What They Do:
A radiologist is a physician who reads and interprets digital images, or x-rays, of patients that are obtained through a variety of cameras, machines, and imagining equipment. Radiologists will use this information to help make a diagnosis and then will consult with the treating physician with recommendations on the most effective course of treatment.
Most radiologists spend the majority of their time in an office setting reading reports, interpreting images, and recording their results and diagnosis to be reviewed by the treating physician. Unless they practice interventional radiology, most radiologists do not spend as much time as many other types of physicians directly interacting with patients. However, interpersonal skills are still important in this field given the collaboration that occurs between radiologists, radiology technicians and other physicians.
Four year undergraduate education in a college or university (Bachelor’s degree).
Four years of medical school (Medical degree).
Four years of residency training.
1 year of fellowship training (optional) for sub-specializations such as interventional radiology, mammography, musculo-skeletal, body imaging, and neuroradiology (brain imaging).
A radiologist must pass the USMLE exam, obtain a state medical license, pass the board of certification exam in Radiology, and obtain hospital privileges and credentials.
What They Make:
The median salary for radiologists is $300,031.
Where They Work:
Radiologists work in offices, hospitals, and even from home in some instances.
Radiology departments within hospitals usually operate 24 hours a day, so working schedules are often not consistent and on-call time is usually part of the job. Radiologists working in home or office settings often don’t work with emergency situations as often as those working in hospitals, so regular working hours are more attainable.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a job growth rate of 7% for all physicians and surgeons.
Updated February 2021