Interventional radiologists are licensed doctors who conduct diagnostic and inter-operative imaging procedures. They rely on their expert knowledge of human anatomy to accurately detect, describe, and often correct abnormalities, often eliminating the need for invasive surgery. A person who wants to become an interventional radiologist usually needs to complete four years medical school and at least five years of residency and fellowship training. After completing training and passing certification exams, a doctor can work as an interventional radiologist at a hospital, surgical center, or private practice.
Most future doctors begin their educations at accredited four-year universities. A student who wants to become an interventional radiologist can benefit by choosing to major in a scientific field, such as chemistry, biology, or physics. He or she learns the basics of research design, human anatomy, and practical medicine by attending lectures and participating in laboratory courses. Near the end of a bachelor's degree program, the student can start researching medical schools and take a national medical college admissions test.
Once enrolled in a respected medical school, an individual usually meets with advisers and professors to determine the best courses to take to become an interventional radiologist. A student has the opportunity to take courses in biochemistry, disease pathology, medicine, and many other subjects that are important to all doctor specialties. In addition, he or she can take a number of advanced lecture and independent research classes in radiology to gain vital interventional radiologist skills. A successful student can earn a doctor of medicine degree and begin applying to four-year residency programs in hospital radiology divisions.
Some new doctors begin their training in one-year general medicine internships to gain practical experience and see what doctors in many different specialties do. A person who knows that he or she wants to become an interventional radiologist typically has the choice whether or not to participate in an internship before entering a residency. A new resident has the opportunity to work alongside skilled radiologists, learning how to administer and interpret x-rays, ultrasounds, computerized tomography scans, and magnetic resonance imaging tests. He or she also continues to attend lectures and conduct research throughout residency training.
After completing a residency, a doctor can enter a one- to two-year fellowship program specifically dedicated to interventional radiology. He or she learns how to conduct complex diagnostic and treatment procedures, such as angiographies, angioplasties, and catheter insertions. By completing a fellowship, a person earns the chance to take a national licensing examination and begin working independently as an interventional radiologist.