Jobs in Radiology

5 Reasons Why You Should Work in Radiology

Choosing your profession hinges on so many factors. You will need to look at your personal interests, talents, and skills, and know what inspires you or makes you want to push yourself to train, advance your education, and achieve your ambition.

There are careers that are more appropriate for driven, determined individuals who like structure and hectic schedules, while other professions nurture the more creative, independent free spirits who are attracted to versatile settings.

The demand for health care professionals within radiology is expected to continue to grow as more advances in equipment and treatments are being introduced. But before you jump in and enroll in radiology courses, you should be absolutely sure about this commitment that you are about to make. Here are several reasons why you should choose a career in radiology:

1. Radiology is for people-oriented personalities.

5 Reasons Why You Should Work in Radiology - BecomeaRadiologist.orgIf you are a radiology technician or radiologist, you will be dealing with people in a very personal way every day and have the chance to make a difference in their health and way of life.

Radiology and imaging techniques are now being more effectively used to pinpoint medical issues as early as possible, allowing for prevention or more efficient treatment.

If you are someone who likes to interact with people in a very personal way, know their stories, and get to know them very well, radiology could be a great career for you.

2. Radiology offers something new all the time.

How many people in other professions can say that they get to look inside the human anatomy and see the workings of the body on a daily basis? Radiology is hardly like a mundane office job that settles you into a desk in front of the computer most of the day.

3. Radiology offers job growth and advancement potential.

It offers exciting prospects for health care professionals, and is projected to continue to grow. In fact, there is a considerable shortage at the moment of qualified radiologists, radiology technicians, and radiology technologists all over the world. This surplus of radiology jobs makes the field of radiology attractive to prospective med students.

If you are determined and get the right training and experience, finding stable employment with the prospect of advancement would not be much of an issue.

4. Radiology does pay considerably well.

Of course, when we look for possible career options, we always consider how financially rewarding and viable it will be to maintain our way of life. The average salary for health care professionals working in the field of radiology would prove to be quite lucrative.

The average annual radiologist salary would be right between $250,00 – 300,00 yearly. Meanwhile, for radiology technicians and technologists, the pay grade averages $54,180. It does pay off to invest time, money, and effort into a career in radiology.

5. Radiology is an important aspect of health care.

Without radiology, doctors, surgeons, and other health care practitioners would be left in the dark and have a harder time trying to figure out patients’ needs and illnesses in an attempt to come up with the best solution. While all this imaging technology is now available, they do need skilled, qualified professionals to properly handle the tests.

If you like being part of something that means much more, and you like working with a team that has a common goal, radiology could be a career choice you would not regret.

Radiology Technicians

What Does a Radiology Technician Do?

Imaging technologies and equipment are commonly used in hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities for a variety of diagnostic and testing purposes.

Technology has made it possible for X-ray, ultrasound, and other equipment to be used to look inside the human body and spot illnesses, disorders, and other medical conditions in order to properly diagnose and come up with treatments.

As part of the healthcare process, radiology is an important aspect of helping patients and ensuring the best treatment.

Machines Need Operators

What Does a Radiology Technician Do? - BecomeaRadiologist.orgModern as much of the equipment are, imaging machines and technologies do not operate themselves, and require the skills and professional abilities of trained operators. This is where radiology technicians come in and fulfill their work.

Radiologic technologists or radiology technicians are the personnel who operate the machinery and make sure that everything is in order so that an examination can be performed correctly, and the patient’s results are as accurate as possible.

Assisting Radiologists

Both radiologists and radiology technicians have a detailed understanding of the human anatomy, and work together to come up with the best possible solution. In most health care facilities, the radiologist orders the test or examination, while the radiology technician preps the patient and performs the test.

Part of the process is making sure that the patient is put at ease and is as comfortable as possible throughout the process, and this is part of the radiology technician’s responsibilities as well. Most imaging technologies require the patient to lie on a bed during the procedure, so the radiology technician assists the patient in assuming the right position so an accurate result can be achieved.

Some patients are naturally apprehensive about the examination, especially if it is the first time that they will be undergoing an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or other test. The radiology technician orients the patient on the process, what needs to be done, and how safe and easy the procedure should be.

Keeping It Safe

Radiology utilizes varying levels of equipment or other tools that utilize radiation or magnetic fields. If carried out improperly, this can be potentially hazardous to the patient or even the operator. The radiology technician must make sure that all safety precautions are carried out to the letter.

