The Road to Radiology

If you are interested in specializing in diagnosing and treating diseases using medical technology to help better patients’ lives and help them out, then radiology is the career for you. What is a radiologist you might ask? Well, radiologists are doctors who use medical technologies such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, (MRI), and/or computed tomography (CT scans) to help diagnose and treat patients with injuries or diseases. Within the field of radiology, there are many types of radiologists. Some of these types include diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and medical physics. Each branch of radiology focuses on helping patients with different aspects, including x-rays and ultrasounds, helping doctors to prepare a patient for a surgical procedure, reducing symptoms/ finding ways to fight against certain diseases or to heal from specific injuries.

A radiologist is a doctor, which means that the completion of high school, post-secondary school, as well as medical school are requirements. In high school, it is best to not be niche. If you know that you are interested in becoming a radiologist, it is important to take a mix of both classes that directly relate to this career, along with other courses which may align with other career paths to help you see all the options, and to make sure that the medical field is right for you. If there are specific programs you are looking to take in post-secondary, it is best to check your future post-secondary schools requirements for the specific program, in order to make sure you take the required courses to meet the requirements. Some courses that high school students who are interested in the medical field should consider taking are sciences. It isn’t necessary to take all physics, biology, and chemistry, however it is important to understand and learn about different types of sciences . Courses such as sciences including chemistry, biology, and physics are super important to take for those who are considering studying in the medical field after high school. It is also important to remember to take your required courses based on your school which usually include english up to grade 12, a language course, social studies requirements, etc. It is  recommended to look into post-secondary programs that you are interested in and make sure you take high school courses that meet their admission requirements for the specific program.

In order to be accepted into medical school, the completion of an undergraduate degree is required. In order to apply, an undergraduate degree in the field of sciences is required, it is important to maintain a good GPA, having a minimum GPA of 3.0. Approximately 4 years of post-secondary school will help you to earn an undergraduate degree. Those who are interested in studying in the field of radiology should consider undergraduate degrees majoring in biology, chemistry, health sciences, or any other science degrees that you may be interested in. Make sure to check the requirements for medical schools that you are interested in studying at, to make sure that you meet their post-secondary school requirements. Often these requirements include; two years of chemistry, one year of physics, one year of biology, and one year of english. Requirements vary within different medical schools, which makes checking the requirements for your hopeful medical schools essential. Commonly, the first two years of medical school include studies in areas such as anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry, where the last two years include clinical rotations which are conveyed in different fields of radiology. Future radiologists would next complete a residency program specifying in radiology, later taking a licensing exam to receive official certifications.

Radiologists often work at hospitals or different medical centres where medical radiation technologies are available.  There are many different branches of study within the field of radiology, which focus more in depth on certain health aspects. These include abdominal imaging, MRI imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, interventional radiology, and many more. There is no “normal salary” for radiologists. Annual salary is dependent on many factors including; what field of radiology you are working in, how many years you have been practicing, and the hours that you work. The average salary of radiologists in Canada varies from $100,000-250,000 annually. It is anticipated that the projected growth rate for the Radiology field will be 7-9% within the next 10 years, with diagnostic medical sonography projected to grow by 19% in the future. Currently, Canada has over 2100 Radiologists, most of which work approximately 40 hours a week with a set schedule.

Radiology is a great career choice for those interested in the medical field and wanting to help improve patient experience. As tough as the schooling process is to become a radiologist, the outcome can be very rewarding. The future of radiology is hopeful with constant improvements to the medical technology industry. With the creation of new medical technologies future radiologists have an exciting career ahead of them. Through perseverance and hard-work your goals of being a radiologist can be achieved!

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