What Is a Radiologist?

Radiologists are medical doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases using medical imaging (radiology) procedures (exams/tests) such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound.

Radiologists complete at least 13 years of training, including medical school, a four-year residency, and most often, an additional one- or two-year fellowship of very specialized training, such as radiation oncology, pediatric radiology, or interventional radiology. They are certified by the American Board of Radiology, and they have exacting requirements for continuing medical education throughout their practicing years.

Visit radiologyinfo.org for more comprehensive information on specific exams, disease conditions and treatments presented in easy-to-understand videos, images and articles.

Diagnostic Radiologists




Diagnostic radiologists use a variety of imaging procedures to see inside the body and assess or diagnose the patient’s condition. Your radiologist plays an important role in your health by acting as an expert consultant to your referring physician (the doctor who sent you for testing) by choosing the proper exam and directing radiology technologists (those who operate the equipment) in properly performing quality exams. They interpret and report on the resulting images, recommending treatment and, only when appropriate, additional tests.

Diagnostic radiologists, through extensive clinical work and related research, may also specialize in these radiology subspecialties:

  • Breast imaging (mammograms)
  • Cardiovascular radiology (heart and circulatory system)
  • Chest radiology (heart and lungs)
  • Emergency radiology
  • Gastrointestinal radiology (stomach, intestines and abdomen)
  • Genitourinary radiology (reproductive and urinary systems)
  • Head and neck radiology
  • Musculoskeletal radiology (muscles and skeleton)
  • Neuroradiology (brain and nervous system; head, neck and spine)
  • Pediatric radiology (imaging of children)

Interventional Radiologists




These radiologists are doctors who diagnose and treat patients using image-guided, minimally invasive techniques such as X-rays and MRI. They carefully guide instruments through tiny incisions in the body, reaching the source of a medical problem and delivering targeted treatments. These treatments are for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and uterine fibroids, offering less risk, pain and recovery time compared to traditional surgery.

Radiation Oncologists




These highly trained radiologists are doctors who prescribe and oversee each cancer patient's treatment plan. They use radiation therapy to treat cancer, and they monitor the patient's progress and adjust treatment to make sure patients receive appropriate quality care. Radiation oncologists receive extensive training in cancer medicine, in the safe use of radiation to treat disease, and in managing any side effects caused by radiation.


RadiologyInfo

RadInfo

The trusted source of information for the public about radiology and the unique and vital role of radiologists in healthcare

Visit Tell Your Patients