A radiologist is a medical doctor, He Could treat diseases, such as cancer or heart disease, by means of radiation or minimally invasive, image-guided surgery. Radiologists are often able to see problems early by interpreting the results of your imaging study and can provide an accurate diagnosis to your referring physician.
Generally, a radiologist:
- Acts as an expert imaging consultant to your referring physician
- Directs radiology technologists (the specialists who operate the equipment) to ensure quality exams
- Helps determine the appropriate imaging exam for your needs
- Recommends further exams or other next steps in your treatment
- Reviews and interprets the images from your exam
- Provides your physician with a detailed report of your exam
Radiologists specialize in analyzing the medical images of patients and making primary recommendations for initial treatment to the care physicians. While hospitals and clinics typically employ doctors who specialize in this area, there are also specialized radiology and imaging clinics that employ individuals for this position.
Interventional radiologists take imaging technology a step further by using it to treat certain diseases and conditions. These professionals create electronic maps to guide their instruments as they insert catheters, remove malignant tissue and perform other delicate procedures. This gentle approach allows patients to recover faster and with fewer complications.
If you thrive on intellectual stimulation, you may find radiology an especially rewarding area of practice. Given the constant state of flux and continued innovation in radiology, there is always something new and exciting to learn. These specialists are among the first to pilot cutting-edge imaging technologies and procedures developed in clinical and translational research laboratories. Radiologists also enjoy the challenge of interpreting complex studies and putting together medical clues to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, ultimately at the benefit of the patient.
Radiologists are medical doctors who use diagnostic machines and procedures to assess and treat patients. They do imaging tests, such as CAT scans, PET scans, MRIs, and x-rays, and read the results. Some radiologists may rarely consult directly with patients, but many interact with patients and their team of doctors. To become a radiologist, go to med school, pass all your exams, and complete your residency.
About PG course of Radiology ( MD/DMRD)
There are almost 268 medical schools across the country that run radiology courses and out of 35,000 total medical students, approximately 747 get to do 3-year postgraduate training in radiology every year, out of which 537 seats are under Medical council of India (MCI) and 210 seats under National board of examinations [Diplomate of National board (DNB)], which are two medical governing bodies in India. In addition, there are about 253 2-year diploma course seats known as Diploma in Medical Radio-Diagnosis (DMRD), in which candidates are not given any research thesis and these candidates are not eligible for teaching posts. This selection is based on the various postgraduate entrance examinations conducted at both all-India and state level. The living cost for the trainees is managed by the residents themselves, however, at most of the Government medical colleges, charges for accommodation and food are very much subsidized by the State. Nevertheless, there are few institutes which offer paid seats to students charging huge amount of money.
MD Radiology is a 3- year long postgraduate course in medicine, the minimum eligibility for which is an M.B.B.S competed with a 1- year compulsory internship. As part of the curriculum, students are offered advanced insight into subjects such as Radio Physics, Basic Concepts, Production of X-Rays, and Interaction of Radiation with Matter, Radiation Detection and Measurement, Radiography, Fluoroscopy, Special Radiography, Computed Tomography, Ultrasonography etc.adiology is one of the most sought after specialties in medicine and it is the first choice of many top-rankers in India for almost a decade. This is for the reason that diagnostics have become an integral part of most patients’ work-up due to existing practice of evidence-based medicine. More importantly, rapid advancements in imaging have further increased its demand.
The radiology residency training program is of 3-year duration and residents are imparted training in both conventional radiology and modern imaging techniques to make them well versed with broad discipline of radiology including ultrasonography, color Doppler, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. There is a change in the training focus in majority of the institutes in the last few years to keep pace with the new developments in imaging. Currently, premiere institutes also provide experience in vascular and non-vascular interventional radiology to trainees.
Candidates are assigned a dissertation on a particular topic in radiology under the supervision of an experienced and eligible teacher, on which they work on and submit it to university at the end of two and a half years. Moreover, students are assessed periodically every 6 months (may vary in certain institutes) by a local appraiser with both theory and practical exams for the syllabus covered during the period. Furthermore, pupils need to maintain a logbook with remarks from the supervisors. The logbook should mention about number and details of the radiological procedures done and assisted, lectures attended various presentations by the student. Various academic activities like seminars, journal clubs and case discussions are regularly conducted in the departments as a part of teaching curriculum. The final examination is divided into four theory papers (related to radiation physics and various body systems) and practical test (consists of long & short cases, spot diagnosis of images and viva).
