How To Become A Radiologist

As a radiology specialist, you can help patients diagnose health conditions by using X-rays and other imaging methods. Radiologists are usually employed by hospitals but can also work independently. Some work remotely while others meet with patients face-to-face. Generally, becoming a radiologist requires a bachelor’s degree. Then, you will need to complete a 4-year medical school program, earning an M.D., followed by two years of clinical rotations and classroom instruction. After that, you will need to complete a residency in the field.

Medical School Requirements

How To Become A RadiologistMedical school is a four-year degree program, which includes two years of classroom work and two years of clinical practice. The first year is called the Internship, during which new doctors will work at hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms to receive general medical training. After the Internship, a new doctor will take a final USMLE or COMLEX exam to become a practicing physician. This career is highly competitive, and the salary is often based on the level of education, experience, and training.

If you want to become a radiologist, you must earn an undergraduate degree in a relevant field. Choose a major that interests you, and be sure to meet the requirements set by medical school. You will also need to take the MCAT, which is often taken during your junior year.

Upon completion of medical school, you will earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DOM). During the first two years, you will study anatomy, advanced physics, and biochemistry. You will also learn how to examine and take a patient’s medical history. As you progress through the program, you’ll gain experience working under experienced physicians before entering the field of radiology.

Residency Training

The mission of radiology residency programs is to train residents to practice as independent, competent, and professional radiologists. To achieve this goal, residents participate in interdisciplinary clinics, tumor board reviews, and serve as consultants in other medical fields. These experiences help trainees develop critical thinking skills and interdisciplinary communication abilities. These experiences also improve trainees’ professionalism by fostering collaborations among providers and institutions. Residency training also provides residents with opportunities to participate in collaborative research projects.

Residents in radiology residencies also receive specialized training in subspecialty fields. For example, they have routine exposure to cardiac MRI, CT colonoscopy, OB ultrasound, and prostate MRI. They also attend a four-week AIRP course in Silver Springs, MD, and can opt to take a 3 to 6-month mini fellowship to further their education.

The curriculum for radiology residencies is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The curriculum should include essential topics in every clinical subspecialty, as well as medical physics and radiation safety. In addition, the program should include courses on quality improvement, appropriate utilization of radiation, and economics. Residents also must complete two additional research projects and at least one presentation. During their training, they will also participate in a practice quality improvement project.


A radiologist can earn between $98,010 and $128,197 per year depending on location, years of experience, and training. The median income for radiologists falls between the two ranges. The following table breaks down the ranges by core practice area. For example, an assistant radiologist who has less than five years of experience can expect to earn an average of $28,580 per year.

After completing a residency, board-certified, and additional fellowships, a radiologist can specialize in a particular area. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics Query System compiles the most recent labor data on a variety of industries. Note that estimates do not sum to totals, because self-employed workers are not included.

The salary for a radiologist varies across the US. Those working in cities with low health care costs earn an average of $78,327 per year. In cities with high healthcare costs, radiologists earn between $130,906 and $385,911 per year.

Job Outlook

As the number of people seeking jobs in the medical field continues to increase, so too does the job outlook for radiologists. According to the American College of Radiology (ACR), the number of new jobs will reach a record high in 2021. The graph below shows the number of new job postings rising each year.

Radiologists can earn a range of salaries, ranging from 2.5 to 3 lakhs per annum. They can work in many different places and can choose to specialize in one area of radiology. This makes them a versatile professional with a great job outlook. They can even start their own diagnostic center, which has a high demand and good pay.

To become a radiologist, you must complete four years of undergraduate school and four years of medical school. After that, you must complete an internship that includes surgical rotations. A fellowship year is also required. Fortunately, the time spent studying for and completing an internship will pay off in the long run.

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