Radiology By Austin

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Radiology By Austin Powered By Docstoc
					By: Austin Mathai
What is Radiology?
 Radiology is the study of images of the human
 Although Radiology began with the use of X-
  Rays and large flat sheets of photographic films,
  the modern Radiologist now has a new
  collection of tools for “taking pictures” of living
 X-Ray’s are a form of energy, similar to radio and
  light waves, and unlike light it can penetrate into
  the body.
 The X-ray’s ray can only provide pictures of
  internal structures, such as bones, not organs.
Types of Radiology
   Diagnostic Radiology - An area of radiology that
  uses external radiation to produce images of the
  body, its organs, and other internal structures for
  medical diagnostic purposes.
 Nuclear Medicine - A specialized area of diagnostic
  radiology that uses very small amounts of
  radioactive materials to create an image of the body,
  its organ functions and structure, for diagnostic and
  treatment purposes.
 Therapeutic Radiology (Radiation Oncology) - A
  specialized area of radiology that uses applications
  of radiant energy to study, treat, and manage cancer
  and other diseases.
 Interventional Radiology - A specialized area of
  radiology that uses various imaging techniques to
  guide the insertion of small instruments and tools
  through the body to identify and treat a medical
  disorder without requiring conventional surgery.
 Some of the newer tools, thanks to modern
  technology, help the Radiologist perform faster
  and more accurate.
 Some of the tools, such as Computed
  Tomography, use a combination of a computer
  and a X-Ray.
 There are even tools that don’t require radiation
  of any kind, such as MRI (magnetic resonance
  imaging) or Ultrasound.
 Ultrasound imaging is a common diagnostic
  medical procedure that uses high-frequency
  sound waves to produce dynamic images
  (sonograms) of organs, tissues, or blood flow
  inside the body.
Radiology Training
 Upon completion of medical school and a
  required five year residency in internal
  medicine or surgery, physicians become
  certified and may begin advanced training
  in radiology.
 Radiologist training consists of a hospital
  residency with course work and hands on
  training in diagnostic radiology and the
  physics of medical imaging.
 Upon completion of diagnostic radiology
  residency, many radiologists choose to
  enter a fellowship program in a radiological
 Fellowship programs generally take one to
  two years of additional training to complete.
 Radiologists are required to be board
  certified by the American Board of Internal
  Medicine or Surgery before becoming a
  certified radiologist.
 Physicians are then eligible to take the
  certification examination administered by
  the American Board of Radiology, which
  consists of two separate written
  examinations and one oral examination.
Radiologist Salary
   Overall Radiologist salaries are based on
    specialty, years of experience location, the
    type of facility, and shifts.
    According to, the current
    median expected salary for a
    Radiologist in the United States is $277,304.
   I was fortunate enough to find an interview
    with Radiologist John Pearson.

 How would describe what you do?:
“Radiology is using technology and a variety of imaging
  techniques to look at the human body and diagnose
 How long each day do you work?: “We work from
  7:30 in the morning till about 5:00 at night, and other
  radiologists work longer hours in some places, but
  that’s our normal work day. And then once a week I’ll
  be on call for general radiology, and I usually get a
  call about every 15 minutes.”
 How did you get started?: “I was in television
  before. Then at twenty-nine I decided I wanted
  to go to medical school. I went into medical
  school thinking that I would do something more
  standard as far as medicine, like internal
  medicine, or surgery.”
 What do you like about what you do?: “We
  interact with almost every different aspect of
 What do you dislike?: “Well, I think all
  physicians, and radiologists probably as much
  as anybody else, are unhappy about the way
  the control of medicine has been taken out of
  doctors’ hands in a lot of ways; by the
  government, by insurance companies, by
 How do you make money/or how are you
  compensated?: “We only make money when
  we’re doing something. We bill for what we do,
  and the insurance companies, the government,
  and/or the patients pay us for our services. We
  don’t own any of the equipment.”
 How much money do you make?: “I’m going
  to guess it would be right around $500,000 a
  year.” (He’s been working for 13 years)
 What education or skills are needed to do
  this?: “Well, obviously, you have to go to
  medical school. You have to have a college
  degree to get there. So you need a four year
  college degree, four years in medical school,
  an internship, a four-year residency, and a one
  to two-year fellowship after that.”
 What is most challenging about what you
  do?: “One is that if you’re highly trained at what
  you do, and something that I tell patients is
  “You don’t want your doctor to be excited, or
  surprised, or thrilled about what he’s doing with
 What is most rewarding?: “Well, it’s obviously
  financially rewarding, but I guess the major
  reward that most of us have is that we know
  that what we do makes a difference in people’s
  lives, and that if we weren’t there for them at
  the time that they needed us, that things
  wouldn’t go as well.”
 What advice would you offer someone
  considering this career?: “Well, that would
  depend on what stage of life they’re in.”
 How much time off do you get/take?: “Well,
  this year I might not get any.”
 What is a common misconception people
  have about what you do?: Well, amongst the
  general public, I don’t think they have much of
  a clue what we do. They get a bill from us and
  they don’t even know who we are or what
  they’re paying for.
 What are your goals/dreams for the future?:
  Well, I want to finish well. I’ve got another 12
  years or so that I’m going to practice and I want
  to stay competent and do a good job and take
  good care of patients.
 What else would you like people to know
  about what you do?: In general, medicine is
  reaching a crisis. The baby boomers are getting
  old. There’s a bunch more of them that are
  going to be needing healthcare. Our healthcare
  system is going to be drained financially and is
  being drained financially.
