A radiologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnoses and treatment of disease and injury using imaging such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Radiologists must obtain approximately 13 years of education, training and residency to be become licensed. In May 2010, CBSalary.com listed a national average salary of $303,290 per year for this occupation.
When a patient is referred for diagnostic tests, a radiologist evaluates the patient's medical history, examines the patient and uses one or several methods of radiology to diagnose illness or injury. This can include consulting with the patient's referring physician and working with other medical professionals to choose the best method of radiology to assist in the diagnosis of illness or injury.
After choosing the most appropriate diagnostic plan, a radiologist uses imaging to diagnose patients. This may involve preparing the patient for radiological testing by providing instructions or explaining procedures, and administering substances orally or by injection to provide images of internal structures and organs in the patient's body.
After imaging, results are then examined by the radiologist to diagnose the patient's disease or injury. This may include correlating image findings with other examinations and tests, recommending further examinations or treatments and working with the patient's referring physician to make decisions on the next phase of diagnosis.
Along with imaging and diagnosis, these professionals also treat diseases of patients who require treatment such as radiation (or nuclear medicine), as well as minimally invasive, image-guided surgery. Patients may require additional radiological testing to ensure the disease, injury or illness has been successfully treated.
- Photo Credit x-ray diagnosis image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com
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