Careers in Medical Diagnostic Imaging

By Fort Hays State University on September, 5 2022

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Medical diagnostic imaging encompasses a variety of different professions and job responsibilities. From radiologic technologists to MRI techs and ultrasound technicians, medical imaging professionals play an essential role in diagnosing patient conditions and helping doctors develop treatment plans. The field of medical diagnostic imaging is increasing as more people get diagnosed with chronic diseases and genetic disorders. Below we will take you through what the field entails, the medical diagnostic imaging salary you can expect, and the type of medical diagnostic imaging schooling required.


What Is Medical Imaging?

Medical diagnostic imaging is a field of healthcare that uses imaging technologies to diagnose and treat disease. Imaging technologies include X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, and ultrasound. The people who work in this field are called radiographers, technologists, and sonographers. Some also work in nuclear medicine or as radiation therapists. This is a broad field with many different specialties. These specialties include diagnostic radiography, MRI, computed tomography, nuclear medicine, and ultrasound.


Average Salary for MDI

The average salary for a radiologic technologist or MRI tech is $71,000/yr. However, it’s important to note that a wide range of wages is based on experience and region. The average salary for sonographers is $73,000/yr. Again, these figures are averages, and a wide range of wages is based on experience, education, and certification.


Type of Schooling Need to Complete to Become a Radiologist

To become a radiologist, you must complete an undergraduate degree, a medical degree, and then an internship and residency. The undergraduate degree is typically in biology or any other science field, the medical degree is four years, and the training and residency are three years. If you are interested in becoming a medical imaging technologist, you must complete an associate degree or certificate program in medical imaging technology. The degree or certificate program is usually two years long, and you will learn about anatomy, physiology, basic math, and computer skills.


Radiologic Technician Job Description

The job description of a radiologic technician is to assist doctors with X-ray procedures, perform basic tasks in imaging modalities, and operate diagnostic equipment. Radiologic technicians may specialize in certain types of imaging, such as fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A radiologic technician works in hospitals, doctor's offices, diagnostic imaging centers, and other locations where diagnostic imaging equipment is used. The work may be full-time or part-time. The hours may vary depending on the setting.


Recent Advancements in MDI Technology

Radiology and imaging technology are advancing in ways we could never have imagined a few decades ago. CT and MRI machines are now available in wheelchairs, bringing imaging to those who previously had to travel to access it. Ultrasound is also becoming available in portable devices. Newer “quantitative” MRI tools can analyze more than just anatomy and assess the metabolic activity of organs and tissues. CT machines can now be programmed to create 3D reconstructions of a patient’s anatomy. Ultrasound has seen an enormous leap forward in resolution capability, allowing us to get clear images of fetuses in the womb and even the blood vessels inside our hearts.

Medical diagnostic imaging is a broad field with many different specialties. If you’re interested in helping people and you want to make a difference, getting involved in medical diagnostic imaging is a great place to start.


Learn More About MDI At FHSU

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