A radiologist is a type of doctor, which means there are many years of training ahead for a person who wants to become one. This training should start with high school. A person who wants to become a radiologist will gain a good foundation for achieving his goal if he takes advanced science and math classes. It is possible to get into this career without these high school classes, but it may be easier to understand advanced coursework with this knowledge.
The next step in becoming a radiologist is college. Like in high school, it's a good idea to take advanced science courses in preparation for a career in radiology. For example, advanced-level courses in subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and anatomy are recommended. A person can go on to become a radiologist even if he doesn't major in science, but majoring in science does provide good preparation for the next step in pursing a career in radiology.
While it isn't necessary to major in science to become a radiologist, it is necessary to get good grades. After earning a bachelor's degree, a person interested in radiology will have to apply to medical school. Grades count when competing with other medical-school hopefuls. It's also a good idea to take classes related to writing and communicating, two skills necessary for pursing this career.
You'll then need to attend medical school for four years. At this point, you may have completed eight years of schooling, but your training won't be over. You'll then need to spend five years on post-graduate training, which is also referred to as residency. The first year of residency training will cover general medicine. After that, the remaining four years will focus on radiology in particular.
There are exams you'll need to take and pass in order to become a radiologist. These exams are necessary in order to be certified by the American Board of Radiology. One of the exams focuses on medical-imaging physics and is commonly taken in the second or third year of residency. Another exam focuses on knowledge of diagnostic imaging and is typically completed in the third or fourth year. You'll also need to pass an oral examination. This is usually given in the fourth year after the written exams have been taken and passed.