Benefits of Radiology
   Medical or Dental              Flexible Spending
    Insurance                       Accounts
   Vision and Prescription        Tuition Assistance
    charges                        Tax-deferred Annuity
   Short and Long-term             Program (Employees may
    Disability Insurance            elect up to 20% of annual
   Life Insurance                  salary deferred into an
   Liability Insurance             annuity account.)
   Retirement (Employees          Direct Deposit (Automatic
    are vested in the               deposit of bi-weekly
    retirement plan after           paychecks is available to
    completion of 5 years           all employees.)
    with 1,000 hrs. worked in
    each plan year [July 1 -
    June 30].)
   Generous Paid Time Off
    (This is based on
    position and length of
   7 Paid Holidays
 Credit Union (A variety of banking services are
 The best part: The Wellness Program (This full-
  service program offers racquetball, squash,
  tennis, swimming, aerobics classes and more
  at low rates; individual and family memberships
  are available.)
Traveling Radiology
 If you're interested in a radiology job, chances
  are good you may be asked to travel. Many
  radiologists love the idea of going where they
  are most needed, and the chance to see the
  country while performing their jobs is a great
 While the idea of radiology jobs based on travel
  certainly isn't an ideal solution, it is a quick and
  efficient way to make sure everyone gets the
  care they need regardless of where they're
   So how does it work? Typically, a technologist
    who is willing to travel will be employed by an
    agency. The agency will put the tech in contact
    with various facilities, and the tech will sign a
    temporary contract with a hospital or clinic.
   The usual length of a contract with a radiologist
    on a travel basis is three months. The employee
    will be bussed or driven to the hospital location.
   All expenses for the tech are generally paid for
    by the hospital, and equipment is supplied on
    the premises.
   For a radiology job involving travel, the tech
    may have to adjust to several factors all
    working at once to create a constantly changing
    work environment. Often, hospitals will have
    varying procedures and different types of
    equipment, so there's little knowing what to
    expect until the tenure at the temporary location
    actually begins.
FAQ’s of Radiology
   Do the radiologists work for the hospital?
    Rarely, Usually, the radiologists do not work
    for the hospital, even though they work on
    the premises, use hospital equipment, and
    work with hospital-employed technologists.
   Should I expect a bill from the radiologist
    that is separate from the hospital bill?
    Yes, generally the radiologist's practice is
    separate from the hospital, and they will bill
    you separately.
   Can radiologists really interpret images
    from home? Yes. CT, ultrasound, nuclear
    medicine, and MR images can be transmitted
    from the imaging site to a computer in the
    home of the on-call radiologist. Very little
    information, if any, is lost in this transmission.
    X-rays are much more difficult to transmit
    because of the sheer quantity of information
    necessary (very large gray scale as compared
    to digital images). This technology is, however,
    improving rapidly.
 Can I ask the radiologist to tell me what he
  or she thinks? The short answer to this
  question is "yes”.
 Is the radiologist responsible for the other
  employees in the hospital department? No,
  not really. Radiologists generally do not work
  for the hospital and do not have any sort of
  control over hospital employees. However,
  there are long-held health-care conventions
  that make the radiologist the "Captain of the
  ship." Most radiologists accept that function.
FAQ’s of Radiology
   Why do I need a radiologist in the first
    place? Won't my own doctor look at the
    pictures? Don't expect that to to happen. Some
    PCPs can interpret chest and abdomen x-rays,
    orthopedists can read bone films and so on, but
    there are very, very few that have become
    savvy with the newer modalities of ultrasound,
    CT, and MRI. Most don't even try.
   How do I find out if the radiologist is
    qualified and/or skilled? There are a couple
    of relatively easy things you can do, like ask
    your primary care physician. Also, many states
    allow the public to view information about state-
    licensed physicians. This information includes a
    physician's training and malpractice history and
    is often located on an easily accessible
    website. Unfortunately, though, there's just not
    a whole lot of information out there, and you'll
    have to hope that a good hospital will have a
    good x-ray department with good radiologists.
    Ask around.
More Info
   Radiologic technologists also referred to as
    radiographers, produce x-ray films
    (radiographs) of parts of the human body
    for use in diagnosing medical problems.
   They prepare patients for radiologic
    examinations by explaining the procedure,
    removing jewelry and other articles through
    which x rays cannot pass, and positioning
    patients so that the parts of the body can be
    appropriately radiographed.
   To prevent unnecessary exposure to
    radiation, these workers surround the
    exposed area with radiation protection
    devices, such as lead shields, or limit the
    size of the x-ray beam.
Wilhelm Roentgen
 Wilhelm Roentgen was a German physicist
  who lived between 1845-1923. His
  accidental discovery of x-rays in 1895
  changed the fields of physics and medicine.
 For his brilliant experimental work,
  Roentgen received the first Nobel Prize, in
   Roentgen worked in his laboratory at the
    Physical Institute of the University of
    Würzburg, Germany, experimenting with a
    Crookes tube.
Crookes Tube
 This tube is a glass bulb with positive and
  negative electrodes, evacuated of air, which
  displays a fluorescent glow when a high
  voltage current is passed though it.
 When he shielded the tube with heavy black
  cardboard, he found that a greenish
  fluorescent light could be seen.
More on Roentgen
 He concluded that a new type of ray emitted from
  the tube, passed through the covering, and
  casted shadows of solid objects.
 The rays passes through most substances,
  including the soft tissues of the body, but left the
  bones and most metals visible.
 One of his earliest photographic plate from his
  experiments was a film of his wife, Bertha's hand
  with a ring, was produced on Friday, November 8,
Wife’s Hand/ Roentgen
Sources (Websites)
Sources (Books)
   Radiology By: Kathy Winkler
   Radiology Recall: By Spencer B. Gay
   Webster’s Third International Dictionary By:
   Basic Radiology by: Michael Y.M. Chen