How To Become A Radiologist In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how long it takes to become a radiologist in Australia.


Do you want to become a radiologist in Australia? Do you like to be a part of the medical community and serve your country? Well, you're at the right place!


The following article will help in answering all your questions. Make sure you read it until the very end.


You will learn in this blog how to become a radiologist in Australia, including the steps, radiology degrees, courses, why you should study radiology, how long it takes, salary, and more.



1. What Are Radiologists?


Radiologists are professionals that perform procedures using medical imaging techniques such as "X-rays, MRI (Magnetic resonance image), and PET (positron emission tomography). 


They perform highly technical procedures for patients that help in the diagnosis process and treatment of diseases.



2. Is A Radiologist a Real Doctor?


Yes, radiologists are medical doctors who have completed four years of medical residency. 


They specialize in medical imaging such as x-ray, MRI, CT-scan, ultrasound and angiography to diagnose and treat human disease or injury.



3. Duties and Tasks of Radiologists?


  • Evaluate the patient medical history

  • Perform procedures like CT scans and MRIs on the patients

  • Operate different machinery and imaging technology 

  • Accurately interpret the results

  • Helps in the diagnosis process

  • Refer patients for further diagnosis and treatments

  • Continue learning new procedures



4. Is Radiology a Good Career in Australia?


"A recent analysis of job vacancies by the global jobs site ranked radiologists fourth on its list of the 20 most challenging jobs to fill in Australia. It suggested the market is currently in favour of job seekers, with more than 36 per cent of positions remaining unfilled after 60 days. 


Employment prospects for radiographers are good, both in Australia and around the world. In Australia, the job is listed on the medium and long-term skills list, making it an excellent career choice for people." (Globaljobsite)



5. Steps To Become A Radiologist in Australia


Obtain a Bachelor of Medicine degree from an Australian university. They are typically 4-year courses open to anyone who has completed year 12 with appropriate prerequisite subjects. Subjects include Mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.


The following are the basic university entry requirements:


  • GMSAT: You are required to appear in the graduate medical school admission test and pass with a decent score.


  • GPAThe GPA requirements are pretty straightforward. You must earn a good GPA to get into a university.


Interview: The university might interview before admission. Interviews play a significant role in the admission process as it is a pathway to learning about the students and their potential.


Become a registered radiologist and complete at least two years post-graduate medical experience in a public hospital.



6. Subjects of Radiology


The following are the main subjects of radiology:


  • Human Anatomy

  • Radiological Procedures

  • Pathology

  • Human Resources

  • Physiology

  • Environmental Science

  • Anesthesia in Diagnosis

  • Generating X-Ray

  • Conventional Radiology Equipment

  • Nuclear medicine

  • PET Scans

  • Biostatistics

  • General Radiography

  • Interventional procedures in Diagnostic Radiology

  • Doppler and Echography

  • Care of Patients in Diagnosis

  • Organizational Behaviors



7. Schools in Australia that Offer Radiologist Courses


The following are Australian universities that offer radiologist courses:




8. Key Skills of Radiologists


The following are the skills of radiologists:



Analytical Skills


Radiologists should be analytical, have an eye for detail, and have good observational skills. 


Analytical skills are significant because they allow radiologists to find solutions to various problems and help in the diagnosis. Moreover, it helps them to make concrete decisions.



Communication Skills


As radiologists, you must communicate with the patient and explain the procedure. Communication will help the patient relax and develop a certain level of trust. 



Communication includes:


  • Comforting distressed patients

  • Documenting procedures

  • Remaining calm with agitated patients

  • Actively listening to patient concerns

  • Conveying patient concerns to nursing staff

  • Training student staff

  • Social perceptiveness

  • Compassion for patients

  • Orienting new staff

  • Consulting with physicians

  • Explaining procedures to patients



Mechanical Aptitude


A radiologist must be comfortable with the technology and equipment to process and maintain radiology equipment. Each machine's model will be unique, and learning and relearning new technology will be essential to the job. A radiologist must also understand how to change the duration and intensity of radiation exposure. 


Most training courses provide guidelines and instructions on "how to use the equipment." However, it will be up to technologists to broaden their knowledge and master the art of operating medical imaging equipment.





As a part of the medical and diagnosis team, you must be very careful. Your diagnosis will affect the life of the patient. If a radiologist is detail-oriented, it will help him identify the problem and continue the procedures accordingly. Moreover, a radiologist should be an analytical, intelligent, and critical thinker.





The primary reason for professionalism is to ensure the safety of patients. Health care is a team of professionals who must communicate well while adhering to honesty, respect for others, confidentiality, and accountability for their actions.



Ability To Work Under Pressure


Radiographers must be able to cope with the pressure during emergencies. Medical emergencies can happen anytime.


