A Career in Clinical Radiology

What does a clinical radiologist do?

A radiologist is a specialist medical doctor who has had postgraduate training in performing and interpreting diagnostic imaging tests, and carrying out interventional procedures or treatments, using X-ray, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

Radiologists assist other doctors and specialists in treating their patients. They do this by making a diagnosis, and by providing treatment using medical imaging.

Radiologists have the medical knowledge to understand and explain a patient’s medical problem or symptom through images of the inside of the body.

Why become a clinical radiologist?

Clinical radiology is at the forefront of medical technology, and has revolutionised medicine over the past 100 years. This specialty gives you scope for an exciting and varied career in clinical medicine, teaching and research.

In the long term, a career in clinical radiology offers flexibility and control over where and when you work, making it possible to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Is clinical radiology for you?

Clinical radiologists need to be:

  • Accurate and careful, with an eye for detail
  • Motivated and disciplined
  • Able to work well under pressure
  • Able to make good decisions and solve problems
  • Excellent at analysis and interpretation
  • Good at communicating and inspiring confidence.

How do I become a clinical radiologist?

To become a clinical radiologist, you must complete the training program administered by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR). The program runs for five years (full time equivalent) and gives you broad experience across the full variety of environments and imaging techniques that clinical radiologists need to be familiar with.

What are the prerequisites?

To be accepted into the college's training program, a candidate must:

  1. Have appropriate basic medical qualifications:
    • Be a graduate of a medical school recognised by the Medical Board of Australia and the Board of the RANZCR (or have successfully completed both Part I and Part II AMC examinations for overseas medical graduates in Australia) 
    • Be a graduate of a medical school recognised by the Medical College of New Zealand and the Board of the RANZCR (or have successfully completed the NZREX for overseas medical graduates in New Zealand)
    • Be a graduate of a medical school recognised by the registering authority of the country in which the RANZCR training program is conducted and the Board of the RANZCR

  2. Be fully registered as a medical practitioner by the registering authority recognised by the Board of the RANZCR, in the state or country in which the RANZCR training program is conducted

  3. Have completed at least two full years in an approved hospital as an intern/resident.

What do I need in order to be successful?

As well as meeting the prerequisites, you must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Dedication to pursuing a career in clinical radiology
  • Good interpersonal and professional communication skills
  • A high standard of academic performance.

Other desirable qualities are:

  • Commitment to continuing professional development
  • Good professional referee reports
  • Good reports from previous and current employers
  • A demonstrated interest and commitment to research.

What are my career options?

Many clinical radiologists choose to pursue areas of interest including interventional radiology, neuroradiology, breast imaging, paediatric imaging, musculoskeletal imaging and more.

Find out more

For further information about the role of the clinical radiologist, visit InsideRadiology, our website for health consumers and health professionals:

Visit InsideRadiology

See also: Applying to Clinical Radiology Training Programs