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Radiologist

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Summary of occupation

A radiologist is a physician who specialises in obtaining and interpreting medical images, making him or her an imaging expert. Medical images are obtained by using x-rays (radiographs, CT, fluoroscopy), or radioactive substances (nuclear medicine), others by means of sound waves (ultrasound) or the body's natural magnetism (MRI).

Radiologists assist or advise other doctors and specialists when diagnosing and treating patients using medical imaging.

There are approximately 70 radiologists in Western Australia all of who are based in the metropolitan area. Less than 20% of the practitioners are women.

ANZSCO description: A radiologist is a physician who specialises in  obtaining and interpreting medical images, making him or her an  imaging expert.
Alternative names: Consultant Physician, Medical Specialist
Specialisations: Breast imaging, Cardiovascular radiology, Chest radiology, Emergency radiology, Gastrointestinal radiology, Head and Neck radiology, Interventional radiology, Interventional radiology, Musculo skeletal radiology, Musculoskeletal imaging, Neuroradiology, Nuclear radiology, Paediatric imaging, Radiation Oncology
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A radiologist needs:

  • expert knowledge in imaging and interventional procedures
  • sophisticated observation, diagnostic, analytical and reporting skills
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills to confer and interact with other medical professionals and patients
  • to be able to counsel patients and have compassion towards their situation
  • to coordinate and instruct other radiological staff
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Working conditions

Most radiologists work as part of a clinical team in public or private hospitals or private radiology practices. They are usually employed fulltime and work five days a week however this can vary as some radiologists, particularly those who work in hospitals, may work evenings or on weekends.

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Salary details

On average, radiologists can expect to earn between $3,575 and $3,941 per week ($185,895 and $204,950 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.​

 

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Tools and technologies

Radiology is at the forefront of technological advances in clinical medicine and is becoming more highly sub-specialised as imaging technology increases in its sophistication and complexity.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a radiologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in radiology.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

To then specialise in radiology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).

To work as a radiologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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