Spotlights

Job Description

Radiologists are physicians who specialize in obtaining and interpreting diagnostic images of patients (such as x-rays). They are also tasked with documenting their findings in comprehensive reports.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Intellectually stimulating tasks and problem-solving challenges
  • A sense of meaningful achievement through helping to improve a patient’s quality of life
$206,920
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities
  • Compile and study information about the patient’s medical history (e.g. from electronic records, patient appointments, or from referring physicians)
  • Conduct diagnostic imaging procedures (e.g. MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
  • Interpret the images to detect abnormalities that account for the patient’s symptoms
  • Record information (e.g. entering data and storing images) from appointments and relay examination results to referring physicians, patients, or families in comprehensive interpretive reports
  • Radiologists may also recommend further lines of investigation (e.g. blood testing)
  • Apart from diagnosis, scans may also be performed as part of follow-up treatment (e.g. to determine if prescribed therapy is working)
  • Radiologists may also be asked to consult with other physicians in multidisciplinary meetings to give their perspective on how scans correlate to the patient’s other diagnostics
  • Radiologists may also be expected to supervise trainees; an especially important task since radiology is a highly specialized field
Skills Needed

Soft Skills

  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Inductive and Deductive reasoning
  • Communication (written and oral)

Technical Skills

  • Medical software: E.g. Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR, Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE, Vitera Healthcare Solutions Vitera Intergy RIS
  • Data management: Microsoft Excel
  • Knowledge of medicine, science disciplines, and how to operate related medical equipment
Different Types of Organizations
  • Public/Private hospital
  • Private Radiology practice
Expectations/Sacrifices Necessary
  • Highly demanding education and training
  • Long shifts and shifts at odd hours
  • Expectation to work quickly and accurately can be stress-inducing at times
Current Industry Trends
  • Mitigating radiation doses: there is an ongoing discussion regarding the risk of radiation exposure during medical imaging processes. While technologies and precautions exist to protect radiologists and their teams, there is great interest in allocating time and money toward developing protocols that will generally decrease radiation doses.
  • Using 3D printing and other forms of computer-aided design: 3D models can be very useful for diagnosing patients or instructing surgeons
What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...
  • Reading complicated texts that develop perseverance and critical thinking
  • A passion for science subjects, demonstrated by taking challenging science courses, participating in science fairs and other science competitions
2016 Employment
372,000
2026 Projected Employment
387,200
Education Needed

Ophthalmic Photographers' Society - Certified Retinal Angiographer

What to do in HS and college
  • Take college prep classes in high school, including biology, organic chemistry, math, and physics with lab
  • Ask to shadow a working Radiologist to learn their daily routine
  • Volunteer in a hospital or clinic to gain healthcare-related work experience and boost your college application
  • Review job ads to learn more about the qualifications local employers are looking for
  • Consider which major you want to pursue a bachelor’s in. Make sure it covers the necessary prerequisites for entry into a medical school later
  • Join relevant student clubs and participate in professional organizations (see our list of Resources > Websites)
  • Read or watch interviews with Radiologists and learn about the various areas they specialize in
  • Consider writing articles for publication on healthcare websites and in print journals! Writing credits always look great on a resume or CV! 
  • Learn about the specific licensure requirements for the state you plan to work in
  • Stay out of trouble so you can pass the background check (if applicable)!
Landing the Job
  • Knock out an optional board certification to boost your credentials (see the Education Needed tab for a list of options) 
  • Build strong connections while doing clinical practice, internships, residencies, and fellowships. Always keep an eye open for future job opportunities!
  • Get involved with professional organizations. Attend events, offer to be a guest speaker and network with peers who might be able to recommend you for jobs
  • Sign up for alerts on job portals like Indeed, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor. Upload your resume/CV to make it easier for recruiters to find you
  • Beyond the usual job portals, also check out local hospital career pages, career resources on professional association sites, and the American College of Radiology’s job page
  • Create a professional LinkedIn account and list all of your experiences
  • Check out Radiologist resume templates for ideas on formatting and phrasing
  • Review sample Radiologist interview questions 
  • Make sure to conduct a few practice mock interviews and remember to dress for interview success
  • Stay on top of technological developments and be ready to speak about those in interviews
  • The route to become a Radiologist is long. Keep your social media professional at all times. Med school admission committees and potential employers may do online research about candidates
Resources

Websites

Books

Plan B
  • Consulting
  • Research: work in/lead a research department in a pharmaceutical company
  • Entrepreneur: research, develop, and market new medical imaging technology
  • Academic: Teach at a college/university

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Source: Interviews, Bureau of Labor Statistics, LifeHacker

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