What Does A Radiologist Do
What does a radiologist do
Radiologists spend many years in study and training, but what does a radiologist do exactly? Radiologists are doctors who specialize in using imaging techniques to interpret tests and assist in the diagnoses and may also treat illness within the human body. To accomplish this a radiologist will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography ( PET scan), x-ray and ultrasound to assist in treating patients.
After examining images a radiologist will inform the patient’s primary physician of his or her findings and together they will decide on the best course of treatment. There are also radiologists who go beyond just diagnoses and are referred to as “Interventional Radiologists. or IR” This kind of radiologist will also treat patients with cardiovascular problems as well as other health issues. More on this exciting area of radiology later.
What does a radiologist do from day to day? Well a typical day would most likely include spending a lot of time looking at images, and writing reports on their findings for other physicians. There are several administrative duties that need to be done on a daily basis as well. Because of the nature of their job which is primarily behind the scenes. They rarely interact with patients on a daily basis unless they are performing some kind of intervention therapy. Their primary focus is reading and interpreting images and then forwarding their diagnosis to physicians who’ve ordered x-rays, or MRI’s etc…
Unless there is something that needs further clarification, the radiologist may not even interact with the primary physician.The radiologist will have more interaction with a medical technician for example as the technician will actually take the scans for the radiologist to view later.
Now let’s take a look at what does a radiologist do in the area of Interventional Radiology
Earlier we mentioned Interventional Radiologists (IR). Thanks to this focus of radiology, many maladies of the body that always required surgery before a diagnosis could be made, or before treatment could begin have virtually been eliminated. IR’s play a very important part in diagnosing health problems. They are able to use their many years of training to spot and diagnose tumors for example without performing surgery that may otherwise be invasive. Usually only requiring a very small entry point under the skin. Saving the patient a lot of stress and decreasing the amount of recovery time needed.
Thanks to Interventional Radiologists,who created angioplasties and catheter delivered stints. These instruments are used to probe inside the body to treat disease right at the location of the problem. This is done without the need for major open surgery. Using what is called “guided imagery” radiologists can diagnose and treat the patient without creating the need for long recovery times and lower risk for the patient overall. Millions of lives world wide have been saved by these inventions alone.
Another unique aspect to keep in mind when one asks what does a radiologist do?…is due to the nature of their job of reading and interpreting images. They have the convenience of being able to read x-rays and the like from the comfort of home if necessary. Thanks to technology, radiologist can log onto their computer and take a look at x-rays, MRI’s CT scans and others and make their diagnosis. This ability allows many radiologists to maintain more flexible hours than any other specialty.
When working onsite, a radiologist will also have to attend relative meetings as well as supervise staff. In the case of Interventional Radiologists, he or she may make rounds to treat individual patients.
This is an area of medicine where individuals are under a lot of pressure to be extremely accurate. Radiologists may interpret thousands of x-rays, mammograms, MRI’s etc…a year. It is vital that they are accurate in their findings as the lives of thousands of patients depend on their diagnosis and proper treatment going forward. The doctors of these patients also rely heavily on the diagnosis of radiologists as well.
The daily tasks of a radiologists involves skills that can only be learned after many years of training and education. If you’ve thought about becoming a radiologist you should be aware you cannot get the required training by attending medical technician schools. Instead radiologists attend medical school, plus several years of additional training thereafter. Radiology is a fascinating and rewarding career choice. The question what does a radiologist do can also be answered this way.
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