In the limelight

Ever wanted to get your hands on one of those spy glasses with vision that could penetrate the human skin and see right through to the bones, the kind we see in the movies? Well, even if you don’t exactly get them at a neighborhood store, the idea of expanding the number of things we can see with our eyes with the help of technology has long been a pursuit of scientists. Once W C Roentgen discovered the mysterious phenomena of X-rays in 1895, it became possible for us to look beyond the naked eye and make an accurate diagnosis of a plethora of medical conditions. Over the years as technology progressed, so did the need for trained professionals who could properly utilize this technology and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient

Most of us at some point of time have either broken a bone or had a surgical procedure performed. The first step in any medical consultation after studying the background history is to accurately diagnose the underlying condition. There are various tools which help us in this step, principal of these being the images taken using different medical equipment. From simple X rays imaging tools have today been extended to CT scans, MRI and PET which use the principles of physics for penetrating the human skin by applying low levels of radiation such that they do not harm the human body.

But what do we do once we obtain this image? To a layman, a CT Scan might seem like just a blurred black and white photo. It is the job of the radiologists to effectively interpret this image, and detect the abnormality in it, thus paving the way for a successful treatment regime. There are two roles a person can play in this event – that of a radiologist or a radiology technician who carries out the actual procedure using the appropriate equipment.

Academically speaking

The first step to becoming a radiologist is to acquire a degree in medicine (MBBS) which takes approximately five and a half years Post which a student needs to take an entrance examination for post graduation. There are entrance tests conducted at a state level such as the PGM — CET for admission to medical post graduates courses (MD / MS / Diploma in Maharashtra0) or at a national level such as the All India PG Medical and Dental (AIPGMEE) or those conducted separately by deemed universities. Depending on the rank thus obtained a student can then choose the further course of action.

An MD in Radio diagnosis is the preferred option for those obtaining a good rank, the duration of which is three years. During these three years of resident ship students receive a stipend as per their post. Another path taken by many is to get a diploma either a DMRD (Diploma in Medical Radio diagnosis) or DMRE (Diploma in radiology and Electrology) both of two years duration and can be pursued simultaneously with an MD

A Diploma of National board Degree in radiologist is also an option that students can pursue. Post MBBS one can work as a resident in a hospital in the X ray, CT scan or other department for three years, at the end of which they have to submit a thesis upon which a degree is awarded to hem. This degree like an MD allows them to practice anywhere in India.

While one may practice radiology with a DMRD, career prospects can be improved by obtaining a DNB o a MD degree Also, for academic (teaching) positions a DNB or MD is typically a mandatory requirement.

Abundant Avenues

Radiology is a diverse field as apart from reading X rays, CT Scans, MRI, PET scans interventional radiology plays a huge role too. In interventional radiology using sophisticated equipment for image guidance minimally invasive surgical procedures are carried out. For example, the introduction of stents to treat embolisms (or blockages) in an artery in nay part of the body or even in the case of tumors and aneurysms a radiologist plays the defining role. The noninvasive nature of most of these procedures contributes to its cost effectiveness, ultimately benefiting the patient.

Another avenues for aspiring radiology students to explore is the Diploma in Medical X ray Technician (DMXT) or a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology – both of which can be taken up after passing class 12 examinations with physics, chemistry, and biology as the principle subjects. These course essentially help a student take up work as a technician who handles the actual process of X rays or CT scans. Admission to such courses is subject to individual college requirements.

Apart from these, radiology professionals can also branch out into tele-radiology a field fast gaining popularity. It is a form of out sourcing where X ray images or such are sent from different countries or underdeveloped regions of our own country to radiologists where they can be analyzed. This the future of radiology given that it allows images to be transported to the radiologists and interpreted from anywhere. It allows high quality diagnostics to be delivered to the under privileged in remote parts of the country.

With experience one can even run their own setup for medical imaging services or work in large hospitals.

Radiology Rewards

Radiology is considered an elite option for postgraduates after a medical degree. Stable working hours and relatively less stressful conditions coupled with attractive remuneration even for freshers make radiology a much sought after career choice. There is a serious shortage of radiologists in the country and hence radiologists are the in great demand to meet the growing healthcare needs of the country today. It is a rapidly evolving dynamic and exciting branch of medicine on which all other clinical specialties depend. Radiology is a challenging field as you are not restricted to any one certain part of the body.

Thus, if you are looking for a dynamic career which combines medicine and technology and tests your knowledge and analytical skills to the fullest radiology is definitely right for you.

Institutes offering DMRE
Gujarat
1) B J Medical college,
2) K M School of post graduates medicines and Research

Madhya Pradesh

1) Gandhi Medical College Bhopal.
2) M G M Medical College Indore

Institutes offering DMRD

1) Al-Ameen Medical College
2) Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical Uttar Pradesh.

Institutes offering DMXT (Diploma in medical X-ray Technician)

1) Dayanaanda Sagar Educational, Institutions Bangalore
2) Sardar Patel Post graduates Institute of Dental and medical Sciences , Lucknow.