There are many careers you can choose when it comes to the field of medicine, but more and more individuals and young people are choosing to enter the field of radiology. It’s one of the highest-paying medical jobs, after all. But what else do you need to know about becoming a radiologist, and what does it really take to become one? Here’s how to become a radiologist: and why it may be the perfect career for you.
What is it, and what does it involve?
Simply put, a radiologist is a specialist in medicine who makes use of advanced techniques in imaging to diagnose and treat patients with different medical conditions. As a radiologist, you will be involved in the diagnosis of various medical conditions and issues. You will often work closely with other doctors and specialists to come up with a diagnosis. As a radiologist, you will have to work with different tools as well, and these include ultrasound machines, X-ray radiography equipment, magnetic resonance imaging equipment, nuclear imaging equipment, and more.
Although the educational requirements to become a radiologist may be considered extensive, the rewards can be great as well. The average salary for a radiologist in the US is $350,000 each year, and you don’t have to deal closely with patients, either. In fact, your job is more ‘behind the scenes’ than most, unless you become an interventional radiologist who is in closer contact with patients.
To become a radiologist, you first have to attend a 4-year college program at a university. This undergraduate degree is a requirement to enter medical school. What’s more, you need to exhibit a more-than-satisfactory performance in your undergraduate degree to get to a good medical school, and this includes having a high GPA, having good experience in research, and having good recommendation letters.
After your 4-year undergraduate course comes medical school, which is also 4 years. In medical school, you will go through the necessary subjects to become a doctor, and this includes physiology, anatomy, and more. In your last year, you should apply for a post-graduate program for radiology. Once you finish medical school, you have to take the US Medical Licensing Examinations as well.
After medical school and the Licensing Examinations, you will already have either a D.O. or M.D. degree. But this is when you need to apply for an internship, which takes about a year. Once the internship is done, you can then have your residency, which takes another 4 years. If you want to have a sub-specialty, this may take another year or two of fellowship in a sub-specialty radiology program such as neuroradiology, interventional radiology, or musculoskeletal radiology.