What is Radiology? “Radiology is the science dealing with x-rays and other high-energy radiation, especially the use of such radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. ” (Goergen). Most radiologists’ work in public or private hospitals or private radiology practices. Radiologists’ are there to help doctors determine the illness and how to treat it. “They do this by understanding when an imaging test may be needed to answer a doctor’s question about a symptom, disease, injury or treatment, etc. , and also when imaging is unlikely to be helpful. ” (Goergen).
In other words, radiologists’ can use high-energy radiation and imaging techniques to detect problems within the body that cannot always be seen by doctors right away. German physicist, Godfrey Hounsfield, discovered new kinds of rays in 1865. “The principles of CT scanning were first described by Godfrey Hounsfield and the first prototype EMI scanner was installed in 1972 at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital. ” (International Society for the History of Radiology). Hounsfield pioneered the CT scanner making him one of the greatest in radiology, receiving the Nobel Prize in Stockholm in 1979.
Hounsfield’s work was remarkable because he had no previous experience of working life prior to the x-ray scanners, developing computers and radar. Hounsfield has changed the field of radiology for the better. In Bhavin Jankharia’s article, “The ‘Why’ of Radiology and Related Issues”, Jankharia states, “Things were different in the days of x-rays, simple radiographic procedures, and basic USG, when the questions that needed to be answered were simpler and often easily understandable.
With plain radiographs, even if the radiologists’ screwed up, very often, the physicians, orthopedic surgeons, etc. were able to interpret the radiographs and manage things. Today, when even radiologists have trouble keeping their skills up-to-date, to expect the referring doctor to be able to correctly interpret complex imaging findings is unrealistic and the radiologists’ responsibilities have increased that much more. ” (Jankharia).
In other words, Jankharia is saying that in today’s society, radiologists’ serve a special purpose in the medical field. Radiologists’ are able to perform medical techniques that average doctors and physicians cannot perform. Radiologists’ perform x-rays and CT scans to be able to look inside the body to see if an individual has a problem that the doctor cannot see, such as tumors and/or cancer. Radiologists’ can also perform radiation treatments to treat cancerous cells as well.
To become a radiologist, the individual is required to attend many years of schooling. Someone that wants to become a radiologist is required to attend college and is required to become a doctor of medicine and complete a radiology residency. They will also have the option to become licensed through the American Board of Radiology (ABR) or through the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR), but is still required to obtain their license no matter which one they decide to go through.
The undergraduate requirements to becoming a radiologist include, first, getting accepted into a 4-year university and obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the individual will also be required to have a high GPA, above average Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, so that you can get into the medical field, multiple letters of recommendation from professors of anybody that they may have interned for to give to the medical school of their choice, volunteering and leadership experiences, that way the medical school can see that they are able to lead, and lastly, exposure to basic and/or clinical research is essentially required to move on to the next step.
A potential radiologist will need to have some basic exposure to what they are going to school for. After the student has obtained acceptance to a M. D. or D. O. medical school, the medical student will have to complete the 4-year curriculum while remaining the top of their class. When the student is in medical school, they will learn all of the anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and pathology that are required in order for the medical student to graduate. In their final years of medical school, students will then apply to their postgraduate training program of radiology.
Following their graduation of medical school, the student will earn their M. D. or D. O. degree, can apply for a limited medical license, and would now be considered as a physician. Physicians studying to become radiologists’ then are required to spend their first year as a resident, which is also referred to as “intern year”. During this intern year, radiologists’ will practice general medicine, surgery, or sometimes a combination of both. Intern year includes taking care of inpatient and outpatients, as well as patients in the emergency room. After their one year of being an intern, radiologists’ are introduced to their specialty of radiology, beginning a 4-year training program.
During residency, radiologists’ will spend many hours, both day and night, in the hospital interpreting thousands of imaging studies, counseling patients on their results, communicating results with other radiologists’/physicians, and performing many image-guiding procedures. Towards the end of their residency, radiologists’ will be required to take multiple board-certifying exams. After residency, the vast majority of radiologists’ will attend a 1-2 year radiology fellowship program which will then further their specialty in radiology. This can include Neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, and Interventional radiology, among many others. During this fellowship program, radiologists’ will receive the final steps of training, learning the most advanced imaging and procedural techniques within their subspecialty.
