The demand for individuals trained in radiology is on the rise. However, becoming qualified for this line of work requires time and dedication. Many schools and programs offer courses of study related to the field that can often be confused with radiology training such as x-ray technician, but they are not the same.
A person licensed in radiology has a medical degree as well as the schooling and training required. Radiology training takes a lot of studying and about twelve years to complete from start to finish. Possibly more if you specialize. During radiology training you will be taught to use the latest techniques and equipment to diagnose illness and injury.
To do this you must first obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in science. You can major in any science with the appropriate prerequisites, but if you are sure of your dedication to radiology training a major in radiological science would be best.
This will require four years of college education and prerequisites in math, biology, physics and the humanities. Once that is obtained you must apply and be accepted to medical school where you will begin working on receiving a Doctor of Medicine degree or a Doctor of Osteopathy degree.
This requires four additional years. The first two will be spent in academic courses such as anatomy, pathology and biochemistry. The following two involves a clinical rotation in various specialty areas. These last two years are also when you may begin to take more specialized courses such as computed tomography, fluoroscopy and x-ray. During this time it is also highly recommended you work or volunteer in a medical setting to gain further hands on training.
During your final year of medical school you must apply for a one year radiology internship program. This is a prerequisite for the four year diagnostic radiology residency that follows. Many physicians will choose to take their internship as their first year of their residency.
While completing your residency you will receive specialty training as well as paid on the job training in the field averaging sixty hours per week. This may include attending lectures, conducting research and clinical rotations of subspecialties in the field such as nuclear medicine and abdominal imaging. After this you may apply and test for your license.
Many graduates choose to further specialize themselves to receive certification in a particular area although specializing and certification is not a requirement. This requires completion of a fellowship. This adds an extra year in the subspecialty of choice.
They add more in-depth and interactive experience. It is also an option to take two or possibly more fellowships and specialize in multiple areas of the field. This creates an extremely marketable resume.
In addition, because new technologies emerge on a regular basis continuing radiology training and education is a necessity in this field. Radiology training programs for the newest and most advanced equipment should be attended regularly.
Additionally, any radiologist registered with The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists may be required to complete twenty-four continuing education hours every two years to retain their registration.