A radiologist is a specialty physician who uses imaging methods -- such as X-ray, computed tomography and sonography -- to diagnose and treat diseases. Most radiologists practice in a sub-specialty, such as breast imaging. Although many radiologists work in hospitals, they also work in other industries. A radiologist's workday largely depends on the particular industry and type of work.
Industries and Hours
Radiologists typically spend their workday in imaging centers in hospitals and outpatient clinics, research labs and universities. Unlike most physicians, radiologists usually don't have much one-on-one patient contact. In hospital jobs, radiologists often work long hours, including nights, weekends or on call. Radiologists in environments such as outpatient centers and universities usually have a more regular schedule.
Diagnostic radiologists read scans from all types of images, including X-rays, computerized axial tomography, fluoroscopy, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. Depending on the specialty, they check for evidence of disease in the cardiovascular system, breast, heart or lungs, for example. They interpret the scans, write reports, confer with other physicians and recommend additional tests or treatments. Radiation oncologists treat cancer patients with radiation targeted at the tumor, while interventional radiologists use imaging tools to treat diseases by minimally invasive methods. Research radiologists develop and test new techniques and imaging methods, while university radiologists teach and conduct research.
- Radiology Info: Understanding Radiology
- College Foundation of North Carolina: Radiologist
- Inner Body: How to Become a Radiologist
- Radiology Info: Diagnostic Radiologist
- Radiology Info: Introduction to Cancer Therapy (Radiation Oncology)
- Northern Westchester Hospital: About Interventional Radiology
- American Board of Radiology: Radiation Oncologist
- Photo Credit shironosov/iStock/Getty Images
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