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How Do I Become an Interventional Radiologist?

Interventional radiologists often conduct imaging procedures in order to diagnose abnormalities.
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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2014
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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.

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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.

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Discuss this Article

amypollick
Post 2

@anon271488: I don't know about other countries, but in the United States, you'll need four years of basic medical school beyond your undergraduate degree. While in medical school, you'll take some basic, core courses, and then, depending on the school where you attend, you'll start taking classes specific to your field of practice, like radiology. During your residency and fellowship period, you'll go further into your specialty, where you'll basically be practicing under the supervision of a fully qualified doctor.

The exact names of the classes vary by school, as do the books, since most professors choose their own particular, preferred textbooks, and students purchase these from the university bookstore, or from another student, or at an off-campus bookstore.

What you really need to do is to contact the particular medical schools that interest you and ask for a copy of their current catalog, or go to their websites and look at their online catalogs, which outline the course curriculum for various degrees and specialties. You'll also need to apply for acceptance into a medical school to begin your training. And you have to go to medical school to get licensed in radiology and to even be approved to take the licensing exams.

anon271488
Post 1

How can a person become an Interventional Radiologists? What exact curriculum does the person need to read or take to get a license? What I have read here is you have to got to college for five years in medicine, but that does not tell you what exact courses, class wise, and what exact books are needed for the knowledge.

I keep running into Radiology tech course schools, but the word tech is not what I want. I want to become the kind of Radiologist who gets paid over $500,000 a year, not the $36,000 a year tech.

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