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Radiology Continuing Education

Radiology Continuing Education

Examining Radiology Continuing Education

Radiology continuing education is essential in a field where advances are constant and, with such a range of specializations, itís important to maintain as well as advance skills to function efficiently. Generally speaking, a radiologist in the U.S. is a physician who completed medical school and has gone on to focus an additional four to five years of study in the field of radiology. The ability to specialize in a certain type of radiology, e.g. diagnostic, oncology or nuclear, broadens the field immensely.

Radiology is an extensive field because it blends medicine with advanced scientific technology. Those who work in radiology include diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear radiologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, radiology physicists, radiology physicians, radiation biologists, radiologic administrators and radiologic technologists.

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Continuing medical education, or CME, is a necessary part of anyone's career in diagnostic radiology. However, the exact requirements for maintaining a level of radiology expertise depend on state rules and regulations for the applicable field of focus. For example, radiologic technologists, who focus on operating the radiation technology and do not hold any diagnostic responsibility, are required by approximately 28 states to achieve between six to 15 hours of CME hours every year. On the other hand, radiation physicists are required to maintain a certain level of field-specific Medical Physics Continuing Education Credit (MPCEC). Generally, attaining CME credit is a necessary preliminary step to re-registering a license.

CME courses must be approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). CME courses should be of Category 1 quality, which means that they are of a high enough standard to satisfy a number of national medical associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA bestows its Physician's Recognition Award on all Category 1 CME courses. 

Some good resources for those in the field looking into radiology continuing education programs:

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) is the certifying body for all practicing radiologists in the United States . They are responsible for regulating and administering radiology testing examinations. Find them at www.theabr.org.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) provides information on every aspect of radiology at www.acr.org. With over 30,000 members, the ACR provides 'vital education, research, scientific information and advocacy' through online CME courses and certain requirements.

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) is the world's largest radiologic science organization with over 112,000 radiologic technologists as members. The ASRT provides comprehensive information on careers in radiology, education and licensing requirements at www.asrt.org.