A radiologist is a medical specialist who uses medical imaging technology and equipment to diagnose and treat diseases. Originally, the medical specialty only dealt with X-rays; however, with the tremendous technological advances of the twentieth century, numerous ways to visualise the human body and diagnose disease is now possible.
Radiologists in Australia must first become a doctor by completing six years of medicine at an accredited university and gain the degree of MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). Following this, a doctor wishing to become a radiologist must work in the public hospital for a minimum of two years before being eligible to apply for a radiology training position. Eligibility is decided by an interview(s), references and competence.
Once accepted, the radiology training programme takes five years to complete. During this time, a radiology trainee is known as a radiology registrar, works full time and is often required to be on-call. All study is performed out of hours. In their first year, registrars must pass an examination in medical physics and anatomy. Once successful, registrars continue their basic radiology training, familiarising themselves with common imaging modalities (types of tests/scans) such as plain X-rays, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT (Computed Tomography), nuclear medicine, paediatric radiology, gynaecological and obstetric radiology, angiography, interventional radiology as well as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In their fourth year, candidates are then eligible to sit a final examination. Success in this examination allows candidates to become Fellows of the College of Radiologists once five years have been completed. Candidates are then entitled to the postscript FRANZCR – Fellow of the Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and may work unsupervised in private practice and/or the public hospital system.
Radiologists may then choose to undergo a further dedicated year or two in a particular subspecialty field of radiology, such as, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal imaging, body imaging, interventional radiology, paediatric radiology and nuclear medicine, to name a few.
Details of the training of our principal radiologist at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, Dr George Koulouris are available on this website.