focused on the diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines) and abdomen.

Genitourinary Radiology - devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of the organs of the reproductive and urinary tracts.

Head and Neck Radiology - this subspecialty centers on diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of diseases of the head and neck.

Neuroradiology – concerns diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of the brain and nerves, head, neck and spine.

Pediatric Radiology - devoted to diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of diseases of children.

Nuclear Radiology – concerned with the imaging, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with trace doses of radioactive material. This includes imaging the heart, the skeletal system, and most organs in the body (for example the thyroid and parathyroid glands, liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, etc). It also includes the treatment of various conditions in the body such as a hyperactive thyroid gland and thyroid cancer.

Radiation Oncology – centered on the treatment of cancer with radiation, either from an outside x-ray source or injected into the body.

After the residency is completed, candidates licensing as a radiology physician must obtain board certification either through the American Board of Radiology or through the American Board of Osteopathic Radiology.

Other members of a radiology team include radiologic assistants, nurses, and technologists. Each of these has its own sets of standards and requirements.

Pursuing a career as a radiology physician can be financially rewarding. Statistics indicate that salaries range from just, over $300,000 per year to just under $500,000, depending on experience and area of specialization.

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