Following their completion of the fellowship program, radiologists’ are then able to apply their skills and independently practice their speciality and/or subspecialty. ” (Colucci). After interviewing Catherine Masters M. Ed. R. T . , I gained more knowledge as to what being a radiologist is all about. According to Masters, who is an assistant professor in the Radiologic Sciences Program at Boise State, “The most difficult aspect of my work is providing the type of patient and customer care that hospital administration says they want, yet they often don’t provide enough staffing for technologists to take the time necessary to actually provide great customer service/patient care.
These days it is often get them in and get them out as fast as possible, so the pressure of hurry up, yet get great images and provide good care is an added stressor. ” (Masters). In other words, hospitals are not hiring many radiologists’, due to that aspect, radiologists’ have an added pressure to be accurate while trying to quickly get done at the same time. Masters also commented on what she believes are the two biggest misconceptions about being a radiologist. “The most popular misconception–I think there are two, and both drive technologists crazy! First: that we just push buttons for a living. That is a HUGE misconception! Placing a patient in an awkward position, saying ‘hold your breath’ and making an exposure is the final step in our job.
Behind that is: knowing how to position all 206 bones and joints of the body in multiple positions; knowing what makes a good radiograph (x-ray image) and how to fix them when they don’t look good…. The other misconception–that we are technicians. That word is an insult to us! Technicians usually have minimal training and work on equipment (think cars, air conditioners, etc. ). We have a minimum of two years of intensive training and must pass a national certification exam in order to practice. Then, we complete continuing education and re-certify every 10 years. ” (Masters). Masters is stating that there are two main misconceptions that people create with radiologists’. Radiologists’ are more than a technician and do a collection of things more difficult than pushing buttons.
Radiologists’ have to look at an x-ray and determine what is wrong for the doctor in the amount of time that the doctor wants the results. Masters also predicted what she believes will happen in the world of radiology in the future, “My prediction for the future—this profession will continue to evolve at a fairly rapid pace, and in several ways. There will continue to be a strong need for technologists. The manner in which we do our jobs will continue to evolve, as it has in the past. ” (Masters). In other words, Masters is saying that the need for radiologists’ will always be there. The need for radiologists’ is rapidly increasing in several ways because we do not have many radiologists’ in the field at the moment. The need for radiologists’ will always be there.
Masters also explained what the most difficult part about being a radiologist is. “The most difficult part of being a radiologic technologist is probably the physical demands of the job. This is a very physical job! Our cassettes (holds the x-ray film) can weigh up to 10 lbs. , and we often must place these behind heavy patients. We have to lift, turn, move, and assist patients of all sizes—from tiny babies to 500lb men (and I am 5’3” and around 130lbs). We push heavy equipment to various places in the hospital, and we walk, bend, reach, etc. all day long. ” (Masters). Being a radiologist is physically demanding in many ways. Radiologists’ have to physically lift and push heavy equipment and heavy set people.
Being a radiologist is not all about pushing buttons, it is also about being in a physical condition that you can do the job and get it done properly. After many years of college and training, I will then apply to receive my medical license and then proceed on trying to apply for employment at the hospitals of my choice. My plan is to apply to be a radiologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, where I will then perform X-rays, CT scans, and many other imaging techniques for the patients’ that need it. I hope to change the lives of many people by saving their lives. Although a lot of hard things come with being in the medical field, I know I will personally enjoy it because of my love of helping other people and potentially saving their lives.
So what is radiology? A radiologist is a medical doctor who uses X-rays, CT scans, and many other imaging techniques to look inside the body to detect anything unfamiliar. A radiologist goes through many years of schooling so that they can help other people and possibly save someone else’s life. So why do I want to be a radiologist? I want to be a radiologist because of my love for other people. I hope to one day save someone’s life by finding something within their body early on, so that it will not be fatal in the end. Yes, radiology requires many years of schooling, but in the end it will all be worth it because I may be able to save someone’s life.