Imaging Uncovered -- What is a Radiologist?

The following article was written by William P. Dillon, M.D., Elizabeth A. Guillaumin Professor of Radiology, Executive Vice Chair of Radiology, and Chief of the Neuroradiology Section at UCSF.

I’ve noticed lately, both in patient inquiry and in the news, confusion about the responsibilities, background, and education of the subset of physicians who specialize in diagnostic imaging -- radiologists. At UCSF, radiologists are medical doctors who have completed one year of internship, four years of residency training in diagnostic radiology, and one or more years of sub-specialized training in specific disciplines, such as chest, cardiac, neuroradiology, pediatric, or musculoskeletal imaging. Additionally, every radiologist is “board certified” by the American Board of Radiology and/or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology and, in many instances, additional subspecialty boards.

At the UCSF Medical Center, UCSF radiologists use the most advanced imaging techniques and imaging technology along with their advanced training and experience to diagnose and treat injury and disease. These radiologists are experts in the proper use of radiologic equipment and protocols, and have studied applications of the latest advances in technology in order to perform and to “read” radiological medical imaging studies of the body to make the best recommendations and decisions for treatment.

For more information on the role of radiologists, as well as the training necessary to join the highly-specialized team at UCSF, please see this video: