Radiology is one of the fastest developing medical specialties in the world. The demand for doctors who are knowledgeable in the modern, technological aspect of radiology is high. If you wish to practice in the US, attending one of the best radiology schools in the country automatically gives you an advantage over others.
This article discusses the best eleven radiology schools in the US, the programs they offer, and other important things you’d want to know as a prospective student.
Let’s begin by understanding what radiology is all about.
But before that, you might want to know about the 10 Best Schools For Public Health
What is radiology?
Radiology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with medical imaging technology.
Radiology has two key areas: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Medical doctors who specialize in radiology are called radiologists. What exactly do radiologists do? Let’s find out.
What do radiologists do?
Radiologists use imaging technologies like x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose and treat issues like broken bones, heart problems, blood clots, and other forms of internal injuries.
Radiologists are medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs), and they are among the most technologically inclined physicians.
Is there a high demand for radiologists in the US?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for radiologists in the US will increase by 3% between 2020 and 2030. This is the same for the demand for other physicians.
There are currently 29,530 radiologists in the US. a three percent growth means an additional 886 radiologists by 2030.
Best Schools for radiology in the US
These are the best schools for radiology in the US:
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has a strong reputation for the quality of its programs. The radiology program along with other medical programs in the school keeps ranking among the top ten in the country.
The radiology residency program at Johns Hopkins offers exceptional clinical education to students in several specialties. The residency specialties at JHU are the diagnostic residency program, interventional radiology program, molecular imaging residency program, and nuclear medicine residency program.
JHU ensures students take part in deep medical research, case studies, and clinical practice. Johns Hopkins University has its own medical clinic in Baltimore, Maryland.
Visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
Harvard University offers its radiology residency education in collaboration with several hospitals, especially the Massachusetts General Hospital. The organization of the radiology program and the exposure and experience it gives residents earns Harvard a worthy position on the list of best radiology schools in the US.
Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General) offers two radiology residencies: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. They also offer training in all subspecialties of radiology. Residents learn through clinical research, interactive hands-on training, radiologic consultation programs, and many more organized learning programs.
You can visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
The University of Pennsylvania, Perelman, Philadelphia, has an unquestionable reputation in medical research. Its position as one of the best schools for radiology in the US is well deserved.
Whether you want to focus on research, private practice, teaching, or the business aspect of radiology, Penn Radiology has the right learning system for you.
Penn Radiology offers clinical, research, and special track radiology programs in both diagnostic and interventional radiology. Residents undergo clinical rotations at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Hospital. Rotations also occur at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
You can visit the school website to learn more.
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging offers programs for both medical, graduate and postgraduate students. These programs are put together to familiarize the students with the evolving imaging radiology technology.
Residents at UCSF have the option of specializing in either diagnostic radiology, integrated and independent radiology, or nuclear medicine. Residents get clinical rotations at the San Francisco General Hospital, the VA Medical Center, and several other world-class hospitals.
Furthermore, residents are taught via several means: rotations, lectures, conferences, research, and case studies.
Visit the school website to learn more about the radiology programs at UCSF.
With a faculty-to-resident ratio of 1-to-1, the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis ensures every resident receives personalized, in-depth mentorship.
MIR offers radiology residency programs in diagnostic and interventional radiology. It also offers several radiology subspecialties. The radiology programs at MIR are structured to give residents the best form of specialized education.
Residents receive daily noon-hour education in their different subspecialties. These conference programs are handled by faculty radiologists trained in those subspecialties. Additionally, daily teaching conferences take place in different resident rotations to provide residents with additional didactic learning experiences. Residents also assist clinical diagnostic radiologists in countless research sessions.
Resident rotations take place in three hospitals: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.
Visit the school website to learn more about the radiology residency program at MIR.
For obvious reasons, Duke University’s radiology department, with its strong commitment to research, ranks as one of the best schools for radiology in the US.