Protection must begin from the technician himself, and protective suits, vests, or other protective clothing are used by radiology technicians to ensure that they are not exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The patient must also be adequately protected, usually with masks or other clothing that protects sensitive organs or tissues in the body from radiation.

Make necessary adjustments

The patient’s conditions must also be considered in the testing process. For instance, special procedures or arrangements may need to be carried out for persons with disabilities or with impaired mobilities, or those with pacemakers, intubated, catheterized, etc. Personal items that can impair or be impaired by the testing process should be handled properly.

As they work with the radiologist or other medical professionals, radiology technicians also assist in interpreting or analyzing results. They are an important factor n the efficient delivery of medical services and treatments for patients.

Jobs in Radiology

Radiologist Job Description: What to Expect

Radiologists are some of the most sought-after medical professionals nowadays, and also enjoy higher-than-average salaries than many of their peers in the health care industry. This position of radiologists, of course, also comes with rigorous training and many hours of practice and learning under mentors.

Radiologists also have to be ready for a variety of work-related duties and responsibilities directly or indirectly dealing with the patients they work with.

What Exactly Do Radiologists Do?

Radiologist Job Description -

A radiologist’s main responsibility is the diagnosis of illnesses through a range of imaging technologies used by health care professionals today.

In large hospitals and facilities, the radiology technician is usually tasked with the actual preparation of the patient and the carrying out of the examination, while the radiologist analyzes the results and discusses them with the patient.

However, in smaller clinics, the radiologist would also be responsible for the entire procedure from start to finish.

Operating Imaging Equipment

Radiologists are trained to operate the imaging machinery and equipment to ensure that an accurate portrait of the body area to be examined will be achieved. Examinations they may be tasked to master include ultrasounds, MRIs, CT scans, barium studies and angiography.

This is very important in the diagnostic procedure; if the examination is improperly carried out, certain details may be missed which could lead to inaccurate diagnosis and treatment. Radiologists also have to learn to correctly position the patients, explain the procedures to be performed, and make special arrangements or adjustments as necessary for patients with specific conditions (i.e. limited mobility, pacemakers).

Analyzing Test Results

In the analysis of the test results, radiologists often confer with other doctors or physicians, especially those who specialize in the disease or condition diagnosed in the patient. Many times, the doctor or specialist who ordered the test will be the one to discuss the results with the patient, but the analysis will most likely still be discussed with the radiologist, so he or she must have a thorough and working knowledge in this area.

Treating Medical Conditions

Advanced medical research and technology are making it possible for radiation to be used more and more for treatments of diseases and medical conditions, and there are radiologists who now train and specialize in interventional radiology. This involves using radiation technology to treat growths, tumors, and other conditions, as well as the maintenance of radioisotopes, and other procedures related to nuclear medicine.

Many radiologists are not tied to examination duties all the time. They may also be tasked to handle administrative responsibilities, including patient records, customer service, patient reviews, etc. Many radiologists are even given mentorship or teaching duties, whether it is in-hospital or at local teaching facilities.

The Day-to-Day Work

When it comes to work hours and schedules, radiologists enjoy some of the most flexible among medical professionals. Many are able to work from home part of the time if they work at a hospital with an advanced Web-based network.

Radiologists are not usually expected to be on-call throughout the day, rather, they have set schedules and more vacation time than their peers (on average, 8-12 weeks yearly).

Radiology FAQs

Radiologist Salary: How Much Does a Radiologist Make?

Let’s be honest: one of the big factors that we consider in selecting a career or profession is the projected salary or earning potential in that particular industry or field.

We want to make sure that the career we invest our effort and education into is something that at least provides a return of the investment, and can provide us with our daily essentials and needs, allowing us to support our loved ones or family as well.

Medical science continues to be one of the more popular industries that people looking for careers are interested in.

After all, health care is always a need in society, and it provides steady and reliable employment for so many across different fields and areas of specialization.

Radiologist Salary: How Much Does a Radiologist Make?

Radiology, as one of the different branches of medical science, may be one of the areas of medical science that you are looking into. So what is the average salary for professionals who are employed in various jobs related to radiology?

On average, a radiologist’s annual salary is one of the highest among other medical professionals.

In the United States, the average radiologist’s salary is about $216,577 annually. Of course, various factors come into play, such as experience, geographic location, board certification, gender, and other variables.

Radiologists with less than 5 years of experience, for instance, average an annual salary of about $157,909, while those who have work experience of up to 12 years may be taking home up to $400,000 yearly.

