Pros of Becoming a Pediatric Radiologist: Career Profile, Peculiarities of the Job and Requirements to Education
Who is a Pediatric Radiologist?
Pediatric radiology (or paediatric radiology) is a narrow subspecialty of diagnostic radiology involving imaging-guided procedures and imaging of the pediatric patient (including fetuses, infants, children and adolescents). A pediatric radiologist is a doctor trained to diagnose definite medical conditions in children using images. The peculiar features of the age group a pediatric radiologist is working with oblige him to possess deep knowledge of child psychology as well as techniques necessary to understand normal anatomy, development and growth, diagnose the injury and disease in a child or an adolescent.
Peculiarities of Job
A pediatric radiologist utilizes the results from ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging technology, radiography, computed tomography scans and nuclear medicine and monitors and diagnoses illnesses and injuries in children from fetuses to young adults. These physicians have to deal with all types of diagnostic imaging equipment to successfully monitor a pediatric condition of the patient. After a patient's examination, the results and subsequent diagnosis are told to other pediatricians or a child's family. Besides, a pediatric radiologist must possess knowledge of a pediatrician: know all body systems and their functions in a child's growing body.
Pediatric Radiologist Average Salary
The peculiar feature about pediatric radiology is that it's a specialty field that requires a higher salary than doctors' who practise primary care. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, generally physicians employed in specialty fields earned an average salary of $339,738 in 2008. According to the data of Salary.com, the average salary of a pediatric radiologist is between $329,865 and $451,741.
The above mentioned Bureau of Labor Statistics assures that the job outlook for a pediatric radiologist is perfect; besides, a 22% employment increase for physicians from 2008 to 2018 is predicted, that will be much more than for all other professions. One of the reasons for this growth is expanding population.
This expectation of job growth in the field is echoed by the Society for Pediatric Radiology. The society reports that the graduation rate for specialists in pediatric radiology is not continuing with the retirement rate and with more and more increased demand for high-quality services.
How to Become a Pediatric Radiologist?
Eager to know what is necessary to obtain the job of your dreams? If you love children and have an appropriate constitution of mind to constantly deal with technical medical equipment like X-rays and tomography scans, this job will do for you! Be ready to study for approximately 14 years to get fundamental training of a pediatric radiologist. This includes years of undergraduate, medical school, then follows residency, specialization and, at last, fellowship training.
Requirements to Education
1. Obtain the Doctor of Medicine
If you've made up your mind to become a pediatric radiologist, you have to complete minimum four years of undergraduate studies and four more years of medical school. Generally, there is no specific undergraduate major required to be admitted to medical school. Though relevant programs in the following subjects like Health Sciences, Pre-Medical Studies, Organic Chemistry and Biology will perfectly satisfy scientific and medical coursework demands. An undergraduate degree in Mathematics or Physics will also do. There exist some programs that combine undergraduate studies and medical school studies into 6 or 7 year programs. When a person graduates from medical school, he is obliged to undergo the US Medical Licensing Examination (MLE) to be eligible for his/her license. It is the first step to become a medical doctor that is to obtain MD.
2. Get Clinical Training
So, when a person graduated from a medical school and obtained a medical degree, he generally has to undergo minimum a year of residency or clinical training. This stage of graduate medical training is necessary for a prospective pediatric radiologist to get some practice and experience. A resident practises medicine only under supervision of an experienced and licensed doctor. This form of work is paid and it is held at a hospital or clinic. A prospective pediatric radiologist has a right to choose to get elective training in diagnostic radiology during this year of training.
3. Complete a Diagnostic Radiology Program
After undertaking clinical training the next step for a pediatric radiologist to get education is to thoroughly study diagnostic radiology. It's the certification of the American Board of Radiology (ABR) prospective radiologists usually seek for, so they have to complete all ABR education requirements to the prospective specialists in a particular field. These requirements say that a future specialist in pediatric radiology has to undertake minimum three months of education in mammography and four months in nuclear medicine. This period of training is 4 years, and it includes studying most radiology disciplines.
A computer-based examination established by the ABR is necessary to get the qualification of the specialist in pediatric radiology. Those students who showed deep knowledge, problem-solving and capability to demonstrate necessary skills in the degree successfully cope with the exam.
4. Fellowship and Completion of Certification
Among other requirements of ABR in respect of future pediatric radiologists is to complete one year of fellowship and another year of practice or additional approved training.
Not all students seek for ABR certification; ABR certification is not always required by law for pediatric radiologists, but statistics shows that those students who got their certification are more preferable to be hired by most employers.
5. Go On with Your Education
It goes without saying there is no limit to perfection. Another pro to continue your education is that you have to retain certification. For pediatric radiologists maintaining a program of going on with education and development is required. Besides, each ten years of successful undergoing of a recertification exam (also known as maintenance of certification exam) will prove your knowledge and experience and allow further medical practice in your field.
Maintenance of certification (MOC), a personalized program for pediatric radiologists who have already got ABR certification, aims at improving skills of the specialist.
You will get a new certificate when you complete all the requirements for the MOC cycle confirming that you are aware of the latest developments in radiology and are able to render high-quality professional aid.
Keep in mind that with one MOC program you are able to achieve certifications in both pediatric and diagnostic radiology.
Pediatric Radiologists: the Best Care for Little Patients
Pediatric radiologists are specially trained physicians to comprehend special needs of a child and be able to find out a disorder in the child's body. Due to medical use of radiation pediatric radiologists diagnose and treat children, saving millions of lives each year. Along with pediatricians they work as a diagnostic team, providing your child with the best care!