In addition to offering world-class medical care in about nine radiology divisions, Duke Radiology offers exceptional residency training to its residents. The department offers residency programs in diagnostic and interventional radiology.
The diagnostic radiology program is a five-year program that combines residency and fellowship training. The program provides three years of general diagnostic radiology training and two years of subspecialty training.
With about 97 subspecialty faculty and 19 convenient care locations, residents at Duke Radiology have a wide range of opportunities and support to excel.
Visit the school website to learn more.
Also read: 10 Best Schools For Biology Degree in 2023
Stanford University School of Medicine stands out in all its programs, and the radiology residency program obviously isn’t an exception. The school offers a diagnostic radiology residency program where you’ll not just learn from a world-class faculty, but also take part in ground-breaking clinical research.
At Stanford, you’ll have the flexibility and time to focus on the things you love to do. Whether it is taking part in cutting-edge research, advancing imaging informatics, learning medical design innovation, or even honing your clinical skills through early clinical subspecialization, you have the support of a faculty and department that has seen it all and done it all.
Clinical rotations take place in about four hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hospitals like Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center give residents the opportunity to provide care to a wide range of people.
Visit the school website to learn more about the radiology program at Stanford Medicine.
The University of Michigan (U of M) at Ann Arbor offers a radiology residency program that centers on the key areas of radiology. The majority of the clinical rotations take place on the main Michigan Medicine Campus as the school looks to foster a sense of community among its residents.
From the first year of residency, residents rotate through abdominal imaging (CT, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound), breast imaging, cardiothoracic imaging, nuclear medicine, etc. The intention is to introduce residents to basic radiology concepts, prepare them for junior call, and expose them to all areas of radiology for ease of fellowship choices.
In the second and third years, residents get clinical rotations at the Ann Arbor VA. Lastly, the fourth year presents residents with the opportunity to rotate at Michigan Medicine’s satellite campuses in chosen subspecialties to gain community practice experience.
The radiology residency program at the U of M is an experience most residents wish never ended. You can take a tour of the school website to find out for yourself.
Getting matched for residency at Yale School of Medicine is an opportunity many medical school graduates pray fervently for. Yale New Haven Health, one of the largest healthcare systems in the US, provides an excellent learning environment for radiology residents.
The diagnostic radiology residency program at Yale School of Medicine is structured to give residents the best clinical education. With a faculty-to-resident ratio of 1.75:1, every resident at Yale receives a customized and optimized educational experience.
The school prepares residents to perform excellently on the ABR CORE examination as well as in other assessment programs. Residents have the option to continue with Yale for their fellowship programs.
The fellowship programs at Yale encompass body imaging, breast imaging, cardiac imaging, cross-sectional/MRI, nuclear medicine, musculoskeletal imaging, and neuroradiology.
You can visit the school website for more information.
The department of radiology at Columbia University is a modern-day patient care and educational center. With all its advancements in both practice, technology, and education, Columbia Radiology ranks among the best schools of radiology in the US.
The department offers residents clinical training in both ambulatory and in-patient settings, while also offering them the opportunity to engage in ground-breaking research. They offer radiology residency training in diagnostic radiology, independent and integrated interventional radiology, and medical physics. There’s also an opportunity for medical students to choose radiology as an elective, which aims to give them an overview of what radiology entails.
Residents receive clinical rotations in three main hospitals: the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital; and the NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital.
Visit the school website to learn more.
The Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Radiology offers a four-year residency program that stands out among others in the country. The department offers residency training in diagnostic radiology, integrated interventional radiology, and nuclear medicine.
Clinical rotations take place in the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hospital for Special Surgery.
The radiology residency program at Weill Cornell Medicine is set up to provide residents with the best clinical hands-on experience.
You can visit the school website for more information.
What major do I need for a career in radiology?
To become a radiologist, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in radiological science or a related field like chemistry, biology, or physics.
How long do I need to study to be a radiologist?
After you’ve completed high school, you’ll need to study for another thirteen years to be a radiologist.
