Radiology is the medical specialty that diagnoses diseases and injuries through the use of medical imaging technology. Medical professionals who specialize in radiology are called radiologists. Radiologists may choose to specialize in either diagnostic radiology or interventional radiology. Diagnostic radiology focuses on detecting health issues through medical imaging, while interventional radiology uses these images to complete minimally invasive surgery.

No matter which route a radiologist pursues, they will need to be proficient in taking and reading x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs, among other, more advanced imaging techniques. Many times, radiologists will need to draw conclusions from these images and share them with medical professionals in other areas. Collaboration is a crucial component for these healthcare professionals.

Do you like working on a team? Do you have an eye for detail? The specialty of radiology could be the perfect fit. Continue reading below to find out more about postgraduate education in this area and what to expect should you become a practicing radiologist.



To become a radiologist, a medical graduate will need to complete a four-year residency program. Between 2018 and 2019, there were 4,671 radiology residents in the U.S. Of this population, 716 individuals had obtained their medical education from a school located outside of the U.S. With just under 1/5 of residents identifying as IMGS, radiology is considered a relatively IMG-friendly medical specialty.

Once an individual completes a radiology residency, they may choose to further specialize by pursuing and completing a fellowship. Most radiology subspecialty fellowships last between 1 and 2 years.

Diagnostic radiology subspecialties include hospice and palliative medicine, neurology, nuclear radiology, pain medicine, pediatric radiology, and vascular and interventional radiology. Interventional radiology subspecialties include hospice and palliative medicine, neuroradiology, pain medicine, and pediatric radiology. For complete descriptions of each of these subspecialties, visit the American Board of Radiology’s website.


Practicing as a Physician

At present, there are roughly 34,000 licensed radiologists in the U.S. The number of radiology positions available each year is strikingly similar to the number of radiology residents graduating, meaning there is no shortage of radiologists just yet.

Between 2018 and 2019, the average radiologist made around $420,000. This figure places radiology as the seventh highest-earning medical specialty. This may also explain why most radiologists feel they earn an appropriate amount for the job they do.

One thing to remember about radiology is that it is a tech-heavy job. Radiologists must be handy with technology and eager to learn as the way in which testing is carried out will change over time.


Interested in a radiology clinical experience? AMO has you covered!

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