It is those intricate images of the human body with the help of X-rays that illustrates the efficient use of radiology. This write-up covers all aspects of this interesting field of medicine.
Origin of Radiology
The origin of radiology was preceded by the discovery of X-rays, illuminating paths which were never before treaded. The discoverer of X-rays was Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a professor at Wuerzburg university in Germany. He discovered the existence of the X-rays from an experiment in his facility. The components in the experiment were a glass bulb fitted with a negative and positive electrode attached to it.
The tube was designed in a way to egress the ambient air inside it. Applying a high voltage caused the tube to emit a florescent light. Roentgen, with an idea in his mind, covered the whole tube with a black paper, now changing the fluorescent light into green colored rays. This light was capable of passing through most objects, however, not through metal and bones, which marked the significance in medicine. Initially, the application of X-rays were for industrial purposes.
Shortly after, the discovery of X-rays gave way to the discovery of new kind of rays enforced with radiation, which facilitated a higher degree of penetration through objects. The name of the discoverer was a French scientist Henri Becquerel. It helps in creating an image of the internal structure of a dense object. It brings into use X-rays for imaging. Such an imaging process is termed as radiology. An interesting field of medicine and health, specializes in the study of images of the internal structure of a human body, thereby, interpreting them for diagnosis and treatment, all with the help of radiation.
The qualified professional engaged with the usage of radiation in medical investigation, referred to as a radiologist or sonographer, utilizes radiation techniques by applying it in the formation of images to develop X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, in order to diagnose the conditions and problems affecting the human body. Physicians in this field obtain medical histories of patients, diagnose their illnesses, prescribe treatment in accordance with what the diagnosis has been established, and follow-up.
Food for thought – this technology isn’t restrained to scanning the human body and prescribing treatment. Instead, the various branches of this field of medicine make it one of the most lucrative careers for medical aspirants. Let us get acquainted with its applications, with the help of its varied sub-specialties.
Sub-specialties of Radiology
Radiology accompanies with it, a lot of clinical work and research. While the human body is made up of a number of parts, gazing into each requires a special experience and degree. The sub-specialties of radiology offer a number of career opportunities to those interested in making a career in medicine, radiology in particular. Hence, some detailed know-how with regards to advanced application is a must.
Following is a list of sub-specialties.
- Breast Imaging
- Chest Radiology
- Gastrointestinal Radiology
- Cardiovascular Radiology
- Emergency Radiology
- Pediatric Radiology
- Musculoskeletal Radiology
- Interventional Radiology (Surgical Radiology)
- Nuclear Radiology
- Radiation Oncology
- Genitourinary Radiology
- Head and Neck Radiology
Many of the above mentioned sub-specialties give an idea about the part of human body they perform on. However, there are a few of them which are incomprehensible just by name. Take for instance, what is interventional radiology? This sub-specialty is dedicated to imaging, diagnosis, and treatment of problems associated with blood vessels, uterine fibroid, and abscess drainage, by bringing into use invasive interventional technology. What’s more, this type includes biopsy procedures, ultrasound, along with line and tube placement.
On the other hand, genitourinary is devoted to the imaging and treatment of reproductive organs of the body, with the help of CT scans and X-rays. Similarly, there are various diseases that children are a victim of, for which, pediatric radiology is devoted to. With the help of MRIs and CT scans, illnesses in children are diagnosed and treated accordingly.
Careers in Radiology
To begin with, radiology residency is a four-year diagnostic program for you to make a successful career. Being an immensely competitive area, this class of vocation requires those medical applicants who have topped their medical schools with distinction. In order to make a career, one must complete, at the least, thirteen years of post-high school education – four years of undergraduate training, followed by four years of a recognized medical college, and later on, five years of post-graduate training.
It is in the second year that an aspirant takes up diagnostic residency, and is supposed to pass a medical board exam that covers all aspects of science and technology, preferably, ultrasound, MRIs, and CTs. Post residency, the aspirant is required to take the written and oral examination conducted by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). Following the residency, the aspirant undergoes training that teaches all about how to become a radiologist and start practicing.
Post his medical training, the trainee seeks assistance from professional radiologist technicians. Also, formal training programs in radiography are offered in a number of licensed hospitals, post completion of which, the applicant receives a degree to practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), America, claims that careers in this field are supposed to grow faster than average jobs in other fields, for the reason that medical careers make for one of the highest paying jobs in America.