Your bachelor’s degree program will take four years to complete, followed by four years in medical school, one year of internship, and four years of radiology residency.
How much can I earn as a radiologist?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of a radiologist in the US is $301,720. The salary range falls between $126,800 and $433,000.
Radiologists are among the highest earning physicians in the US and the world as a whole.
What states pay the highest for radiology?
These are the top paying states for radiology in the US:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
What are the highest paying radiology jobs?
According to ZipRecruiter, these are the highest paying radiology jobs in the US and their salary ranges:
Neuroradiologists use minimally invasive medical procedures to perform image-guided surgeries on patients with abnormalities in the spine, head, neck, central and peripheral nervous system.
They earn between $350,000 and $400,000 annually.
Interventional radiologists also perform image-guided surgeries on their patients to treat certain abnormalities in the body. They use minimally invasive procedures to diagnose diseases like cancer in the body.
Interventional radiologists earn between $156,000 and $400,000 per year in the US.
As a diagnostic radiologist, you’ll use imaging equipment like MRI, X-ray, ultrasound, and computed tomography to diagnose patients.
You’ll earn between $342,000 and $400,000 per year as a diagnostic radiologist.
Pediatric radiologists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of children, infants and teenagers.
They earn between $80,500 and $365,000 annually.
How do I become a radiologist?
Earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field
This is the first step, after high school, to becoming a radiologist. You have to earn a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science or related fields like biology, physics, or chemistry. Upon obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you have to write and pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to get admission to medical school.
Acquire a Medical Degree
Complete the four-year, rigorous medical program to earn either an MD or a DO degree. In this phase, you’d receive training in fundamental medical courses like physiology, anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. You can also take up electives in either diagnostic or interventional radiology.
You have to perform well on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to advance to the next phase.
Complete one year of internship
Upon graduation from medical school and obtaining a DO or MD degree, you have to go for a one-year internship. You spend this year performing general medicine practices like patient care and surgery.
Complete four years of residency
After your internship, you have to enroll in a four-year radiology residency program. The first two years are always spent on general radiology programs, and the remaining two years are spent on subspecialties. Within the four years, you’d take part in several research programs, conferences, lectures, and, ultimately, clinical rotations.
Complete a fellowship program
After your residency, you may wish to go into practice as a radiologist or further narrow down into a subspecialty in radiology. This is where you specialize further in programs like neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, interventional radiology, etc.
Get Board Certification
Following the completion of your fellowship program, you have to take the board certification exam. Obtaining the American Board of Radiology or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology certification gives you the ultimate approval to practice as a radiologist in the US.
Here are the top specialties in radiology you may want to consider:
- Breast imaging
- Chest radiology
- Cardiovascular radiology
- Emergency radiology
- Head and neck radiology
- Gastrointestinal radiology
- Genitourinary radiology
- Musculoskeletal radiology
- Pediatric radiology
- Interventional radiology
- Nuclear medicine
- Radiation oncology
With the advancement in technology, radiology has become an integral part of medicine. It requires years of rigorous academic training, clinical research, and practice to be a radiologist. However, with the right education from the best schools for radiology in the US, you’d be well-equipped to do your bit as a radiologist.
I hope this article has answered all the questions you might have about schools for radiology in the US. Here’s wishing you a successful hitch free career as a radiologist!
Frequently Asked Questions about the best schools for radiology in the US
Johns Hopkins University, with its quality program and strong commitment to clinical research, is the best school for radiology in the US.
A radiologic technologist is a medical professional who conducts radiological imaging tests, while a radiologist is a physician who interprets those tests and prescribes treatments for the patient.
Computers cannot replace radiologists, they can only help radiologists produce better results. However, radiologists who use computers in their jobs are likely to take jobs away from those who don’t.
Both radiology and pharmacy are important areas in medicine, and you can’t categorically pick one over the other. However, your career goals should determine which one you choose over the other.
Radiation oncology is a subspecialty in radiology that deals with the treatment of cancer with radiation.