What does a radiologist do? Most people know that radiologists read X-rays and other test results and send them back to your doctor for a diagnosis. But they do much more than that. A radiologist is a doctor with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury through medical imaging.
Every radiologist is either a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) who has completed medical school and residency training in radiology. Many continue their training through fellowships for a year or two after that for further specialization.
This is what a typical day in the life of a radiologist looks like.
Review Imaging Results as an Expert Consultant
A radiologist reads imaging scans and results from X-rays, CT scans, MRI, mammograms, and ultrasounds. Having an eye for detail and a great memory is essential for interpreting these results. Referring physicians rely on the radiologist to catch the slightest inconsistencies and make conclusions about a diagnosis while keeping in mind the patient’s health history and other notes provided in the referral. The radiologist may speak with the referring specialist on the phone if there are questions, then send the report along with the test results for each patient.
The radiologist may see an immediate need for an additional test to aid in a patient’s diagnosis or treatment, or the results of the imaging test may indicate that the patient would benefit from a different type of imaging. Radiologists confer with the patient’s other physicians when they see a need to run additional tests.
Perform Imaging Procedures
Radiologists perform imaging tests such as PET/CT scans to test for conditions like cancer and to track their progress; bone scans for detailed information about internal structures; cardiac stress tests; and brain or kidney scans. They need to be available to answer patients’ questions and explain the procedures, as well as to let patients know what to expect after the tests.
Supervise Imaging Technicians
A radiologist may work with imaging technicians who administer tests. The technicians need training and supervision when performing diagnostic imaging. Experienced technicians may need questions answered about a particular patient. Radiologists help guide and answer questions.
Radiologists sometimes see patients directly when they need diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy treatments. They review and prescribe medications and may also perform interventional procedures such as angioplasty and ultrasound-guided biopsy. Radiologists treat complications from testing procedures when needed, ensuring that patients are always in the most competent and caring hands.
The experienced and caring radiologists at Independent Imaging are available for consultations, referrals, diagnostic procedures, and reports. We have four locations throughout Palm Beach County, Florida, and provide test results to referring physicians 24-48 hours after your test. We are open six days a week for your convenience and have evening hours, too. Call (561) 795-5558 to make your appointment today!