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Factors to Consider When Selecting a Radiology School

Higher Education Articles March 13, 2016

Those with an interest in furthering a radiological physics or radiologic imaging career should look into graduate degree programs in radiology. Radiologic imaging features CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays to treat and diagnose patients. Students can usually find these programs as master’s degree.

Selecting a Radiology School

Some medical schools and graduate departments of select institutions offer master’s level graduate degree programs in radiology. In this article, we take a look at some important factors to consider when you select a radiology school.

Program Specialization

Master’s degree programs in radiology are specialized; hence, vary by school. The focus of some programs is on a particular type of imaging while the focus of others is on education or management in radiology. A graduate student in radiology should focus on a narrow interest in the field and select a school featuring that interest.

Program Focus

Students interested in a research-based career might want to choose a school that offers a program focused in the physics of radiology. Enrollees in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Radiological Physics degree program are trained to perform research as members of teams involved in the investigation of problems in various fields. The fields include diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, radiation biology, and nuclear medicine. A master’s degree in radiology assisting would benefit currently employed radiologic technologists who seek career advancement.

Additional training and education will allow technologists to seek radiologist assistant positions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Enrollment in the Master of Science (M.S.) – Radiologist Assistant degree program can help students obtain the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ offering of the Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRT) credential.

Resources Offered

The resources available to prospective students should be considered before selecting a school. These include technical equipment, including CT scanners, MRI scanners, and PET scanners, and image-processing labs that can vary by school and may enrich a student’s educational experience.

Distance Education and Program Structure

Programs with flexible formats may be an important consideration for prospective students who currently have a job or time constraints. While hands-on instruction is available in some programs, distance education with minimal in-class attendance may be featured in others.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Radiological Physics

The focus of this program is on the medical applications of radiology, including radiation oncology, through substantial radiation lab experiences. The program includes a thesis comprising of an approved project in the field of radiological physics. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Nuclear Medicine
•Radiation therapy
•Magnetic resonance
•Diagnostic Radiology
•Radiation dosimetry

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs for Radiologist Assistant

Though the program may be available under various titles, its purpose is aimed at producing competent radiologist assistants. Enrollees in this program have to spend hundreds of hours in a clinical environment where qualified professionals in the working environment of radiology would impart knowledge on the field. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Image critiquing
•Pathophysiology
•Patient diagnosis and management
•Human anatomy
•Medical terminology

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