By Yolanda Smith, BPharm
A competent radiologist must be trained in the specialized medical field of radiology, involving the use of imaging to diagnose and treat disease in the body. It is important to a radiologist to have a thorough knowledge of various imaging techniques, including:
- Z-ray radiography
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Nuclear medicine
- Positron Emission tomography (PET)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The teaching methodology changes according to the requirements of the country in which the medical professional will practice. For this reason, the radiologist training of several different countries is outlined in more detail below.
The American Board of Radiology (ABR) is the professional body that certifies medical professionals to practice in the fields of Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics.
After obtaining a bachelors degree and graduating from medical school, registered medical practitioners may apply to specialize in the field of radiology. As it is an extremely competitive field of specialization, often only medical graduates that excel academically are accepted into the program.
The National Resident Matching Program then accepts applicants for diagnostic radiology residency, which last for four years. Following this, sub sub-specialty such as neuroradiology or interventional radiology can be undertaken, which usually requires a fellowship program of one to three years.
Radiology is a competitive field of specialization in the United Kingdom, which previously warranted professional examinations before registered medical practitioners were considered for training in the field, although these are no longer compulsory.
The duration of the training program ran by the Royal College of Radiologists is five years, which includes rotation in different areas of radiology, such as pediatrics, musculoskeletal, neuroradiology and breast imaging. The program includes a theoretical exam at the conclusion of the first year before passing onto subsequent years, which involve practical rotations.
Australia and New Zealand
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologist is responsible for the training program of Radiologists that requires five years to complete. This begins with general principles of radiology and includes focused training rotations towards the end of the program.
Pre-requisite requirements for entry into the program include registration as a medical practitioner, including graduation from medical school and at least two years experience working in a clinical setting.
The training of radiologists within Europe can also differ between countries, however the overview of the education and licensing process remains the same.
It is obligatory for potential radiologists to first complete medical school and become a registered practitioner prior to commencing training as a radiologist. They may then begin the training program that prepares them for a career as a radiologist. The length of the program is usually five years across the different countries in Europe, although some countries such as Italy require further training and specialization.
Last Updated: May 4, 2015