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How to become a radiologist in the UK

A radiologist is a medical doctor who specialises in analysing and drawing conclusions from images of the body. Find out more about what it takes to become a radiologist in the UK.

What does a radiologist do?

Radiologists are specialist doctors who work with x-rays and ultrasound scans. These images are used to aid in the diagnosis of suspected diseases and aid other healthcare professionals in deciding on the best course of treatment. Medical images
Medical images can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. The majority of the medical images radiologists work with are taken by radiographers. However, radiologists do supervise complex examinations and are able to perform some investigations themselves. Radiologists work with patients who are suspected of suffering from a variety of medical conditions. Radiologists are also involved in ensuring the smooth running of the radiology department.

What training is required to become a radiologist?

To work as a radiologist, it is necessary to first complete medical school training. Medical degrees typically take five years to complete. Entry into medical school Entry into medical school is fiercely competitive. The majority of candidates possess three A levels with high grade plus high GCSE passes. The majority of universities require biology and chemistry to be studied at A level. Students lacking science A levels may be accepted onto a pre-medical course which equips them with the skills and knowledge required to embark on a medicine degree. Accelerated courses are available for graduates of scientific subjects. Completion of university studies Following completion of their university studies, students must undertake a two-year Foundation programme which covers general medical training. Following completion of this two-year programme, students can enter into specialist training in a field which interests them. A prospective radiologist would therefore choose to study radiology. Specialist radiologist training Specialist training in radiology can last between five and seven years. On completion of specialist training, an individual will be rewarded with a Certificate of Completion of Training. They can then apply for radiology consultant posts.

What hours do radiologists work and how much do they get paid?

Radiologists provide a 24-hour service. This means that their working hours vary and may include evening, week-end and emergency work. Work locations Radiologists work in NHS and private hospitals and use a wide range of highly sophisticated medical imaging equipment. Radiologists may also find work in the Armed Forces. Radiologist salary Once they commence their specialist training, radiologists can earn between £29,000 and £44,000 per year.

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