Radiologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Examines and diagnoses disorders and diseases using x-rays and radioactive materials. May treat patients.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Obtains patients' histories from electronic records, patient interviews, dictated reports, or by communicating with referring clinicians.
  • Prepares comprehensive interpretive reports of findings.
  • Performs or interprets the outcomes of diagnostic imaging procedures including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), nuclear cardiology treadmill studies, mammography, or ultrasound.
  • Reviews or transmits images and information using picture archiving or communications systems.
  • Communicates examination results or diagnostic information to referring physicians, patients, or families.
  • Evaluates medical information to determine patients' risk factors, such as allergies to contrast agents, or to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of procedures.
  • Provides counseling to radiologic patients to explain the processes, risks, benefits, or alternative treatments.
  • Instructs radiologic staff in desired techniques, positions, or projections.
  • Confers with medical professionals regarding image-based diagnoses.
  • Coordinates radiological services with other medical activities.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Exposed to radiation more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Neuroradiologist -- Diagnoses and treats brain, spinal cord, head and neck, and vascular lesions using x-rays, magnetic fields, radio waves, and ultrasound.
  • Radiologist, Chief of Breast Imaging -- Provides all facets of breast imaging to screen for cancer.
  • Diagnostic Radiologist --
  • Interventional Neuroradiologist --
  • Interventional Radiologist --