What is a Radiologist?
Your doctor's consultant for interpreting the images taken of your body.
A radiologist, as defined by the American College of Radiology, is a medical doctor (M.D.) who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using highly advanced medical imaging techniques, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), X-ray, nuclear medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and ultrasound.
Radiologists graduate from accredited medical schools, pass a tough licensing examination, and then go on to complete a residency of at least four years. Our radiologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology, an indication of a high level of training and demonstrated excellence in the field, which is continuously maintained.
One measure of quality is our gold standard of ensuring our subspecialized radiologists read a minimum of 85% of cases within their specialty. Here's why this is important:
- The most basic measure of proficiency is continuous practice.
- Subspecialized radiologists, through their expertise, can offer more precise details about the disease or injury.
- Subspecialized radiologists add context about a condition, which is critical for treating providers.
Additionally, some of our radiologists have also been honored as a Fellow of the American College of Radiology (F.A.C.R.) for demonstrating a history of service.
Choose the Expertise of Subspecialized Radiologists
Most of our radiologists have gone on to complete extensive clinical work and related research (fellowship) to specialize in reading medical images for a particular area of the anatomy, such as breast, chest/body, bones and joints, brain, head and neck, and spine. This specialization improves clinical accuracy to help ensure that you and your referring provider receive correct results to guide your care.
The Difference is Clear: A subspecialized radiologist reads 85% or more cases within his/her specialty, compared to a general diagnostic radiologist who reads all patient cases.
Will I meet the Radiologist?
Typically for medical imaging exams you will not interact directly with our radiologists, however, they are essential to your care. Before advanced imaging exams (MRI, CT, PET/CT and Nuclear Medicine), the radiologist reviews your clinical indications and approves of the type of exam and orders specific protocols customized to you. After all medical imaging exams are guided by a technologist, your images are sent electronically to the radiologist, who studies the images and dictates their findings into a detailed report that is sent to your referring provider. Many times, if your provider has questions about what type of imaging exam you need or the radiologist's findings from your exam, he or she will consult directly with the radiologist.
In some cases (e.g. pain management, below) the radiologist performs your procedure.
Specialists in Pain Management
Some of our radiologists incorporate image-guided pain management procedures into their training and practice. Pain management injections are clinical procedures done in an outpatient setting with typically minimal recovery. They are often successful on their own, or might assist in relieving your pain to allow for chiropractic adjustments or physical therapy. Injection procedures can also be used pre-surgery to create a “map” of your pain sites, or post-surgery to help you manage residual pain. Our interventional radiologists meet stringent training and practice requirements that have allowed them to be nationally recognized for their clinical effectiveness with patients.