You must be ready for every possible situation. Radiologists must build time management skills to decrease stress and increase productivity rate.





Empathy is essential in the medical field to ensure effective communication and build trust between doctors and patients.





Radiologists should be passionate and hardworking as it will be easier to fulfil the job requirements. This profession is complex and requires an ultimate level of passion and dedication.



9. Difference Between Radiology and Radiographer



Radiology definition: Merriam-Webster describes radiology as "a branch of medicine concerned with the use of radiant energy (such as X-rays) or radioactive material in the diagnosis and treatment of disease."


Radiography definition: According to Merriam-Webster, radiography is "the art, act, or process of making radiographs" (X-rays or gamma-ray photographs)



Radiologists' Job Responsibility:


  • Preparing for imaging procedures.

  • Consulting with patients and doctors

  • Making highly informed diagnoses

  • Guiding the patient

  • Using their medical expertise to interpret the imaging results



Radiographers Job Responsibilities:


Radiographers are primarily responsible for the following:


  • Prepare patients

  • Safety protocols 

  • Following the supervision of a radiologist

  • Knowing to operate a wide range of imaging devices.

  • Producing quality x-rays and images to ensure the correct 

  • Diagnosis



10. Are Radiologists High In Demand?


According to Merritt Hawkins's data, "radiologists are among the most in-demand physician specialists, with some of the highest starting salaries. 


The majority of requests received by the healthcare recruiting firm were for radiology specialists rather than primary care providers, with radiology ranking third behind only family medicine and nurse practitioners."


Merritt Hawkins identified radiology as having the second-highest number of search assignments and job openings, labelling it as being in "absolute demand." This is due, in part, to the increased demand for radiographers and the increased use of imaging procedures.


"Demand for both radiology is increasing, indicating that the volume of medical procedures is increasing," the 38-page report's authors wrote. "Without an image, little happens in healthcare, whether it's a diagnosis or a procedure."



10. How Much Does It Cost to Study Radiology in Australia?


To become a radiologist, you must complete four years of pre-medical studies. A bachelor's degree will average cost you around $30,000 annually. The next step is medical school, which costs between $30,000 and $60,000. 


However, the cost factor also varies from school to school. Some universities cost less, and some are expensive.



11. Bachelor of Radiology Online


Due to the pandemic, various universities are now offering online courses for students to focus on their studies without neglecting their health. Many universities offer an online degree in radiology via google meet and Classroom.


Here are five of the best universities in Australia that offer online degree programs:




12. How Much Money Do Radiologists Make in Australia?


According to Pay Scale, the average Radiologist’s salary in Australia is AU$250,000. Your salary will likely vary based on your experience, work location, type of workplace, and specialization.


Some of the highest paying locations for Radiologists in Australia are:


  • Canberra: $215,258 per year

  • Westmead: $187,931 per year

  • Wollongong: $155,534 per year

  • Alice Springs: $136,021 per year

  • Sydney: $128,516 per year

  • Melbourne: $112,113 per year

  • Perth: $100,184 per year

  • Gold Coast: $49,434 per year

  • Brisbane: $48,734 per year



13. The Future of Radiology in Australia


"As of late 2019, continued, resurgent demand for radiologists was expected through 2025. Due to rapid increase in radiology services, an aging population and a strong economy allow more elective surgeries." 


By this, the demand for radiologists will keep rising not only in Australia but worldwide.



14. Where Do Radiologists Work?


Radiologists work in a variety of settings that include:


  • Small health facilities and regional hospitals

  • Private radiology centres

  • Intensive care departments

  • Surgery theatre

  • Private practice

  • Research

  • Imaging departments 

  • Emergency clinics and departments

  • Primary care clinic

  • Veterinary practice

  • Breast imaging centre

  • Out-patient radiology centre

  • Education



15. Career Opportunities For Radiologists In Australia


Skilled Radiologists can find employment opportunities in various areas, such as: 


  • Magnetic resonance imaging

  • General radiography

  • Computed tomography

  • Mammography

  • Medical ultrasound

  • Angiography



16. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



How Long Does It Take To Study Radiology in Australia?


As Radiology is a specialist field of medicine, it requires several years of formal training to get employment. The exact duration to become a Radiologist depends on your mode of entry.


According to Health Direct Victoria, it takes:


  • 5 to 6 years of education to become a doctor

  • At least five years of specialist medical radiology training with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists 

  • At least two years of practice in public hospitals.

  • Year 12 pass-outs can complete a six-year full-time medical degree like a Bachelor of Medical Studies / Doctor of Medicine.

  • Alternatively, you can complete a 3 to 4-year degree in any discipline and a 2-year full-time postgraduate degree in medicine to become a Radiologist.



