Defining Radiology

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 osteopathic medicine. This education is followed by a one-year internship and a four-year residency specializing in diagnostic radiology. A radiologist's 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, breast imaging, nuclear medicine, body imaging, or 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 interventional radiology.

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