The Radiologist Education is the beginning of a career that places prospective graduates on the frontline of the fight against disease and injuries. To be crystal clear Radiologists are MDs, Medical Doctors. They are sometimes referred to as DOs, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. That stated, if you are not prepared to commit to the extensive learning curve, there are other less taxing careers.
To become a radiologist, takes time, determination, smarts and perseverance. These men and women are tasked with the responsibility of diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases. Their education and training prepares them to use the latest medical imaging techniques and technology. Technology such as:
- CT Computed Tomography
- MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Nuclear Medicine
- PET Positron Emission Tomography
As you can ascertain, there is a high level of training and education required.
Suffice it to say, the Radiologist Education must be up to par. These physicians are responsible for examining patients - to determine the correct course of treatment. Hence, the educational path looks something like this:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Pass a Licensing Examination
- Complete a Qualifying 4-Year Residency
- Become Board Certified
- Complete a Specialized Fellowship
Radiologists go through specified post medical school training that prepares them to understand, embrace and engage in radiation safety at all times. It also educates them on how to interpret the medical images, they will be tasked with deciphering.
A bachelor’s degree initiates the educational process. The best option would be to enroll in a medical school that has the required pre-requisite courses. Your focus should be:
- College English
- General Biology
- General Physics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
Since you will be seeking entry into a top tier medical school, it stands to reason that you would enroll the best college. Schooling can be extremely expensive, but it is definitely worth it. After completing the education, training and licensing, you will end up with great career prospects, not to mention a high salary.
While in school, if you can volunteer at a local hospital or clinic, then do it! It will look great on your list of accomplishments, and also shows that you have real-world experience, not just knowledge from textbooks. Even better, if you can shadow a Radiologist. Such an honor would provide you with a bird’s eye view into what the job role actually entails.
Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, you are now ready to apply for entry into medical school. This involves two years of classroom work, which will study the human anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. All of which is incredibly interesting, and will definitely set you on the right path to become a radiologist. Once the classroom experience is over, it’s time to take part in two years of clinical work, which will entail different areas of medicine – from psychiatry, to surgery and internal medicine. This may seem unnecessary, but this is what you need to study to become a physician. It also allows you to start another career in the medical industry, if you ever decide that being a radiologist isn’t the right career for you.
After you’ve completed your four-year bachelor’s degree, and your four years in medical school, you are still not qualified to become a Radiologist. You will be required to undertake another four years of a radiology residency. This is paid training, which is a relief. You will attend lectures, and shadow other radiologists, and even participate in treating some patients. It is similar to an apprenticeship, where you earn as you learn, while undertaking practical work. It won’t quite be the full radiologist salary that you’ll be receiving, but it’s better than nothing; considering at this point, you won’t be a trained radiologist yet.
Once this is done, some people decide to undertake specialist training, such as Interventional radiology. This isn’t necessary, but if you want to specialize in your field, it is highly recommended.
To work as a radiologist, you need to be licensed. This would need to be renewed as well. You can earn your license in a number of ways, by completing the United States Medical Exam, or the COMLEX exam. You will also need to meet any state requirements, as each state has different requirements to become licensed.
Finding a Job
Once you’ve completed all of the above, you can start job hunting! Luckily, even if you walk into an entry level role, your Radiology Career prospects will be so great, that your options will allow you to progress through the hierarchy rather quickly. That means, promotions and pay increases, are all par for the course. It takes a long time, a lot of money and a lot of perseverance to meet the requirements for this career path, but it is definitely worth it. As you have come to learn, the Radiologist Education is for those men and women who are serious about being the solution to our health issues.