Interventional vs. Non-Interventional

Now, there are also differences in the average salaries between interventional and non-interventional radiologists.

Non-interventional radiologists generally perform the examinations on patients, interpret results, and discuss findings and possible treatments or courses of action.

Interventional radiologists, on the other hand, not only interpret test findings but also perform minimally invasive procedures and treatments. Because the role of interventional radiologists is more complicated and with more responsibility, they earn, on average, more than their non-interventional counterparts.

According to a 2011 study conducted by the recruiting firm Profiles, interventional radiologists earned about $5,000 more than non-interventional radiologists in their first year of practice. Meanwhile, according to a salary survey by American Medical Group Association, overall median income for interventional radiologists stood at $478,000 yearly compared to $454,205.

Salaries Can Vary By State

Where you eventually practice is a major factor in your average salary as a radiologist. In some states, the median salary for radiologists is much higher, due to different variables such as demand and state requirements for practice.

As of 2013, here are some of the figures for average radiologist salaries in certain states:

  • California – $190,000 annually
  • Georgia – $189,000 annually
  • Massachusetts – $198,000 annually
  • Mississippi – $202,000 annually
  • New York – $203,000 annually
  • Washington – $197,000 annually

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the employment growth for physicians and surgeons up to 2020 will increase by 24 percent, the radiology career would seem to be a wise choice if you are in the middle of selection.

In particular, radiologists will continue to be highly sought-after as an aging population requires diagnosis and treatment of age-related illnesses and other conditions.

Radiology Schools

Top Schools to Study Radiology

If you do a quick search on the Internet for the top schools and universities offering radiology degrees and programs in the United States, you will be inundated with lists that vary from each other, some only slightly, while others with completely different choices.

Different sites and reviewers, of course, have different criteria that they look for when choosing the best U.S. schools that offer programs to become a radiologist.

Top Schools to Study Radiology - BecomeaRadiologist.orgWe went through the Internet, compared different reviews and lists, and compiled the different universities and colleges that seemed to always show up on the lists of the most recommended radiology programs.

The institutions are generally selected based on their facilities, research programs, residency opportunities, proximity to top health care facilities, and other criteria.

Here are several of the most recommended schools for radiology programs in the United States (in no particular ranking):

  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) – The Russell H. Morgan School of Radiology consistently ranks as one of the top radiology programs in the U.S. They offer a flexible research option, four-year residency program, and assist students with work placement after completion of requirements. Johns Hopkins also has distinguished faculty that work hand in hand with students taking clinical and academic courses.

  • Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) – The Mayo School of Health Sciences has a balanced, multi-faceted, multidisciplinary approach in its radiology program. The school has a 24-month program for a radiography degree, with employment offered to all entry level students after graduation at a local Mayo Health facility.

  • University of Washington – Seattle (Seattle, Washington) – The School of Medicine at UW-Seattle was ranked as the best medical program in primary care by U.S. News & World Report in 2010. The school’s mission is to train physicians for rural and undeserved municipalities. After completing a residency program, students have a choice of a fellowship program in areas such as neuroradiology, oncology radiation, cardiac imaging, pediatric radiology, or musculoskeletal radiology.

  • University of California – San Francisco (San Francisco, California) – Located in the downtown area, UCSF placed 5th among the best medical primary care programs in 2010 as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Diagnostic imaging is offered as an elective, and for students who want to specialize in radiology two residency programs are offered. General radiology and nuclear medicine are both offered in programs. Additionally, the highly selective residency program allows residents to work at the UCSF Medical Center, one of the best-ranked in the country.

  • Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) – Among the programs offered here is the 18-month medical imaging program, an accelerated course which is open to Bachelor’s degree holders who are interested in a radiology career. The MGH Institute also allows students to intern at one of the nine health care locations of the hospital, considered one of the best in the country.

  • Harbor-UCLA Radiology School (Torrance, California) – The school offers a highly-competitive and intense four-year residency program, with only 23 students accepted each semester (the acceptance rate for applicants is 1%). The school keeps class sizes small and student-to-teacher ratios at one-to-one, with a very hands-on program that lets students work alongside UCLA medical staff.
Training and Education

Become a Radiology Tech: Training & Education Requirements

One of the many exciting career paths within the world of radiology is that of the radiology technician.

If you are one of those people who are fascinated by the inner workings of the human anatomy, and love to look at how the different parts of the body are interconnected to each other, a career as a radiology tech might be something that could be very interesting to you.

