Radiology is the science that
deals with radiant energy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Known
as the "eyes of medicine," advanced imaging techniques, available only through
radiology science, help physicians see inside their patients' bodies to
diagnose many diseases.
Physicians who are specialty trained in
radiology are called radiologists. Radiologists have the same training
as medical doctors or doctors of osteopathy. This education is followed
by a one-year internship and a four-year residency specializing in diagnostic
radiology or radiation oncology. A radiologists training includes specific
and intense training to interpret images produced by various advanced
imaging techniques. After completing the residency program, fellowship
training is also available, which means another one or two years of specialized
training in areas such as pediatric radiology, neuroradiology, nuclear
medicine, body imaging, or angiography and interventional radiology.
Historically, the radiologist has served
as more of a consultant, taking the lead in interpreting and performing
diagnostic testing. However, as the technology associated with radiology
has grown, so has the significance of the radiologist's role in health
care. The radiologist has taken on many important new roles, including
becoming the physician who actually treats the patient with radiation oncology
and interventional radiology.