Diagnostic Radiologist: a physician who uses imaging methodologies to diagnose and manage patients and provide therapeutic options. You will use x-ray, ionizing radiation, radionuclides, ultrasound, electromagnetic radiation, and image-guided intervention to diagnose and treat disease.
Length of training: 5 years
Number of residency programs: 187
Number of residents in training: 4,427
Number in U.S. currently Board Certified in specialty: 29,652
First year median compensation: $271,000
Mean number of hours per week in patient care activities: 55.9
You will complete a 1 year internship usually in internal medicine or surgery prior to 4 years in a diagnostic radiology residency. With 1 or 2 years of training you can enter a fellowship and receive subspecialization in the following areas:
- Radiologic Physics
- Nuclear Radiology
- Pediatric Radiology
- Vascular/Interventional Radiology
Doctors choosing diagnostic radiology like the cerebral nature of the work, the good hours, and the new technologies in this field. They like to diagnose complex or difficult problems but do not want to practice in a specialty where they will have to take care of chronically ill patients.
Days may vary, but the weeks are pretty much similar. In some cases certain tests and procedures are only done on certain days of the week, while in other practices these tests are done every day. You will spend your time working with several modalities (imaging equipment) throughout the day and then a few hours will be left to consult with referring physicians.
There may be on-call time for emergencies but this is minimal in comparison to other specialties.
If You’re Interested
In this field you will want to know a lot of anatomy. If you complete an elective in radiology, do research in the field, and have a strong background in clinical medicine it will be beneficial. Otherwise, this is a rapidly changing field and having an interest in technology is good.