Saturday, December 27, 2008

Becoming A Radiologist

Radiology, or diagnostic imaging, is a vast and diverse field. Needless to say, becoming a radiologist takes some effort, as one must master this challenging material and then become proficient at applying at to a high volume of images. Before even considering how to become a radiologist, one must focus on becoming a doctor. The general path to becoming a radiologist involve applying and being admitted to medical school, being a successful medical student, applying to residency programs, and then finally gaining the requisite experience during one's residency as well as passing the radiology specialty board exams, administered by the American Board of Radiology. Many radiology residents also go on to complete fellowship training in a subspecialty of radiology before pursuing a career. 

The task of becoming a diagnostic radiologist is not an easy one. Radiology is a competitive field. Each year, hundreds of applicants from within the United States as well as international medical graduates apply for approximately 900 residency training spots in roughly 100 programs located across the United States. While not as competitive as other residencies such as dermatology or radiation oncology, the field is definitely above average within the medical specialties. Even after a resident matches, they face another 5 to 6 years of intense training as well as two major exams before even their first day practicing as a diagnostic radiologist. If you are determined to become a radiologist, you must be willing to make this kind of commitment. 

To learn more, check out How To Become A Radiologist. Other good resources include Aunt Minnie (a website and forum dedicated to radiology) as well as the Wikipedia article on Radiology.