American Board of Radiology

Tucson, AZ

(520) 790-2900

https://www.theabr.org
Radiology
Radiologists use imaging techniques to diagnose, manage, and treat a wide spectrum of diseases. The field of Radiology includes specialists in Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, and Medical Physics.

Doctors practicing in the field of Radiology specialize in Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology, or Radiation Oncology. They may certify in a number of subspecialties. The board also certifies in Medical Physics and issues specific certificates within each discipline.

Disciplines

I. Diagnostic Radiology

A diagnostic radiologist uses X-rays, radionuclides, ultrasound, and electromagnetic radiation to diagnose and treat disease. A diagnostic radiologist who wishes to subspecialize in one of the five areas listed below must first certify in Diagnostic Radiology.

  • Neuroradiology
  • Nuclear Radiology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Pediatric Radiology

II. Interventional Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology

An interventional radiologist combines competence in imaging, image-guided minimally invasive procedures and periprocedural patient care to diagnose and treat benign and malignant conditions of the body. Therapies include embolization, angioplasty, stent placement, thrombus management, drainage, and ablation, among others. An interventional radiologist also may further specialize in one of the subspecialty areas listed below.

  • Neuroradiology
  • Nuclear Radiology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Pediatric Radiology

III. Radiation Oncology

A radiation oncologist uses ionizing radiation and other modalities to treat malignant and some benign diseases. Radiation oncologists also may use computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and hyperthermia (heat) as additional modalities to aid in treatment planning and delivery. A radiation oncologist also may specialize in one of the subspecialty areas listed below. A Radiation Oncologist may also specialize in Pain Medicine.

IV. Medical Physics

The discipline of Medical Physics includes Diagnostic Medical Physics, Nuclear Medical Physics, and Therapeutic Medical Physics. Medical physicists support the diagnosis and treatment of disease through their understanding of the underlying scientific principles of imaging and therapeutic processes. They use this knowledge to perform or supervise technical aspects of procedures to ensure safe and effective delivery of radiation for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Specialty Areas in Medical Physics
A certified Medical Physicist must specialize in at least one of the following but may hold separate primary certification in two areas or all three.

Diagnostic Medical Physics
A specialist in Diagnostic Medical Physics (1) facilitates appropriate use of X-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance in diagnostic procedures; (2) monitors performance of the equipment associated with diagnostic procedures; and (3) applies standards for the safe use of radiation.

Nuclear Medical Physics
A specialist in Nuclear Medical Physics (1) facilitates appropriate use of radionuclides (except those used in sealed sources for therapeutic purposes) for diagnosing and treating disease; (2) monitors performance of the equipment associated with use of radionuclides in diagnosing and treating disease; and (3) applies standards for the safe use of radiation.

Therapeutic Medical Physics
A specialist in Therapeutic Medical Physics (1) facilitates the appropriate use of X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other charged particle beams in the treatment of disease; (2) monitors performance of the equipment associated with therapeutic procedures; and (3) applies standards for the safe use of radiation.

Subspecialties
  • Neuroradiology
    A specialist in Neuroradiology diagnoses and treats disorders of the brain, sinuses, spine, spinal cord, neck, and the central nervous system, such as aging and degenerative diseases, seizure disorders, cancer, stroke, cerebrovascular diseases, and trauma. Imaging commonly used in neuroradiology includes angiography, myelography, interventional techniques, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Nuclear Radiology
    A specialist in Nuclear Radiology uses the administration of trace amounts of radioactive substances (radionuclides) to provide images and information for making a diagnosis. Imaging that can involve nuclear radiology include PET (positron emission tomography) and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans.
  • Pain Medicine
    A specialist in Pain Medicine diagnoses and treats patients experiencing problems with acute or chronic pain, or pain related to cancer, in both hospital and outpatient settings and coordinates care needs with other specialists.
  • Pediatric Radiology
    A specialist in Pediatric Radiology uses imaging and interventional procedures related to the diagnosis, care, and management of congenital abnormalities (those present at birth) and diseases particular to infants and children. A pediatric radiologist also treats diseases that begin in childhood and can cause impairments in adulthood.

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