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Career in Radiology



WHO IS A RADIOLOGIST?

Radiology is the study of the diagnosis of diseases with the help of medicine as well as technology. It is classified in majorly two fields including diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Here, one of the branches of radiology is a specialization of medicine that uses X-Ray images to detect diseases or injuries whereas the other is the study of using imaging techniques such as CT Scans, MRI, etc., for the purpose of providing treatment directions.

Radiologists examine and diagnose disorders and diseases using x-rays and radioactive materials. They also may treat patients.


WHAT DOES A RADIOLOGIST DO?

● Obtain patients' histories from electronic records, patient interviews, dictated reports, or by communicating with referring clinicians.

● Prepare comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.

● Perform or interpret the outcomes of diagnostic imaging procedures including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), nuclear cardiology treadmill studies, mammography, or ultrasound.

● Review or transmit images and information using picture archiving or communications systems.

● Communicate examination results or diagnostic information to referring physicians, patients, or families.

● Evaluate medical information to determine patients' risk factors, such as allergies to contrast agents, or to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of procedures.

● Provide counseling to radiologic patients to explain the processes, risks, benefits, or alternative treatments.

● Instruct radiologic staff in desired techniques, positions, or projections.

● Confer with medical professionals regarding image-based diagnoses.

● Coordinate radiological services with other medical activities.

● Document the performance, interpretation, or outcomes of all procedures performed.

● Establish or enforce standards for protection of patients or personnel.

● Develop or monitor procedures to ensure adequate quality control of images.

● Recognize or treat complications during and after procedures, including blood pressure problems, pain, over sedation, or bleeding.

● Administer radiopaque substances by injection, orally, or as enemas to render internal structures and organs visible on x-ray films or fluoroscopic screens.

● Participate in continuing education activities to maintain and develop expertise.

● Participate in quality improvement activities including discussions of areas where risk of error is high.

● Supervise and teach residents or medical students.

● Implement protocols in areas such as drugs, resuscitation, emergencies, power failures, or infection control.

● Schedule examinations and assign radiologic personnel.

● Provide advice on types or quantities of radiology equipment needed to maintain facilities.

● Participate in research projects involving radiology.

● Perform interventional procedures such as image-guided biopsy, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, transhepatic biliary drainage, or nephrostomy catheter placement.

● Administer or maintain conscious sedation during and after procedures.

● Interpret images using computer-aided detection or diagnosis systems.

● Serve as an offsite tele radiologist for facilities that do not have on-site radiologists.

● Develop treatment plans for radiology patients.

● Treat malignant internal or external growths by exposure to radiation from radiographs (x-rays), high energy sources, or natural or synthetic radioisotopes.

● Conduct physical examinations to inform decisions about appropriate procedures.

TYPES OF RADIOLOGISTS:

Radiology field is broadly divided into two areas namely diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology.

Diagnostic Radiology is the specialization of medicine that uses the images of X-Ray and other imaging techniques to diagnose the disease and injury of patients.

Interventional Radiology is another medical specialty that also uses imaging techniques (X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound) for direction. Patients can be treated and diagnosed using minimally invasive procedures.

KNOWLEDGE AREAS THAT NEED TO BE ACQUIRED:

Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.


English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.


Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

SKILLS:

Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.

Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.

Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

TECHNOLOGY SKILLS:

Electronic mail software — Email software

Internet browser software — Web browser software

Medical software — Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR; MEDITECH software ; RamSoft PowerServer RIS/PACS; Vitera Healthcare Solutions Vitera Intergy RIS

Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

Voice recognition software

Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Imaging techniques that include X-ray radiography, ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), Nuclear medicine such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to diagnose and treat the diseases.

ABILITIES:

Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.

Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.

Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.

Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

WORK ACTIVITIES:

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

DETAILED WORK ACTIVITIES

● Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.

● Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.

● Gather medical information from patient histories.

● Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.

● Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.

● Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.

● Communicate test or assessment results to medical professionals.

● Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.

● Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.

● Operate on patients to treat conditions.

● Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.

● Train medical providers.

● Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.

● Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.

● Record patient medical histories.

● Determine protocols for medical procedures.

● Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.

● Develop healthcare quality and safety procedures.

● Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.

● Administer medical substances for imaging or other procedures.

● Maintain medical or professional knowledge.

● Develop medical treatment plans.

● Administer cancer treatments.

● Examine patients to assess general physical condition.

● Supervise patient care personnel.

● Treat medical emergencies.

● Schedule medical facility use.

● Advise medical personnel regarding healthcare issues.

● Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.

PERSONALITY:

Work Styles-

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.

Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.


Work Values-

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy


Interests-

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

For all the aspirants of any one of the Radiology courses offered across Radiology Colleges in India, they must ensure that they qualify the requisite eligibility criteria for the respective radiology courses. Each college offering the Radiology courses will determine their own eligibility criteria, however, aspirants can check out the general eligibility criteria for different Radiology courses in India, which have been defined below:

Course

Eligibility Criteria

Certificate Radiology Courses

You can apply for Radiology certificate or diploma programmes after completing class 12 with science.

