Diagnostic Radiology

Diagnostic Radiology is the utilisation of imaging modalities to diagnose, treat and monitor various disease processes. Rapid advances in technology, and our understanding of the features of disease on diagnostic studies, allow imaging to be used at progressively earlier stages of the diagnostic process. Similarly, changes in the characteristics of disease following treatment can be monitored by imaging, which is frequently used to assess progress. Radiologists use an array of imaging technologies such as X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose or treat diseases. It includes those interventional techniques necessary for diagnosis, as well as minimally invasive therapy, which fall under the remit of departments of clinical radiology. In appropriate cases, radiologists use minimally invasive methods to treat diseases; for example, diseases of arteries, the liver, and drainage of abscesses and fluid collections. In addition, biopsy of tissues is carried out on a regular basis.

Type of work
The Radiologist’s function is to inspect and interpret the appearances on the imaging and report the findings to the hospital medical team or referring GP. Much of the radiologist’s time is occupied in helping to decide upon the best management of patients’ problems, and in performing and interpreting complicated procedures. Interventional radiology is a rapidly expanding branch of radiology. With the help of special instruments and imaging equipment, making only a small puncture in the skin allows the radiologist to undertake complex surgical procedures within the body. For many patients, these less traumatic techniques replace major surgery and hasten recovery.

Training Pathway in Diagnostic Radiology

Step 1 Step 2 Step 4 Step 5
Training Level Medical School Intern Year 2 years clinical experience Higher Specialist Training in Diagnostic Radiology
Duration 4-6 years 1 year 2 years 5 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match N/A Entry based on competitive interview
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A N/A Fellowship of Faculty of Radiologists
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October N/A Application process opens in October
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks N/A Faculty of Radiologists

The Faculty of Radiologists, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is the body responsible for provision of postgraduate training in Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Oncology in Ireland.

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