Basics of Radiology
Radiology is a medical subspecialty that uses digital imaging to diagnose and treat conditions and diseases within the body. Radiology staff use a variety of techniques and specialized equipment to collect images. A Radiology Technician usually prepares the patient and performs tests. The Radiologist reads and interprets each image and prepares a report of the medical findings and diagnosis. In most cases the Radiologist will present findings to the Referring Physician who then communicates the results to the patient.
Radiologists are doctors who after medical school spent several years in training to learn how to interpret medical imaging tests and perform procedures which require medical imaging equipment. There are many subspecialties in radiology. All of the radiologists in Midwest Radiological Associates have undergone additional subspecialty training to deliver a high level of care to patients.
Radiologic Technologists are trained to operate the equipment which creates medical images. Technologists are trained to operate the x-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, mammography, and other equipment. They are specialized and focus on operating only a few types of equipment. Patients mostly interact with the technologists during their visit to a radiology department.
Radiation Oncologists are doctors who specialize in utilizing various types of radiation to treat cancers. They too undergo additional training after medical school. Radiology and radiation oncology departments have their own nurses and administrative staff to focus on the needs of patients.
Many different types of radiological exams are available for patients. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Doctors choose to order one exam type over another based on the patient's symptoms, overall condition, and suspected disease process. Cost is also a consideration. X-Ray, CT, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, and Nuclear Medicine exams utilize radiation, MRI and Ultrasound do not. Radiation exposure should not be the sole basis to choose MRI or ultrasound over the other options. Radiation exposure should not deter a patient from undergoing testing which can help detect significant disease processes or to help direct treatment options including chemotherapy or surgery. Learn more about Radiation Exposure.