Who Are Radiologists?

Radiologists play some of the most vital yet commonly overlooked roles in the medical industry. But what exactly do they do?

According to the American College of Radiology, radiologists are “medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques, such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET), and ultrasound.”

In layperson’s terms, a radiologist is a doctor who uses medical imaging to diagnose and treat patients.

How Do They Become Accredited?

Radiology is a rigorous course of study. To become a radiologist, one must complete medical school, pass multiple licensing and board exams, do a 1 year medical internship, and a four-year radiology residency. Some radiologists then go on to complete a fellowship where they gain additional training in the subspecialty of their choosing, such as musculoskeletal radiology or neuroradiology.  All of the board certified radiologists at The Radiology Clinic are fellowship trained with many years of experience.

Typically, radiologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology, which is a testament to their high degree of education and expertise.

What Exactly Does a Radiologist Do?

As mentioned above, a radiologist diagnoses and treats illness and injury via medical imaging. But what does that mean in practical terms?

A radiologist’s primary functions include but are not limited to:

  • Determining what sort of imaging exam is best suited to your needs
  • Reviewing and interpreting the medical images from your exam
  • Supplying your physician with a detailed diagnostic report of their findings
  • Instructing the radiology technicians who operate the imaging equipment during your exam

What Sort of Tools Do Radiologists Use?

Since radiologists perform a wide range of medical imaging exams, they also use a diverse assortment of tools. These tools include:

  • X-ray: a form of technology in which electromagnetic radiation is used to produce a 2-D image of the inside of the body. X-ray is commonly used to diagnose musculoskeletal problems.
  • Computed tomography (CT): a combination of X-ray and computer processing that produces both 2-D and 3-D images. CT scans are commonly used for detecting cancer, bowel problems, and aneurysms.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): uses magnetic fields to produce exceptionally detailed images of the internal organs. Commonly used to diagnose cancer, spine and joint problems, as well as nervous system disorders.
  • Ultrasound: uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the inside of the body. Examples include  abdominal, thyroid, gallbladder, and obstetrical imaging.

As you can see, radiologists are physicians who perform essential functions where patient care is concerned. In addition to overseeing radiology techs as they operate imaging equipment, they have the expertise to interpret the findings and communicate them to your primary caregiver.

The highly qualified, fellowship trained radiologists at The Radiology Clinic are here to serve your imaging needs with prompt and accurate diagnoses to help guide your treatment quickly and effectively.  Please come visit The Radiology Clinic for your medical imaging needs.