If you enjoy working with people and like the idea of analyzing medical test results to diagnose medical conditions that are making patients ill, the career of a radiologist may be ideal for you. Radiologists know how to interpret the results of a variety of diagnostic medical tests. Based on the test results, they diagnose illnesses and sometimes recommend specific types of treatment. The profession of radiology is expected to grow by approximately 14% between the years 2014 and 2024. As a result, job security is expected to be very good. Radiologists may work unusual hours, and they may need to work over the typical 40-hour workweek. On occasion, radiologists may need to work during evenings, weekends, or on holidays. If you would like to learn more about this profession, please continue reading. This article contains lots of helpful information about a radiologist salary, radiologist job description, and more.
Overview of a Radiologist Salary
As of May 2014, the median annual radiologist salary is $375,816 or $180.68 per hour. The highest-earning 10% of radiologists earned average annual salaries of approximately $467,000 or $224.52 per hour. The lowest-earning 10% of radiologists earned averaged annual salaries of approximately $103,000 per year or $49.52 per hour. The median annual income for a radiologist is much higher than the average for all professions in the United States combined. Various factors influence the salary of a radiologist. These factors include the location in which they are employed, years of experience, the type of facility they are employed by, and how well-know they are as a radiologist. Salaries tend to be quite high for radiology physicians who have many years of experience. However, location in which the radiology physician is employed largely influences annual salary. There is some variance in salaries for radiologists based on all the aforementioned factors.
Earning Factors of a Radiologist
As was mentioned above, the annual salaries of radiologists can vary somewhat significantly. This is largely dependent upon how much experience the radiology physician in the field. Also, the location of employment largely influences annual salaries. Metropolitan areas tend to pay higher annual salaries, whereas radiologists who work in more rural areas tend to earn lower annual salaries. It is common for salaries to increase over time as radiology physicians gain the first-hand experience. Healthcare organizations typically pay radiologists the highest annual salaries, and individual practices tend to pay radiology physicians the lowest annual salaries.
Radiologist Job Description
The job of a radiologist is perfect for people who want to work in the field of medicine, enjoy interacting with people, are inquisitive and analytical, and want to diagnose diseases and illnesses. Radiology physicians analyze the results of many different diagnostic medical tests, make treatment recommendations based on their analysis of test results, and work collaboratively with other physicians. Radiologists must pay extremely close attention to detail so they do not miss evidence of diseases or issues revealed from diagnostic tests. Radiology physicians work closely with other physicians on a regular basis. They may need to recommend or coordinate treatment ideas with other doctors. The job of a radiology physician can be very stressful and demanding. Many radiology physicians work over 40 hours each workweek. They may need to work into the evening, over the weekend, and in some instances over holidays. Most commonly, radiologists work in hospital settings. However, some work in outpatient facilities or individual physician practices.
A typical radiologist description includes the following items:
- Analyzing and interpreting the results of a variety of diagnostic medical tests (such as computed tomography scans or CT scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRIs Xrays, PET scans, and others)
- Summarizing the findings and conclusions based on the diagnostic tests
- Conveying the findings to other physicians verbally or through a written summary
- Recommending appropriate forms of treatment
- In some instances, recommending a particular diagnostic test based on medical history or present symptoms
- Meeting patients’ needs by working together with other physicians
If a radiologist is specialized in a certain area of radiology, they may have slightly different responsibilities within their job. For example, some radiologists are specialized in interpreting the results of a particular diagnostic test. In those instances, radiology physicians may not interpret the results of other tests. Some radiologists interpret a variety of diagnostic tests such as the tests mentioned above. Job responsibilities may also vary somewhat based on the setting in which the radiology physician works.
A radiologist should possess these important qualities and characteristics:
- They should have good eyesight and an ability to closely analyze images and screens
- Strong communication skills as essential as they need to clearly and effectively communicate with other physicians as well as patients
- They must pay very close attention to detail
- They must be able to think clearly and quickly while under pressure
- Empathy and compassion are extremely important when sharing difficult news with patients and their families
- They must be able to concentrate for extended periods of time
Radiologist Job Outlook
At the present and well into the future, the radiologist job outlook is very good. The field of radiology is expected to grow by approximately 14% between 2014 and 2024. This is notably faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations combined in the United States. It is estimated that between 2014 and 2024, 51,700 new positions will be created and filled by radiologists. As of 2024, there will be approximately 398,900 radiology physicians employed throughout the United States. As the baby boomer generation ages, there will be a high demand for medical care and therefore radiology services. This will lead to good job security for radiology physicians. Also, in time more individuals and families will have access to medical insurance which will lead to greater demands for medical care. However, competition for these positions is also expected to be fairly high. As a result, radiologists may need to be flexible about the location in which they are employed.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the radiologist education requirements.
