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A radiologist is a doctor with specialized training to diagnose ailments using imaging technology. There are four main types of radiology jobs that focus on various parts of the body. Upon graduation and certification, a radiologist can choose to work in the specialized fields of cardiovascular radiology, chest radiology, breast radiology, or gastrointestinal radiology. Often, doctors will refer patients to these specialized doctors when focused care is needed.
Radiologists are vital to the medical profession because they use images to diagnose ailments. Images can be created safety through the use of x-rays, radioactive substances, or even sound waves. Doctors with radiology jobs are trained to read these images and deliver an accurate diagnosis so the doctor can find the most effective treatment.
A cardiovascular radiologist diagnoses diseases of the blood system, such as the heart, veins, and arteries. Cardiovascular radiologists most often use radiation to diagnose and treat patients with heart disease. Cardiovascular radiology often picks up problems in the blood system before symptoms even begin, which can save lives.
A chest radiologist examines the body for illnesses in the chest and thorax area. They also examine the area for heart and lung disease. Chest radiology studies all of the bones and hard tissue, and identifies any abnormalities that would not be discovered without x-ray.
A breast radiologist focuses on breast health. Breast radiology is used as both a preventative method and a diagnostic method for breast cancer. After a certain age, it is common for women to be checked by a breast radiologist regularly for signs of breast cancer.
A gastrointestinal radiologist focuses mainly on the stomach area. This specialty checks for gastrointestinal health, and also is used to diagnose abnormalities in the gastrointestinal track and stomach. A gastrointestinal x-ray requires the patient to swallow a chalky white liquid called “barium” in order to coat the stomach and get a better view of how the organs are functioning.
Like any other medical profession, radiology jobs require a medical degree and license in order to practice. Radiologists are also required to complete several years of in-the-field education, usually satisfied by hospital or clinic residency. This amount of time varies depending on the specific radiology job. A radiologist must also pass an exam and become board certified by a radiology board. These institutions vary based on the country in which the radiologist wishes to practice.
Radiology is an extremely focused area of the medical profession. Relatively few physicians have studied this field, but the need for specialists in radiology jobs is great. Radiology plays a major role in modern medicine.