How To Become Radiologist (2023)

Radiology is a growing field and there are so many opportunities for you as well. Radiologists are one of the best fields to have a career in and you would get a great pay scale and a higher reputation as well.
If your interests lie in diagnosing, reading reports, using high-end machines, and a good knowledge of human anatomy, then radiology might be the perfect field for you.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything about becoming a radiologist, including their roles, their responsibilities,  required skills, and the procedure of becoming a certified radiologist. Let’s get started and get you all the answers you are looking for.

Who is a Radiologist?

Radiologists are medical professionals who are specialized in medical imaging procedures such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI. These procedures are important as they diagnose various issues in our body such as a broken bone or a tumor. Their findings would determine the treatment you should take and how you can heal as well.
Radiologists can also have a sub-specialty and they would be working in hospitals, private labs, or some even in remote areas as well.
The role and responsibilities of a radiologist are the following;
  • Considering a patient’s medical history
  • Requesting a medical imaging procedure
  • Performing a medical imaging procedure
  • Analyzing the medical imaging results
  • Diagnosing patient’s illness or conditions
  • Recommending treatments for patients based on their medical imaging
  • Reporting back to physicians
  • Using various methods, such as radiation to treat patients illness, conditions, and inquiries
  • Operating various types of equipment

Skills you would require as a radiologist:

There are a few skills that you must have as a radiologist and they are:
  • Communication skills
  • Technical skills
  • Analytical skills

Specialties for Radiologists:

Radiologists can specialize in many important specialties as well. Some of the specialties to choose from are:
  • Diagnostic Radiology – In this type of radiology, the radiologist would be diagnosing the illness, conditions, or injuries for the patients after performing the medical imaging procedure. They would also report back to the physician who asked them for their assistance or to perform the procedure. They can also recommend treatment to the patients as well. The diagnostic radiologist can further choose subspecialties such as chest radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, pediatric radiology, and cardiovascular radiology.
  • Interventional Radiology – Interventional radiologists would use image guiding, minimally invasive procedures to diagnose injuries or illness. They would also recommend treatment for cancer or strokes based on the results of imaging. Here the sub-specialty includes nuclear radiology, pain medicine, or neuroradiology.
  • Radiation Oncology – As it is war by the name, these types of radiologists would work with cancer patients. They would treat cancer using radiation therapy. They would have to be very attentive and make sure the patient is safe and the treatment is working. The subspecialty includes hospice and pain medicine.
We are back to our original questions and the first thing you need to know is that it takes about 13 years to become a certified radiologist. To become a radiologist you have to follow these steps:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step that you need to take to become a radiologist is to get a bachelor’s degree and complete your undergraduate program. Your majors should be science-related subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, or maths.
These subjects are necessary to get admission to a medical school. You should keep in mind that you will have to get good grades and would be socially active to get an entrance to a good medical school.

2. Attend a Medical School

The next step would be to enter a medical school. But you can’t just enter by simply applying for college. You would have to pass the entrance test and based on the makers you got, you will get a medical college.
Make sure you score higher in your medical entrance test to get the best medical college in your state or country.
When you attend a medical school you will have to complete the four-year program where you would learn advanced physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and so on.
Here, too, you will have to focus on studies and good grades for future benefits.

3. Complete your residency program

The next step would involve completing a four-year residency. During this time, you will come in contact with the patients and you will learn how to take care of the patients and how to perform various radiology procedures as well. This would be a hand on experience of dealing with the patients and learning so much. You will also learn about various sub-specialties and know which one you like the most as well.

4. Apply for Fellowship

The next step would involve applying for a fellowship program. Just like residency,  here too you will learn and get trained to handle patients and their conditions. The Fellowship would focus on your interests of sub-specialty as well. You can apply for the fellowship at a reputable hospital or private clinic where you would learn more about what you want to do next and of course the direct experience with the patients.

5. Get License

Your years of training and education won’t be of no use if you don’t have the license to practice radiology. So this is the most important step where you would get your license so you can practice radiology and earn a living.
You will have to present yourself in front of the licensing board and they would test your knowledge on various topics related to your specialty and figure out whether or not you deserve the license.


Here we have come to the end of the article as we have mentioned everything you needed to know about being a radiologist. The path seems long but with the right kind of dedication and hard work, it would be a piece of cake. So just dedicate yourself to this journey of becoming a radiologist and you would certainly love the outcome.
That would be all for now and we hope our article was helpful and you good everything you needed to know.