Radiologist Job Description
Radiologists are physicians who use medical imaging technology to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. Radiologists consult with other doctors in the treatment of patients. Often, a Radiologist never actually interacts with patients, and instead interprets results of tests performed by technicians and then consults with a patient’s primary physician.
Radiologists work in hospitals, clinics and private practices. Demand for physicians and surgeons, including Radiologists, is projected to increase 19 percent through 2022, creating more than 15,000 new openings each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The average salary for Radiologists is about $318,000, according to online sources.
Radiologist Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of diagnosing and treating illnesses, Radiologists perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Radiologist duties and responsibilities.
Evaluate Patients’ Medical Histories
Before performing a diagnostic procedure on a patient, a Radiologist must evaluate the patient’s medical history to ensure tests will not cause harm. Some patients, for instance, may be allergic to an agent used to perform a test. In that case, a Radiologist would suggest alternative diagnostic techniques.
Perform Diagnostic Imaging Procedures
Radiologists perform or direct radiology staff to perform a variety of diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans and ultrasounds, to diagnose illnesses and injuries. In the case of a sports-related injury, for instance, a doctor may order an x-ray to determine whether a bone is broken.
Interpret Test Results
Following a diagnostic test, Radiologists use their medical training and expertise to make a diagnosis based on the results. Radiological imaging can be used to diagnose everything from cardiovascular issues to cancer.
Consult with Colleagues
Radiologists communicate test results and their diagnosis to a patient’s primary physician through a written report. In some cases, the doctors also may confer verbally, either by phone or in person.
Radiologists must be organized and able to juggle many tasks at once. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are crucial to the job’s aspect of interacting with staff, colleagues and patients. In general, employers are seeking board-certified Radiologist candidates who are proficient in general radiology techniques, including X-ray, mammography and ultrasound.
Within radiology, there are three primary specialties, these include:
Diagnostic: The use of imaging technology to diagnose disease.
Interventional: The treatment and diagnosis of diseases with imaging technology.
Radiation oncology: The use of radiation to treat cancer.
Radiology sub-specialties include breast imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, interventional imaging, pediatric imaging and cardiac imaging.
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