How to become a radiologist in Nigeria

Do you know How to become a radiologist in Nigeria?

First, who is a radiologist?

A radiologist is a medical doctor with six years basic training whose practice is regulated by the Medical and Dental council of Nigeria, who specializes in analyzing and interpreting the images taken by Radiographers. Do note that there is a difference between Radiologists and Radiographers; Radiologists have been described above while Radiographers make use of sophisticated equipment to produce ionizing radiation in order to take images of parts of the body, radiologist interpretes this images.

In a scan laboratory, after x-rays or other similar procedures have been carried out, the images are analyzed by the consultant Radiologist (who is the Radiologist in charge of the scan laboratory) and a report is written which may then be used by the attending Physician or Doctor to access a patient’s condition.

Radiologists are medical doctors or Physicians who are trained to analyze the images produced to diagnose patients, prescribe medications or discharge patients. Radiology is a branch of medicine that uses imaging technology to diagnose and treat disease.

How to become a radiologist in Nigeria
A medical doctor, who is a radiologist did this abdominopelvic ultrasound scan

Radiology may be divided into two different areas; Diagnostic radiology and Interventional Radiology. Diagnostic Radiology involves viewing structures inside the body, doctors that specialise in the interpretation of these images are Diagnostic Radiologist. They diagnose symptoms, screen for different illnesses using procedures such as Computerized Tomograph (CT) scans, Computerized Axial Tomograph (CAT) scans, Fluoroscopy, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.

Interventional Radiologists are doctors that use imaging such as CT, Ultrasound, MRI and other Fluoroscopy to help guide procedures. The imaging is helpful to the doctor when inserting catheters, wires or other small instrumentals and tools into the body.

Keep in mind that a Radiologist is a medical doctor therefore, Medicine is first studied before specialization in Radiology or specialist training in Radiology is carried out. You can become a Radiologist by first writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in Use of English, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry scoring at least 280. You may then proceed to write the Post UTME examination of your preferred institution after which if you meet up to the cut-off marks for admission for that year (Usually 80 and above out of hundred), you will be offered admission to study Medicine.

After becoming a Medical Doctor, you may then proceed to begin training in order to become a Radiologist. Radiology training in Nigeria consists of a minimum of 48 months or 4 years of active clinical training in Radiology. There are two postgraduate colleges with faculties of Radiology with similar programs which are; National postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and the West African College of Surgeons. After which you would become a Certified and Licensed Radiologist after passing a series of examinations.

Shyllon Olayinka

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