Radiology is a branch of medical sciences that uses medical imaging to diagnose and also treat diseases within the body. While interventional radiology is a minimally invasive technique where imaging techniques are used to perform medical procedures.
Several techniques are used for the purpose of diagnostic imaging. Some of these are:
- X-ray radiography,
- computed tomography (CT),
- Nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET)
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Clinical Radiologists :
Medical practitioners with specialized postgraduate training in performing and interpreting diagnostic imaging tests and interventional procedures or treatments are referred to as the clinical radiologists.
They work with imaging equipment such as X-RAY, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment for conducting the medical imaging tests for the examination and diagnosis of the prevailing medical condition in any patient.
Thus, the clinical radiologists help the doctors to treat their patients by providing expert knowledge of the patient’s body by conduction medical imaging tests.
Some clinical radiologists work in subspecialties such as
- Breast imaging (mammography),
- Interventional radiology (using radiology for diagnosis and as a medical treatment), musculoskeletal imaging,
- Cardiac (heart) imaging,
- Pediatric (children’s) imaging.
Post the test conductance, clinical radiologists prepares the patient’s report and send them to the referring doctor.
There are two different kinds of Clinical Radiologists:
- Diagnostic Radiologists
- Interventional Radiologists
Diagnostic Radiologists :
Diagnostic Radiology is a core branch which is used for the diagnosis of the prevalent disease condition in the patient using medical imaging techniques.
The diagnostic radiologist conducts the imaging tests to obtain images of the inside of the body and then interprets these images for the diagnosis of the illness or injury.
Diagnostic imaging tests can include:
- X-rays (plain radiography)
- CT (computed tomography) scans
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
- Ultrasound examinations (also known as sonography)
- Nuclear medicine imaging techniques.
Interventional radiologists :
Radiologists who diagnose and treat disease with imaging equipment are referred to as the Interventional Radiologists.
As stated above, Interventional radiology is a minimally invasive technique to treat diseases and involves considerably less risk than surgeries.
It involves CT (computed tomography) scans, MRI scans and ultrasound to precisely target and treat disease, and perform procedures such as biopsies.
The term Oncology refers to the study of cancer. The specialized physicians who use ionizing radiation (such as megavoltage X-rays or radionuclides) in the treatment of cancer are referred to as the Radiation Oncologist.
Radiation Oncologists are not categorized as clinical radiologists probably due to the more specific and targeted approaches they need to follow for the treatment and diagnosis of various carcinomas in the patients. They mainly use radiation therapy to treat cancer and some other diseases.
Diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, and radiation oncologists are all radiology specialists with the same level of training – with specialization in different areas!