A radiologist is a physician who specializes in medical or radiology imaging techniques in order to diagnose diseases and injuries. Radiologists go through a significant amount of education, which includes completion of a bachelor's degree, medical school, and a residency.
What is radiology?
Radiology is a medical specialty that uses imaging techniques such as x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and MRI scans. MRI radiology is incredibly common. In fact, over 30 million MRI scans are performed in the U.S. every year. Of those, 22% are head scans. MRI scanners use magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body including organs, tissues, bones, and blood vessels. An MRI machine can also create 3D images that are viewed from many different angles.
Basic Information About the Radiology Career
- Education: Doctor of Medicine
- Licensure: Medical licensure, certification from the American Board of Radiology or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology
- Median Salary: $276,500
- Duties: Interpreting images, communicating results with patients and doctors, writing medical reports, discussing treatment with patients, overseeing team of imaging technicians
- Work Environment: Hospitals, radiology centers, diagnostic imaging centers
Top 10 Medical Schools for Studying Radiology
- Harvard Medical School - Boston, MA
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine - Baltimore, MD
- Perelman School of Medicine - Philadelphia, PA
- UW School of Medicine - Seattle, WA
- David Geffen School of Medicine - Los Angeles, CA
- Michigan Medical School - Ann Arbor, MI
- UNC School of Medicine - Chapel Hill, NC
- Pittsburgh School of Medicine - Pittsburgh, PA
- Pritzker School of Medicine - Chicago, IL
- Wash U School of Medicine in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO
Other Careers in Radiology
Note: the following careers do not require completion of medical school.
- Radiology Technologist: A radiology technologist creates images for radiologists to read and analyze.
- Radiology Technician: A radiology technician performs similar duties as a technologist, but is limited in the range of procedures he can perform.
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer/Ultrasound Technician: This type of technician uses ultrasound technology for a range of soft-tissue procedures.
- MRI Technician: MRI techs monitor data produced by MRI scanners and transfer data to radiologists for analysis.
- CT Scan Technologist: CT techs perform scans to be analyzed by radiologists.
If you are interested in a career as a radiologist or technician, check out the schools listed above for more information and feel free to also check out our available positions on our careers page.