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.