Introduction to Radiology:

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What does a radiologist do?


Radiologists in all of the general or specialized areas do a variety of different things daily, depending on their areas of interest.

Most spend a large amount of time 'reading' studies, which means looking carefully at images, and trying to figure out if they are normal or not, and what diagnoses are most likely if they are abnormal. This information is typically entered into a 'radiology report' that goes into the patient's medical record and can be reviewed by their other doctors.

Radiologists often also do procedures, which means that they use various types of imaging studies to guide them in collecting samples (biopsy) or removing fluid (drainage), or treating tumors (ablation).

Since it is often difficult to decide what the best imaging study is for each patient, radiologists also play an important role as 'consultants'. That means that patients or their doctors may have a discussion with a radiologist to try to decide what the best imaging study is for a given situation.