Also, with radiology treatments and imaging technologies continuing to grow at a fast pace, becoming a radiology tech could very well provide you with a stable source of income with much advancement potential.

What Exactly Do They Do?

Radiology technicians work hand in hand with physicians or radiologists in health care facilities.

They are specifically in charge of the actual operation of imaging equipment, carrying out examinations, preparing the patients for the procedure, and then releasing the images and helping to analyze the results with radiologists or physicians.

While many radiologists are also trained in the carrying out of the examinations, in most larger medical facilities it is the responsibility of the radiology technicians to handle this, while radiologists and doctors discuss the findings and suggest treatments with patients.

In Charge of the Testing Process

Radiology technicians would explain to the patient the medical imaging process they are about to undergo, whether it is an X-ray exam, mammography, CAT scan, MRI, or other procedure.

Become a Radiology Tech: Training & Education Requirements

The radiology tech is also responsible for making sure that the patient is prepared to undergo the imaging process, which would mean removing clothing, jewelry, or other personal items that could become an interference to the test and skew results. The technician will also need to make sure that the patient is properly positioned so that the most accurate test results can be achieved.

One of the most important parts of the radiology technician’s job is making sure that all safety precautions are being followed, especially as the equipment being utilized uses various levels of radiation in the imaging techniques, and can become hazardous to people’s health if not handled correctly. Protective coverings such as gowns, lead aprons, etc. are used to protect the patient’s body areas that will not be tested.

Training Required

Because of the sensitive nature of the duties and responsibilities of radiology technicians, they need to be adequately trained and skilled prior to taking on the daily tasks. There are currently several different options that aspiring radiology technicians can choose from:

  • Certificate program. The first option is to take up a certificate program which, on average, takes about one to two years to complete. Many local community colleges, technical or vocational schools, and hospitals offer certificate programs, and these are also offered as online courses.

  • Associate’s Degree. The most common route that radiology technicians take is to finish a two year associate’s degree. Most private and public learning institutions offer at two year associate’s program geared for radiology technicians. Additionally, some larger universities offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Technology, which is completed in four years.

Whichever route you choose to take in getting the right education and skills to become a radiology technician, make sure that the institution you select has the proper credentials and accreditation.

Jobs in Radiology

Become a Radiologist: Training & Education Requirements

How do you become a radiologist? A radiologist is an important part of the medical field, and is also expected to have a detailed knowledge of the human anatomy and the various medical illnesses and conditions that normally require radiologic imaging and treatments.

On the average, a radiologist-to-be would have to commit at least 13 years of his or her life to the education and training required to become a practicing radiologist.

The First Step: a Bachelor’s Degree

Your career path to becoming a radiologist will usually start with a bachelor’s degree, with the prerequisite courses including biology, physics, or chemistry.

If you are looking to gain more experience in working in medical settings, you can opt to find part-time work or volunteer options at local hospitals or health care facilities even during your undergraduate education; many institutions offer work programs for undergraduate students in medical school prerequisites.

Medical School

After you get your undergraduate education, the next step is medical school, which is another four years of your life.

Medical school will let you learn the sciences in a classroom setting, including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, and other areas of learning. Then another two years will consist of clinical rotation learning and experiencing the various areas of internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and more.

Four Years of Radiology Residency

Become a Radiologist: Training & EducationOnce you have completed medical school, it will be time for your radiology residency. This is a four-year period of specialized medical education, clinical rotations in the different specializations within radiology, paid internship and training, lectures, research, and other tasks.

The residency will allow you to immerse yourself even more in the day-to-day activities and responsibilities which you will have to perform on your own once you are a licensed radiologist.

During residency, you will also have to master radiation safety and precautions. Most radiologists also continue with up to two more years of specialized training with a fellowship, a more personalized and rigorous form of mentorship in a specific area of radiology such as nuclear medicine.

Get Certified

Radiologists need to have licensure or board certification in order to practice. Board certification and requirements vary from state to state, and even by country. Generally, however, there are oral and written exams that applicants must pass, and these exams encompass everything learned so far in all those years of training and education.

Once licensed, the certification does not end for radiologists, as the license must be renewed regularly. The exams that need to be passed for licensure include the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX).

Learning Never Stops

Now, the medical industry is constantly changing and being revolutionized by advances in research and technology. Even when a radiologist has finally completed the required training and education, the road to learning never stops.