Radiologist Education Requirements
If you are interested in becoming a radiologist, read on! We are about to tell you all about the radiologist education requirements. In order to become a radiology physician, you must first graduate from high school and then earn a bachelor’s degree. Your bachelor’s degree should be in pre-medicine or a related field such as chemistry, biology, etc. It is beneficial to take relevant classes beginning in high school (such as science and math-focused curriculum). In college, advanced mathematics classes, as well as challenging science classes, must be taken. After graduating from an accredited college or university, an individual who wants to become a radiologist should apply to medical school. It is important to note that medical schools are highly competitive and difficult to earn acceptance. You must have excellent grades from your undergraduate studies.
Medical schools also want to see that you are well rounded and have been involved in activities. Prior to being offered admission to medical school, you must take and score well on the Medical College Admission Test (or the MCAT). Once accepted to medical school, medical students embark on a 4-year study of medicine. At the conclusion of medical school, students must take licensing and certification exams. After they pass these exams they are officially physicians. After this, recent medical school graduates begin an internship experience to gain additional hands-on training as a physician. After the completion of the internship, physicians can move on to their specialized radiology residency. This is when physicians gain the highest levels of experience and knowledge about radiology. The residency lasts an additional 4 years. At the conclusion of those 4 years, physicians must pass board examinations to be licensed in radiology.
Types of Radiology
As a clinical radiologist, you may focus on either interventional radiology, diagnostic radiology, or on a mixture of the two. Here is a guide on what the two different types of radiology mean:
- Interventional radiology – This involves using image-guided pin-hole surgery to treat a wide variety of conditions. These conditions can be from life-threatening aneurysms and hemorrhages to muscle, tendon, and joint injuries. The procedure is done in the least invasive way.
- Diagnostic radiology – This is a way of finding out what is clinically wrong with a patient using a range of different imaging techniques.
Even though interventional radiology is the only sub-specialty specialty that is recognized by the GMC (General Medical Council), you can also specialize in a particular area of interest. These areas of interest include:
- head and neck
- radionuclide radiology
A junior radiologist will usually work long and unsociable hours. This can include nights and weekends, usually on a rota basis. As a consultant, you may be required to do on-call or out-of-hours work which varies depending on the type of hospital that you’re working at. This is especially true if there is a limited amount of specialty trainees. However, most clinical radiologists find that a good work and life balance is entirely possible.
Part-time work as a radiologist is also an option. You will also be able to find opportunities to train on a less than full-time basis.
CDP (Continual professional development) is essential if you wish to remain on the GMC register. As a radiologist, you will be expected to continue to learn throughout your career. In particular, you must continue to develop your knowledge in your area of specialty or to explore new intervention techniques.
For continual professional development, you should attend courses, meetings, conferences, and workshops. You must also undertake research and take part in peer-reviewing journal papers.
There are many excellent opportunities for research up to a Ph.D. level. These research areas range from the effectiveness and application of resources and techniques to supporting the evaluation of drug trials.
If you want to integrate more formal teaching into your work, there is also a range of postgraduate teaching qualifications available. An example is a Postgraduate Certification in Medical Education (PGCE) for Radiology. this is aimed at trainee and consultant radiologists who have an interest in developing their careers in medical education.
You will gradually gain more responsibilities and you will take on more managerial responsibilities throughout your career as a consultant. After this, you can then move on to a senior consultant role. In some larger departments, you could also take on the responsibility of your own subspecialty or imaging technique.
It is also not unusual for clinical radiologists to be recruited to a higher-level role such as a chief executive or director. This is mostly due to the fact that radiology interacts with so many different areas of service, and it also provides a much broader overview of medicine.
There are also opportunities to work in government agencies and in the private sector, as well as directing professional and scientific societies.
If you would like to take up some scientific research and an academic career, you would need to start early during your training, as this is a highly competitive field.
If you are interested in teaching future doctors then you may become a director of medical education, an associate dean in charge of an entire training program, or a training program director.
Radiologist Salary: Conclusion
We hope that this article has helped you in some way. We have highlighted the radiologist salary as well as what to expect from the job as a radiologist and the qualifications needed to become a radiologist.
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