Radiologists are medical practitioners who have undertaken broad medical training as well as comprehensive specialist training in performing and interpreting diagnostic imaging tests and imaging-guided procedures or treatments that involve the use of a range of imaging modalities. These imaging modalities are x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), fusion imaging, and ultrasound. Because some of these imaging techniques involve the use of radiation, adequate training in and understanding of radiation safety and protection is important.
Radiologists in the UK, graduate from an accredited medical school, undertaking training in basic medicine or surgery as a junior doctor, before applying for post graduate training in Radiology, which is an intensely competitive process.
They then undergo 5 years of training in radiology training schemes, in all aspect of radiology and have to pass a tough examination leading to qualification of FRCR
(Fellow of Royal College of Radiologist).
The training encompasses understanding of radiation safety/protection and the effects on human body. Radiologists are are also trained to select the most appropriate investigation or scan and to optimize the protocols of the scans to derive the most optimal quality of images for image interpretation.
The majority of radiologists take up job as Consultants in NHS hospitals but some undertake one to two additional years of specialized training in a particular subspecialty of radiology, such as musculoskeletal imaging, cardiovascular radiology or nuclear medicine.