A radiologist who wants to remain relevant and updated with the latest developments in the field of radiology can take it on himself to take continuing courses, refreshers, or even online classes to enhance skills and information. Any opportunities to develop one’s knowledge and skillset should be maximized in order to stay competitive and aware of the continuing growth in radiology.

Radiology FAQs

Radiologist vs. Radiology Technician: What’s the Difference?

Perhaps you have noticed that there are several titles or job descriptions that are related to radiology, and you are curious to know what the differences are.

If you have had to have an X-ray, CT or MRI scan before, it is possible that you have noticed how there are radiologists and radiology technicians who work in hospitals, clinics, or other medical facilities, and they seem to have different job descriptions of their own.

While both are considered as health care professionals, working side-by-side in hospitals and other medical and healthcare facilities, and dealing with much of the same aspects of radiology and its purpose of diagnosing and combating illnesses, radiologists and radiology technicians differ based on their level of training, experience, and duties.

What Do Radiology Technicians Do?

Radiologist vs. Radiology Technician: What’s the Difference?Radiology technicians specialize in handling the equipment and in conducting the various imaging tests such as ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.

Generally, radiology technicians focus on specializing in one type of procedure, but it is more advantageous to aim for certification in more than one procedure so the radiology technician can perform several.

If you walk into a clinic or hospital, the radiology technician would be the one to assist you with the procedure based on the doctor’s instructions and the patient’s needs.

The radiology technician is also responsible for making sure that the patient is properly shielded and prepped for the examination. Most importantly, the radiology technician must operate the equipment correctly, aligning and adjusting the imaging equipment appropriately and assisting the doctors or radiologists with the test results.

What Do Radiologists Do?

On the other hand, the radiologist is trained for more advanced responsibilities such as using radiation equipment for treating illnesses, and analyzing results and discussing them with the patient in order to come up with the best possible solution.

They have a higher level of understanding of the medical imaging procedures and test results, so they are expected to fully interpret and discuss them with patients. While in smaller clinics or facilities, the radiologist may also be the one to handle the examination itself, in larger facilities it is usually the radiology technician’s duty to carry out the examination, while the radiologist handles the results.

Education and Training: More Required for Radiologists

Radiology technicians can usually complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to prepare for the job, and be able to earn a state license (requirements vary by state) as well as pass a comprehensive examination.

Many vocational schools or community colleges have fast-track courses and programs for radiology technicians, averaging about two years of schooling.

Radiologists, on the other hand, go through a much longer process of acquiring an undergraduate and graduate degree, completing internship and residency, before being able to practice as full-fledged radiologists.

Aspiring radiologists are looking at an average of 10 years of training.

Salary Comparison: Radiologists Earn More

Of course, the hard work does pay off in the end.

On the average, radiologists have an annual salary of around $356,885 yearly, while radiology technicians average $54,340 yearly.

That said, job growth prospects for both radiology technicians and radiologists are expected to continue to grow yearly, with the demand projected to increase to 28 percent by the year 2020.

Want to learn more about Radiologists and Radiology Technicians?

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Radiology FAQs

Radiology Training FAQs

Radiology is a viable career path for you to consider especially if you are interested in medical science and its various facets. Many exciting developments are and innovations are constantly being introduced in the field of radiology and imaging treatment, all geared towards earlier, better diagnosis and treatments of various illnesses and conditions.

The increase in applications and programs related to radiology has also caused a shortage in radiologists, so this field is one where you can find a placement if you are qualified.

As with most anything in life, people usually have a lot of queries regarding radiology and if it is the right career decision for them to make.

It is normal to have questions about anything you are thinking of embarking on. In fact, it is recommended that you do ask questions and find out as much as you can about radiology before you make the final call on whether this is something you are ready to commit to. The following are some common questions related to radiology training that people ask:

  • What types of Radiology Degree Programs are available?

Radiology Training - How to Become A Radiologist

There are different choices of degree programs depending on what you plan to do in the future as a radiologist. For instance, a technologist would require an associate’s degree in order to learn the technical proficiency skills.

If you are planning on becoming a full-fledged radiologist or physician, however, a bachelor’s degree is a must as it walks you through the foundational concepts, while a radiology doctorate degree gives you the training and experience needed in the use of imaging technologies.

You may also be curious about the different areas of specialization within radiology, and there are several to choose from as well.