The goal of the training is to develop a competent, safe and logical radiologist who can conduct and interpret various diagnostic and interventional imaging studies and is also able to pursue teaching and research activities, while following medical ethics and consumer protection act.
The first medical degree in India is Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), while the postgraduate degree given by schools under MCI is Doctor of medicine (MD) and by NBE is DNB. Both are considered almost equivalent now, unlike few years back when DNB passed candidates were not considered eligible for teaching posts in MCI recognized universities without further teaching experience, as many hospitals running DNB courses were small private hospitals or diagnostic centers, where facilities for teaching and research were less as well as the criteria of selection of students were also not very defined and these were not recognized by MCI. Now national board of examination has started a common entrance test for selecting the students. However, even now, if students have a choice of both, majority prefer MD Radiology compared to DNB, as most institutes of national importance are running MD.
Thereafter, in most institutes, Radiologists need to do senior residency for 3 years to enhance their expertise, before they can be appointed as a faculty. Their selection and promotions are based on their academic performance and scientific contribution apart from the clinical skills.
Unlike few years back, when most radiologists used to work on all modalities and pursue general radiology, the current trend in the nation is to gain proficiency and experience in one or two subspecialties to excel in that particular field. This is being followed in institutes of academic excellence and many other reputed imaging centers. I foresee many other practitioners across the country embracing this practice and strengthening their abilities as radiologists. Overwhelmingly, many continuing medical education programs are being held in various subspecialties and modalities periodically to further the knowledge and skills of practicing radiologists.
Workplace Details :
Though most radiologists still work in hospitals and outpatient diagnostic centers, advances in digital technology now allow imaging studies to be transmitted electronically. This practice, which is known as teleradiology, means radiologists can now practice in any location equipped with a computer, high-resolution monitor and Internet connectivity. Teleradiology helps emergency departments and intensive care units obtain emergency consultations after hours. Teleradiology also promotes consultation among experts around the globe.
Unlike most other physicians, radiologists have limited patient contact. In fact, some go weeks without a face-to-face consultation. Instead, these specialists spend their time analyzing image results and formulating diagnoses.
Radiologists who work in the hospital work long, irregular shifts that include nights, weekends and holidays. Those employed by outpatient centers are more likely to work regular business hours. However, depending on the specifics of a given radiologist’s employment contract, overall hours worked and length of vacation are often balanced against the amount of compensation.
Salary Details :
India is a populous country with over a billion people and there is approximately one radiologist for every 100,000 population (compared to US where the corresponding ratio is 1:10,000). Therefore, clinical practices are becoming increasingly busy because of the need to perform diagnostic examinations for many cases. Many hospitals already have installed and many more are in the process of acquiring picture archival and communications systems (PACS) and radiology information systems (RIS) to increase the efficiency and productivity of radiology departments. The technology gap compared to the west is being narrowed due to adoption of newer technologies by increasing number of hospitals. Additionally, teleradiology is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country serving four major purposes: easing staffing shortages, delivering emergency radiology services, providing radiology services to remote and underserved areas, increasing the reach of subspecialty diagnosis and thus becoming harbinger of a bright future.
In addition, this also acts as an additional financial opportunity for the radiologists
Pay by Experience for a Physician / Doctor, Radiologist has a positive trend. An entry-level Physician / Doctor, Radiologist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of Rs 1,769,000 based on 149 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Physician / Doctor, Radiologist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of Rs 2,432,000 based on 42 salaries. An experienced Physician / Doctor, Radiologist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of Rs 2,700,000 based on 23 salaries. A Physician / Doctor, Radiologist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of Rs 3,537,000 based on 7 salaries.
The majority of the radiologists work in private imaging centers and nongovernmental hospitals. The common reasons are: shortage of institutional posts, difference in salary structure of the two areas, more vacancies of private jobs etc. While the income of salaried radiologists vary from 1 to 6 lakhs INR (1,635-9,800 USD) per month (depending on their expertise, experience and working hours), the earnings of people who start their own practice is quite variable and depend on many factors
Radiologists must be strong communicators and team players in order to work well with patients and colleagues. They must be compassionate and empathetic to properly support patients through difficult and stressful medical situations..
Prepared by M.Ajmal Khan.
Thanks to:Dr J.Fathima Jaffar MBBS,MD (Radio Therapy)