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Radiologists, Safety, and Quality in Medical Imaging


Submitted by Genesis Imaging Centers

Your Radiologist  (The Right Training, Knowledge, and Experience)
Radiologists are medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques. Radiologists are at the forefront of leading the development and performance of highly advanced imaging technology such as CT, MRI, PET, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, and fusion imaging as well as minimally invasive procedures, needle biopsies, and pinpoint radiation therapy.

Radiologists graduate from accredited medical schools, pass a licensing examination, and then go on to complete a rigorous residency of at least four years of unique post-graduate medical education in, among other topics:

  • Radiation safety and protection
  • Radiation effects on the human body
  • Appropriate performance and interpretation of quality radiological and medical imaging examinations

Radiologist physicians often complete a Fellowship — one to two additional years of specialized training in a particular subspecialty of radiology, such as breast imaging, cardiovascular radiology or nuclear medicine.

Radiologists are usually board-certified by the American Board of Radiology (for a doctor of medicine) or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (for an osteopathic doctor). This certification is evidence of their high level of training and demonstrated excellence in the field of Medical Imaging.  Other medical specialties require far less imaging education ranging from a few days to a maximum of 10 months.

Quality and Safety

Your Radiologist Plays a Key Role in Your Healthcare by:

  • Acting as an expert consultant  to your referring physician (the doctor who sent you to the radiology department or clinic for testing) by aiding him or her in choosing the proper examination, interpreting the resulting medical images, and using test results to direct your care. When your referring doctors tell you they have reviewed your studies, what they usually mean is that they have reviewed the radiology report or gone over the study with your radiologist.
  • Treating diseases by using radiation (radiation oncology) or minimally invasive, image-guided diagnosis and treatment of diseases in every organ system (interventional radiology).
  • Correlating medical image results with other examinations and tests.
  • Recommending further appropriate examinations or treatments when necessary and consulting with referring physicians.
  • Directing radiologic technologists (personnel who operate the equipment) in the proper performance of quality exams.

Security and Wellbeing

Radiologic procedures such as CT, MRI, and PET are medically prescribed and should only be performed by appropriately trained and certified physicians under medically necessary circumstances. Medical imaging procedures performed by unqualified providers run the risk of needlessly exposing you to radiation or radiation levels that could be excessively hazardous. It may also result in misdiagnosis or problems that go undetected. If you have questions about what to look for when choosing a safe, legitimate medical imaging center or facility, feel free to contact KD Flick, Physician Liaison, Genesis Imaging Centers at 563.421.5632 (direct), or at flickk@genesishealth.com.

Article sources:


Diagnostic Imaging Specialists

  • Breast Imaging
  • Body Imaging
  • General Imaging
  • Cardiac Imaging
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK) Imaging
  • Neuroradiology
  • Pediatric Imaging

Interventional Radiology Specialists

  • Interventional and Vascular Radiology
  • Neurointerventional Surgery

To Learn more, go to these recommended links: