A doctor who works with X-rays and a variety of medical imaging equipment is a radiologist. Radiologists specialize in analyzing the medical images of patients and making primary recommendations for initial treatment to the care physicians. While hospitals and clinics typically employ doctors who specialize in this area, there are also specialized radiology and imaging clinics that employ individuals for this position.
The primary educational requirement for a doctor specializing in radiology is a medical degree from an accredited university. Additionally, the radiologist must be board-certified in this area of expertise and must maintain all continuing education requirements and recertifications as needed. The physician must be familiar with the use of relevant imaging equipment as well and understand the nature of the patient’s described ailments when creating images to achieve the best diagnostic work. Radiologists must able to balance the comfort of the patient with the needs of a referring physician to get the best images possible.
In addition to creating these diagnostic images, the radiologist is expected to make examinations of the images created. This may include interpretation and re-creation of images as well. The radiologist makes recommendations for treatment to be referred to the care physicians to execute. They should also make clear and accurate notation on all relevant images.
The radiologist typically works during regular business hours, although in some clinical and hospital environments, on-call and after-hours work may be required as well.
Physician / Doctor, Radiologist Tasks
- Consult with other physicians to develop a diagnosis for the patient.
- Interpret images generated by an x-ray, MRI, or other machine that use radiation to create an image.
- Direct radiology technicians on what methods and positions the test requires.
- Inform patients undergoing testing about procedures, risks, and benefits.