to become a radiologist, students need to follow a specific course of study. the first step is to obtain a bachelor's degree. many accredited institutes and schools with a four years bachelor's program offer advisory services to pre med students and help them plan an appropriate program of study. pre medicine students have the option of majoring in any subject but need to ensure that they meet all the necessary pre requisites in courses such as mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and the humanities and social sciences.
the next step is to get an admission into an accredited medical school, and for that, students need to have high grades. radiology is a competitive field and students need to excel academically to win a place in the medical program. students who perform well on steps i and ii of united states medical licensing examination (usmle) have better chances of securing employment with respectable outfits.
general curriculum of radiology schools:
while the curriculum for radiology programs will vary from school to school, generally, most on campus as well as online radiology schools will teach the following core courses as part of their curriculum:
introduction to radiography, including radiography terminology and basic background.
radiology equipment operation
patient positioning techniques and terminology
radiology case studies image exposure & quality control
applied learning & technology integration
students learn about the specifics of radiology related technology, patient positioning techniques and applying theoretical knowledge to real world radiology case studies.
the last year of medical school is crucial as the students need to apply for a four year diagnostic radiology residency through the national resident matching program ( nrmp). residents spend a substantial number of hours per week on call duty. upon successful completion of the residency program, students have the option of pursuing a fellowship in a subspecialty such as neuro-radiology and interventional radiology.
subspecialties within radiology:
radiology is a vast field and there are a number of specialties available for students who are interested. some examples of subspecialties within the field of radiology are:
breast imaging radiology
all states in the us require proper licensure from all practicing physicians, including radiologists. the exact licensure requirements may vary from state to state.
radiologists work in hospitals, clinics, and outpatient diagnostic centers. however, with advances in technology and with the convenience that the internet provides, a new trend, known as telemedicine has taken root. telemedicine allows imaging studies to be transmitted electronically. this way, radiologists can work in almost all settings, provided they have a computer and internet connectivity.
o net online states that the projected job opening for radiologists is estimated to be 305,100 from the years 2010-2020. the median annual wages for radiologists in 2012 was over $187,200 according to o net online.