Wanting to know how to be a radiologist? That’s great. It is a very rewarding career if you enjoy problem solving, critical thinking, and you don’t mind waiting for your dream to come true. There is a lot of schooling required when finding out how to become a radiologist, but once completed it is a fun and lucrative career.
Becoming a radiologist requires going to medical school. Many of the steps here are the same as learning how to become a doctor. But there are a few differences, especially when it comes to choosing your specialty in med school.
In general, here are some tips on how to become a radiologist.
Obtain a Bachelors Degree
You cannot become a radiologist without getting your Bachelors Degree. It is helpful to take science classes like biology and chemistry. Majoring in a pre-med type degree plan is not necessary, but it will require you to take classes that will most prepare you for the MCAT and medical school.
Be sure to work closely with your academic adviser. He or she will give you great advice on how to prepare for and be accepted into medical school.
Your grades are of utmost importance. A low GPA will most likely not be good enough when compared to your competition.
Apply For Medical School
Part of learning how to be a radiologist is find out how to get to medical school. The first part is applying. Each school and state has their own system for application. Work with your adviser to put your best foot forward on your application. You want to show the admissions departments that you are well equipped to handle the coursework and represent their school.
Learn How To Be A Radiologist During College
During your college years, find places to work alongside a radiologist. Internships are great. Even if it’s a job in the records department, do something that gets you close to the field. These will look good on applications, and they will help you decide if this is a career that you truly want to pursue.
Pass The MCAT
The MCAT is the entrance exam required for medical school. It is beneficial to take college classes that will prepare you for this test. Make sure to study a ton for the test, and take prep courses. These will cost you a little money, but they will help you be as prepared as possible for the exam.
Your score here will help medical schools decide if they want to accept you as one of their students.
Go To Medical School
Congrats! If you’ve made it this far then learning how to be a radiologist is starting to pay off for you. You’ve made it through your undergrad, but you still have a lot of learning left. Medical school will be 4 years long. You will take general classes that all med school students take, and you will take courses that are specific to radiology.
As in your undergrad career, work closely with the staff and faculty at you school so that you can be as successful as possible. Remember, even after med school you still have to get licensed and go through your residency.
What Is A Residency For Radiology?
After you complete med school, you will begin your residency. A residency is where you get on-the-job training with other radiologists that are more experienced in the field. A radiology residency typically take 4 years to complete. Seems like a long time, but you’ve made it this far. It’s all downhill from here. Take the time to learn as much as you can, and find a mentor that can help you out as you learn how to be a radiologist.
Radiology State License and Certifications
In order to become a radiologist, you have to be licensed. The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX) will need to be passed. These will help you compete for your residency programs.
Once you decide where you want to work, your state may require a state licensing exam to be passed.
Beyond your exams, you will want to get certifications from various radiology associations. These will show your competence in your field, and they will help you network with other medical professionals.
How To Be A Radiologist?
After learning how to be a radiologist the first thing in your mind is probably, wow, that’s a lot. It is. You will most likely be in your 30s before you become a full-blown radiologist. That takes a lot of time, energy, sacrifice, and money. But it is well worth it, and I would encourage you to continue down the radiology path. Good luck!