If you want to set up a medical imaging business you’ll need the right training. We look at how to become a radiologist with this handy guide.
If you’ve decided early on that you want to go into private practice as a radiologist, you should know there will be challenges. Aside from performing your duties as a radiologist, you’ll also have to put on your business owner hat. You need to think about salaries, getting patients, equipment, and so on.
You’ll also have to negotiate with insurance providers. And think about the possibility of expanding your medical imaging business.
But before all that, there’s one important thing you’ll have to know inside out – how to become a radiologist. That said, let’s talk about what to expect in terms of education requirements, training, and other opportunities.
The First Step: Radiologist Schooling
It’s actually the first of many steps because you need a bachelor’s degree before you can get into a medical school. And your bachelor’s degree must be from an accredited college or university.
Then you’ll have to take the MCAT or the Medical Colleges Admission Test. Of course, you’ll have to pass the MCAT or better yet ace it so you can get into your medical school of choice.
Once you get into medical school, do your best to complete the 4-year curriculum. After which, you’ll have to do 4 more years of a radiology residency.
After Graduation: Internship and Residency
Your MD or DO degree allows you to apply for a limited medical license. But if you want to pursue your dream of becoming a radiologist, you have to do your residency.
The first year is the intern year. Here, you’ll practice medicine in different settings including the ER. You’ll also work in various inpatient and outpatient settings.
Now, reading about it is easier said than done. As a radiology resident, you will work with other doctors, interpreting imaging studies day and in day out.
You’ll also advise patients on their results. And you’ll have to pass several examinations in the final year of your residency.
Subspecialization, Licensing, and Board Certification
Consider applying to a fellowship program if there’s a subspecialty of radiology you want to focus on. After completing your fellowship program, the next step is state licensure, which is a requirement for all doctors.
If you plan to work in a clinical setting first, you should know that many employers prefer candidates with board certification. This means another series of tests. But keep in mind that these additional credentials are well worth it and will make you more impressive to employers and patients.
Exploring Your Other Opportunities
Let’s say along the way you realize that a radiologist education is not for you. You can still explore other radiology careers such as radiology technologist, X-ray technician, CT tech, and so on.
But take note. Just because you decided not to be a doctor doesn’t mean your chosen radiologic career will be a cake walk. Radiologic technologists for example, also need to take licensure exams including the ARRT CT Registry Examination. You can view here to learn more about it.
Need More Information on How to Become a Radiologist?
Don’t let this be your last stop when searching for more details on how to become a radiologist. Let the internet work for you and read up as much as you can about your chosen career path.
You can also browse our other Medical & Services articles. Or check out our Small Business Forum for tips and advice on starting your medical imaging business.