How To Become A Radiologist in 5 Simple Steps

Do you want to be a radiologist?  If you do, you are about to go through a challenging, long yet rewarding career path.

And just like any course in the medical field it is not as easy as you think it is, but, not impossible too.  Plus, it is not just about graduating, obtaining a license and getting a good paycheck. Being a radiologist also means saving other people’s lives.

So the question is – are you set on how to become a radiologist?


how to become a radiologist



What is a radiologist?

First of all, you need to know that a radiologist is different from a radiologist technician.  A radiologist technician earns a degree or certificate in radiology science or associate degree course.  They are the ones who use a diagnostic instrument to take images of the internal parts of the body and they have a license to do it.

Radiologists, on the other hand, are board-certified doctors who diagnose and treat diseases using instruments such as x-rays, MRI scanners and ultrasounds.  Hence, the latter needs to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree to complete his/her study.  And it takes about 12 to 15 years including residency to become a radiologist.  So are you still interested to be one?  Then take a simple view on how to become a radiologist.


How to Become a Radiologist in 5 Simple Steps

Being a doctor is no easy feat.  There will be struggles and you need to have a strong character to withstand them. Here are five simple steps to guide you on your chosen career path.


Step 1:  Your Education and Training

The first thing you need to do is to take the right education and training.  To be successful in the medical field, you need to have a strong background in biology, chemistry, physics and math starting from high school.

You may also take vocational courses that focus on using instruments like x-rays.  Also, it would not hurt if you take volunteer work in clinics, hospitals and other health care institutes.  The experience may give you a good advantage in your college application.


Step 2: Enroll in College and Take Premed Courses

Although it is not necessary to take a premed undergrad course, we strongly advise that you take a course in the science field. There are colleges that offer a double-program for their bachelor’s and medical degree to shorten your medical education time frame.  It is a matter of research and picking out the one that will not only give you quality education, but also help you get through any financial burden you may come across.


Step 3: Pass the MCAT

In order to get into any medical school, you have to take and pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exam.  The exam not only tests your knowledge in science, chemistry and biology, but also your communication and writing skills.  Plan to take the exam a year before applying to any medical school since most colleges and universities request to see MCAT results before you submit your college application.


Step 4: Your Residency Program

After medical school, you need to earn five years of residency from any hospital or medical institution that offers the program.

The first  four years will be spent in residency while the additional year is for any subspecialty residency of your choice.

This residency is required by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It usually focus on diagnostic radiology which will help you diagnose different kinds of diseases and radiation technology like the MRI.

Step 5: Become Licensed and Certified

After your training, you need to pass the certification set by the American Board of Radiologists which consists of a written and oral exam.

Radiologists are not only doctors who diagnose and treat patients ; they also contribute to the advancement of medical technology. In the medical world, education and training are invaluable.  Radiologists, for instance, always need to put hard work, perseverance, discipline and a great responsibility in order to survive in this profession.

Now, are you still willing to accept the challenge and learn how to become a radiologist?

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