Can You Become a Radiologist Without Becoming a Doctor?


No. To become a Radiologist, you must complete a medical degree at a university in Australia.


Additionally, you need at least two years of medical experience in a public hospital and a 5-year training program with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists to work in this role.



Is a Radiologist a Doctor in Australia?


A Radiologist is a Doctor (M.D.) who attends a Medical School to complete a Degree as a Doctor and undertakes speciality training in Radiology.



How Many Radiologists Are There in Australia?


According to Labour Market Insights, 29,900 Medical Imaging Professionals, including Radiologists, are working in Australia.



How Many Hours Do Radiologists Work in Australia?


As per Labour Market Insights, around 67% of Medical Imaging Professionals, including Radiologists, work full-time for an average of 41 hours per week.



Who Gets Paid More, Radiologist or Radiographer?


According to PayScale, the average Radiologist’s salary in Australia is AU$250,000 per year. The average Radiographer’s salary is AU$70,781 per year. It shows Radiologists earn more than Radiographers in Australia.



What Is Tthe Lowest-Paid Radiologist?


The salary of a lowest paid Radiologist is AUD 50k per year in Australia.



What Is The Highest Salary For a Radiologist in Australia?


The highest salary for a Radiologist is AUD 596k per year.



Do You Need Chemistry To Do Radiology?


Yes. To start your formal path in radiography, you should complete your Year 12 in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.



What Degree Is Best For Radiology?


The best course to become a Radiologist in Australia is a Bachelor of Applied Science (Diagnostic Radiography) followed by a Master of Diagnostic Radiography or Master of Medical Imaging Science.



What is The ATAR For Radiology?


The entry ATAR for Radiology courses varies between universities. It is usually between 96 to 99.25.




Is There a Shortage of Radiologists in Australia?


Yes. An ageing population (that requires more imaging), a growing demand for diagnostic imaging services, increased enrolment in Medicare, and a shrinking workforce (particularly radiology trainees) are all leading to a scarcity of radiologists in Australia.


To deal with the shortage of radiologists and meet the increasing demand, the government plans to increase the number of radiology resident positions and recruit more trained radiographers in the country.


According to Labour Market Insights, the government projects a job growth rate of 14.7% in the Medical Imaging profession between 2021 and 2026.


It is expected that 2,300 new jobs will be created over this period. Also, the number of workers will grow strongly from 15,900 in 2021 to 18,200 in 2026 to fill the new positions.



What Pays The Most in Radiology?


According to Indeed, some of the top Australian employers for Radiologists (based on the average salaries offered) are:


  • Mid North Coast Local Health District: $223,253 per year      

  • ACT Government: $215,258per year

  • Sydney Children Hospital Network: $188,299per year

  • St Vincent’s Health Australia: $168,704per year

  • Department Of Health: $136,021per year



How Long is a Radiology Residency in Australia?


After completing a 1-year internship, medical degree graduates must complete 4- 5 years of the residency program to continue gaining adequate clinical experience.



How Competitive is Radiology in Australia?


The growth of radiologists in the healthcare sector is failing to keep pace with the increasing population and the rising demand for imaging services. Consequently, the competition for radiology residency positions in Australia remains exceptionally high.


Considering the positive job outlook and ample career opportunities in Medical Radiation, several students aspire to pursue a career in this rapidly advancing healthcare discipline.


This results in fierce competition among students applying for Radiologist degree courses in the country.



Is Radiology Hard in Australia?


Yes. Being a Radiologist is hard due to extensive educational requirements that include:


  • 5 to 6 years to complete a relevant Radiology qualification

  • 1-year of internship 

  • 4- 5-year residency program to expand your knowledge of radiology and gain practical experience. 

  • 1 or 2 years to complete advanced training in your specialty.


Thus, there are around 11-14 years of compulsory schooling after high school. Due to such a long commitment, most radiologists begin their careers only after 30.


Life is challenging even after getting into this profession. Based on where they work, Radiologists have to work 40 to 60 hours per week, which is way beyond the standard 40 hours per week. The long hours make it a stressful and challenging profession to work in.


Additionally, the role of a Radiologist comes with immense responsibility. Correct diagnosis of diseases is a challenge as it determines the quality of life for other people.


Also, explaining to people about a serious medical condition they are diagnosed with regularly can be mentally taxing.


All these reasons make it difficult to pursue a career in Radiology.



14. Closing Words


A career as a radiologist carries significant value and responsibility. It demands dedication and patience but offers great rewards. As a radiographer, professionalism and hard work are essential traits.

Moreover, it is crucial to uphold a sense of responsibility. Radiographers play a vital role in the medical diagnostic team and must strive to avoid errors.


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