Pediatric radiology is the study of a child through diagnostic imaging. A radiologist who is specially trained in the musculoskeletal system and anatomy of children will carefully examine X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans and other diagnostic examination results. A radiologist is trained to help diagnose specific illness, conditions, disease, injuries and underlying medical conditions based on the results of the imaging test.
Radiology plays one of the most important roles in a patient's overall diagnosis and treatment plan. A trained radiologist examines the images, ultrasounds and other nuclear medicine imaging taken by the technician. Looking at multiple slides or images helps the radiologist interpret the results with pinpoint accuracy. In many cases, each image is cross-checked or audited by another radiologist to confirm a diagnosis. Sometimes they don't make a diagnosis but instead make a recommendation the child's pediatrician to draw his or her own conclusion from the results.
You can find a pediatric radiologist at most major medical centers, hospitals and children's hospitals. Radiologists who work with children faced with chronic illness will need to be specially trained to detect certain rare medical conditions to assure that they meet quality standards in healthcare.
Radiologists attend medical school and have up to four additional years of specialized training in clinical medicine as well as diagnostic radiology. Their additional training allows them to receive credentials in specialized areas such as oncology, urology and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Some radiologists specialize in conditions directly related to infants in the neonatal unit.
Radiologists specializing in pediatrics often work a variety of shifts in a hospital or private clinic. Many radiologists are on call, especially in hospital emergency rooms and after-hour clinics, to evaluate an X-ray result.