Undergraduate Radiology Courses

Candidates must have studied Physics, Biology and Chemistry till class 12 in order to apply for these courses. Admission to B.Sc. programmes is done on the basis of marks secured by candidates in class 12. Minimum qualifying percentage is 50%. Candidates may also be asked to appear for either a State-Level Entrance Exam or University-Level entrance exams as admissions are done based on scores obtained in the entrance test as well.

Postgraduate Radiology Courses in India

Admission to PG diploma is done on the basis of either the marks secured by candidates either in the diploma or in graduate programmes. Candidates must have pursued graduation with a minimum of 50% marks in order to take admission in M.Sc. courses. Admission to MD and MS courses is done on the basis of entrance exams and candidates must have pursued MBBS with qualifying marks as well as an internship.

PAYSCALE

The annual packages offered to a radiologist would be determined based on various factors, including the academic qualifications of the candidate, the area of specialization as well as the area of employment as well. Therefore, while we can estimate roughly the annual packages that are offered to graduates in the field of radiology, the actual pay scale will differ. Check out the annual pay packages of a radiologist in India.


Qualification

Average Initial Salary (Annual)

Median Salary (Annual)

Radiology Certificate

1,00,000 - ₹1,25,000

₹1,75,000 - 2,50,000

B.Sc. Radiology

₹2,50,000 - ₹3,45,000

₹6,00,000 - ₹7,75,000

PG Diploma in Radiology / MD Radiology

₹3,45,000 - ₹5,75,000

₹7,25,000 - ₹9,00,000

JOB OUTLOOK AND JOB PROSPECTS

Radiology is a branch of medical science that is constantly in demand for the diagnosis of diseases. As it is one of the only few medical diagnostic methods that enable the doctors to detect the diseases inside a human body, skilled and qualified radiologists are required in all medical centres and hospitals. Following are some of the job profiles in Radiology that you can apply for:

Radiology Technician Radiologist MRI Technician Radiology Assistant Radiology Technologist/Radiographer Ultrasound Technician / Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Radiology Nurse CT Tech / CAT Scan Technologist / CT Scan Technologist

With rapid urbanization and the requirement of high-tech medical facilities, diagnostic centres have also emerged as one of the more successful businesses in the economy. These centres provide medical diagnostic services to hospitals that lack well-equipped and proper radiological departments. With this massive step up in urbanization and numerous hospitals being established in the country, there is a dearth in the number of skilled and qualified professionals in Radiology.

The medical centres in India open up a lot of scope and jobs for radiology aspirants. Individuals are hired by these radiological centres at different levels (assistant, doctor, etc.). These days, tier 1, tier 2 cities as well as big towns have diagnostic centres, offering various job opportunities to students. Some of the popular areas of employment for graduates in Radiology are as follows:

Government and Private Hospitals Diagnostic Centres Government and Private Medical Laboratories Super-Speciality Hospitals Nursing Homes

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is some good advice for Students pursuing Radiology?

  1. Find somebody who does this and then ask them if you could come visit and see what it’s really like.

  2. Find out what it requires to get in and then figure out if you can do it, and then go for it. But that takes a lot of self- sacrifice to do that.

  3. Count the costs. Understand that it’s going to be difficult.

What is it like being a Radiologist?

They interact with almost every different aspect of medicine; work with pediatrics, obstetrics, surgery, internal medicine, all the sub-specialties, and so there’s a huge range of things that they participate in. It’s hard to get bored because it’s hard to keep up with everybody, they are expected to know more about their patients. They're basically Doctors’ doctors because the doctors have a patient with a problem that they can’t solve without their help. They’re problem solvers.

So, even though, you don’t get quite as much satisfaction from the patient contact and the patients being really grateful to you a lot of times they don’t even know that you’re the one who figured out what was wrong with them but you do get a lot of satisfaction in knowing that what you’re doing makes a big difference in the lives of all of these patients every day.


Are Radiologists happy?

More than half of the radiologists working consider themselves happy and fortunate. They are happy and satisfied with their jobs. Although the path is difficult, the end point makes them happy.


Should I become a Radiologist?

You need a four-year college degree, four years in medical school, an internship, a four-year residency, and a one to two-year fellowship after that. As far as skills, they need to be a problem-solver. Some people are good at memorizing things. Some people are good at problem solving. Some people are good at both, not too many, but it’s not good enough just to know a lot. You have to be able to apply that. Thus, two things that are really key are visual and spatial orientation, and analysis skills. If you are able to think three dimensionally based on two-dimensional objects “drawings, pictures “if you can think three dimensionally, you can turn things around in your mind, upside down, sideways, backwards, forwards, with limited amounts of information, then you probably have one of the major skills necessary. If you can’t do that, this may not be the field for you.

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