How Long Does It Take to Become a Radiologist?

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Becoming a radiologist requires four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school and at least four years in a radiology residency program. Obtain a super specialty in radiology, which can take up to 10 years, with information from a family doctor in this free video on medical careers.

Part of the Video Series: Medical Careers
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Dr. David Cathcart, and I am from Heartland Regional Medical Center, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Radiology is just one of the many specialties that a physician can choose, and just to be clear, a radiologist is a physician. That's a doctor who specializes in reading x-rays, and reading diagnostic imaging studies such as MRI's and Cat Scans. So, in addition to the.. So, first you have to become a doctor, which takes four years of college, four years of medical school. And then, at that point in time you decide what specialty you're going to go on into to, and if you choose radiology you're looking at an additional, most programs require four years for diagnostic radiology. By that I mean diagnostic radiology is the lowest level of radiologist that you could be where you actually would look at x-rays, and look at films, and look at Cat Scans and those kinds of images to make a diagnosis, or to help the other doctors make a diagnosis. But then, there are sub-specialty areas where you can actually be get extra training, where what's called interventional radiology, and that would be perhaps where you are putting in stents; little devices that you would put inside of a blood vessel to help open that blood vessel up, or where you might be injecting drugs into a blood clot to break that clot up. And those things are frequently done by radiologists who are super specialized in in those kinds of areas; where they can slide a catheter in, or slide a particular instrument into an area where they can actually give the treatment, so that's an interventional radiologist. But once again, like any other field of medicine you can specialize and super specialize into more and more areas where the amount of time that you may need to go to school for that sort of thing could could run into ten years at least, you know, if not longer so... Thanks for taking this time to explore medical careers with me. Again, I'm Dr. David Cathcart, with Heartland Regional Medical Center, in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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