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What is radiology?

Radiology is a specialty of medicine in which images of the body’s organs are interpreted in order to diagnose disease. Radiologists are medical doctors (MDs) having the specialized training to interpret medical images for diagnosis while radiology technologists are the technicians that use and manage the equipment for making the images. Radiologists interpret these images and give reports to referring clinical doctors ranging from surgeons, pediatricians, obstetricians, and internists to work as a team in providing medical care.

Radiology’s Medical Images include:

  1. Radiographs: X-rays to image bones, chest, and abdomen
  2. CT : Stands for ‘computed tomography’ in which multiple angles of X-rays from a doughnut-shaped machine around the patient form an image based on computer calculations
  3. MRI: Stands for ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’ in which magnetic fields and radio waves are used with computer processing to make images
  4. Ultrasound: using sound waves to make moving images on a monitor, with common examples being fetal ultrasound during pregnancy and ultrasound images of the heart, which are called echocardiograms.
  5. Mammograms: using X-rays specially powered, aimed, and positioned for breast tissues
  6. Fluoroscopy: using X rays that produce real-time moving images of the body for doing procedures, such as stents for narrowed vessels and drainage catheters, as well as imaging the gastrointestinal track
  7. Nuclear medicine: short acting radioactive substances go to certain parts of the body and emit light from bodily processes that are collected by a camera and processed by computer to form an image.
  8. Teleradiology – transmitting radiology imaging to locations outside of the facility where the images are made, to have a radiology interpretation given electronically.