Radiology Practice In The 21st Century– Reinventing To Stay Relevant

Published on: 2018/06/29

Dr. Sarika Gupta, Women Cancer Specialist, Robotic Gynecology, Uterus Cancer Surgeon in Delhi, India


Radiology as a discipline of medicine has seen unprecedented growth in the past three decades. Technological innovation allows us to get a peek inside the human body like never before, making the field of radiology extremely exciting and fairly lucrative.

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Radiology Practice

Practicing radiology in the 21st Century has changed a lot in the last few decades.  The main responsibility of the Radiology staff is to keep the patient informed, safe, and comfortable for the duration of the procedure. The radiologist also interprets the studies, after which the study results are sent to the attending physician.

Radiologist skills and practices

To be a radiologist, you need experience and education, along with the ability to mentor staff and guide change. But with changing times, they are no longer enough. Negotiation, communication, and engagement skills, the ability to understand emerging regulatory, policy, and payment structures are becoming essential. A radiologist needs the following set of skills to be successful in his trade:

Communications Skills – Interviewing patients to know their medical history needs strong communication skills. A radiologist must also be able to clearly explain the benefits and risks involved in diagnosis or treatment.

Thinking Skills – Radiologists need to use their sense of reasoning and judgment to know if the tests are necessary considering the patient’s condition. He should avoid the risk of any side effects caused by exposure to radiation.

Physical Skills –In the case of elderly patients, radiologists may need to physically assist them to move for the tests.  Stablehand movements are necessary for giving injections or application of required dyes during imaging.

Clinical Skills – Radiologists must be experts in the use of machinery.

Working conditions in Radiology

Working in radiology becomes challenging as it is a 24-hour department.

  • The staff does plenty of patient teaching and explains procedures to patients who are anxious about impending procedures.
  • With unplanned physician orders or emergency cases being added to the workload, it becomes important to maintain scheduled procedures on time.
  • Exposure to radiation is a major risk for the staff.  Regulations must be followed for protecting themselves, their patients and their peers from unnecessary radiation exposure. A lifetime exposure record is maintained by all radiologists.
  • May share workspace with other radiologists and technicians.

Personality traits needed to be a radiologist

Usually, non-cognitive skills like interpersonal skills, curiosity, confidence, meticulousness are needed in a good radiologist.

Visual Expertise – Since radiologists deal with several types of cases on a daily basis, they should be able to notice patterns and co-relate these patterns to different health issues.

Problem-Solving – He/she must use the vast available knowledge to draw a diagnosis.

Detail-Oriented – Must pay close attention to fine details and check these against knowledge gained through education and experience.

CommunicationWrites clear and accurate notes which may be used as a reference by doctors during diagnosis.

How to become a radiologist?

After completion of their bachelor’s degree, one must enter medical school and become a physician. This is followed by 4 years of radiology residency. One can take up additional training to understand the use of equipment. Like all physicians, radiologists must have all their licenses in place.

Read more – Radiology Practice In The 21st Century– Reinventing To Stay Relevant by Dr. Sarika Gupta