Radiography, used in creating medical images used in computer tomography, magnetic resonance, mammography, or cardiovascular technology, is one of the more common imaging modalities. Ultrasound or sonography uses sound waves to reproduce images from inside the body. Meanwhile, nuclear medicine makes use of radioactive materials to emit radiation and illuminate body parts.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another popular imaging technology; it combines radio frequencies and magnetic fields to produce images of body tissues and organs. The CT scan or Computed Tomography is another form of X-ray scanning, but it takes images from different angles, joining larger organs and tissues for a more detailed, thorough analysis.

Ultimately, the area you specialize in would be determined by your personal interest and skills. As you learn the differences between the different areas, you can have a better understanding and see which one fits you best.

  • How long does it take to get a Radiology Degree?

To become a radiologist, you have to be ready to sign up for a few years of studying and internship.

The undergraduate education would run about four years, after which you will need to get your medical degree (another four years of medical school), a year of internship, four years of residency, and the usual specialty fellowship training for an area of specialization. To become a full-fledged radiologist, you are looking at at least 10-12 years of training.

  • How much does a Radiology Degree cost?

The cost of getting a radiology degree would depend on where you will go to school, as well as all the other related expenses.

For students who attend a university and live on-campus, the average cost would be around $14,000 annually, and about half that cost if you decide to stay at home. Of course, the investment will come back as you complete your degree and begin to make an average of $50,000 annually. Another option you might be interested in is online classes.

  • What Type of Training is Available Online?

There are online providers and academic institutions that offer online learning programs and classes related to radiology. For the most part, educational institutions make the general education courses and programs available online for students.

Most degree programs by traditional institutions are still on-site, however. Online radiology schools offering degrees and programs via Web-based learning are growing at a fast rate.

  • What is Initial Certification?

Initial certification refers to the first important certification in a radiology candidate’s life.

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) officially defines initial certification as certification “for candidates who are not yet certified in diagnostic radiology, any of its subspecialties (neuroradiology, nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, and vascular and interventional radiology), radiation oncology, or medical physics.”

To qualify for initial certification, the candidate needs to successfully meet requirements in basic education and exams.  Initial certification is very important as you look for employment, because most employers will ask for this.

Jobs in Radiology

Radiation Oncology: Job Description and Salary

Many of us have had to deal with different forms of cancer, whether personally or in the life of a family member, loved one, or friend.

In the medical field, research and scientific studies continue to be carried out in an attempt to increase our understanding of the various types of cancer, as well as improve our ability to combat its effects.

Radiation oncology is one of the treatment techniques used today to eradicate specific cancers in the body.

The Job of Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists’ duties will include the analysis and confirmation of cancer-related diagnoses from a physician or diagnostic radiologist. They are part of the process of determining the results of an imaging examination performed on a patient.

Radiation oncologists also must figure out the best treatment or therapy to recommend to a patient with cancer. This treatment will attempt to eradicate the cancerous cells in the patient’s body, but maintain the healthy state of the other cells around the cancerous area.

Using advanced imaging techniques and three-dimensional equipment, radiation oncologists determine where cancerous tumors and cells are located, and then map out a treatment strategy that will minimize the risks of radiation.

Radiation Treatment Strategies

One example of radiation treatments is stereotactic radiosurgery, a minimally invasive procedure that locates specific areas of the body through high-powered X-rays. This technique then performs actions such as lesions, biopsies, injections, implantation, and other procedures.

Radiation therapy can also be combined with chemotherapy, another form of treatment which uses chemical agents to eliminate cancer in the body.

Radiation oncologists have the serious responsibility of discussing with the patient the extent of the cancer in his or her body, and then going over treatment plans and strategies that will have to be undertaken, as well as how much drugs or radiation the patient will have to undergo.

Radiation Oncology: Job Description and Salary -

It is a must for radiation oncologists to have very strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to calmly and clearly discuss medical conditions and treatments with patients, provide motivation and leadership, share encouragement, and give emotional support.

Training to Become a Radiation Oncologist

Training to become a radiation oncologist starts with a bachelor’s degree in a medical or science-related field of study.

Applying to medical school is the next step, which is another four years, followed by a 12-month internship and four years of resident training. Residency is particularly important because students will learn and master both clinical and radiation oncology.

In the United States, radiation oncologists seek certification from the American Board of Radiology, and are licensed after passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Expected Salary

As with most careers related to radiology, the average salary for a radiation oncologist is generally higher compared to other peers in the medical field due to the demand for medical professionals who are skilled in the different areas of radiology. In 2010, the average annual salary for a radiation oncologist stood at $151,000.

Employment opportunities are also abundant, with a 22 percent increase between 2002-2018 projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the population ages and requires radiation treatments.