It is necessary to first become a physician. In Canada and the U.S. this requires pre-med studies at a university level, which usually involves four years of a Bachelor degree; a three or four year Medical Doctor degree, and post-graduate training in a specialty. Up to four years of residency training are also required. Programs are highly competitive and difficult to gain acceptance, so candidates must maintain high grade averages and meet other criteria.

Once an MD has been earned, an additional five to seven years of specialist training is required. This depends on whether it is a subspecialty in radiology, such as mammography, interventional radiology, or pediatrics is pursued. In the U.S. it is also necessary to pass the USMLE exam and board certification in radiology, obtain a licence, and earn hospital credentials and privileges.

Other skills that are required:

  • Excellent memory and grasp of anatomy

  • Excellent scientific and medical knowledge

  • Good understanding of technology, computers, and machines

  • Good vision and an eye for detail

  • Analytical abilities

What are Radiologists like?


Based on our pool of users, Radiologists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Radiologists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 44 Sokanu users

How to Become a Radiologist

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Further Reading

  • Radiologist Education Requirements, Training And Career Info education-portal.com

    After graduating from medical school, a physician must complete four years of a radiology residency, which is a combination of specialty medical education and paid on-the-job training, to become a radiologist.

  • Compare Radiology Medical Schools medical-schools.findthebest.com

    Compare Radiology Medical Schools in the USA

  • Professional Requirements For Radiologists work.chron.com

    Physicians begin specializing in radiology by completing a required radiology residency after medical school. Radiologists must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam and obtain a license for each state in which they practice. Many radiologists choose to become board certified in radiology, even though it's not required.

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Recommended Books

  • Clinical Radiology Made Ridiculously Simple www.amazon.com

    Designed to teach the clinically vital components of radiology. Includes a discussion of radiographic examinations interpreted by medical students and interns, intravenous pyelogram, and computed tomography. Each chapter is subdivided into Radiography Anatomy, Approach and Specific Problem sections.

  • Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics www.amazon.com

    Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics, 2nd Edition, is an image-filled, practical, and clinical introduction to this integral part of the diagnostic process. William Herring, MD, a skilled radiology teacher, masterfully covers everything you need to know to effectively interpret medical images.

  • Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Radiography: The Complete Study Guide and Career Planner www.amazon.com

    A complete review for the Registry exam, Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Radiography: The Complete Study Guide and Career Planner, 6th Edition covers the five major subject areas of the ARRT exam in radiography. It is also an effective study guide for many radiography courses.

  • Essentials of Radiology www.amazon.com

    Take image interpreting one step at a time with Essentials of Radiology, the most accessible radiology text on the market for gaining a foothold on the fundamentals. Breathe easy - this reference assumes no prior knowledge of radiology, making it the perfect choice for anyone just starting out in the field.

  • Radiology 101: The Basics & Fundamentals of Imaging www.amazon.com

    Great depictions of normal anatomy and common pathology help guide those seeking a basic understanding of radiology especially interns and radiology residents, and non-radiology professionals desiring a concise overview of the field, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and primary-care physicians.

  • Netter's Introduction to Imaging: with Student Consult Access www.amazon.com

    Netter's Introduction to Imaging makes interpreting normal and abnormal X-ray, CT, and MR images easy by correlating them with crystal-clear Netter illustrations. You'll learn to recognize anatomical relationships in images and apply them to a variety of examples of pathology throughout the body, including the imaging of masses, air, or blood in organs and spaces...fractures, thickening, constriction, and compression...and more.