Category Archives: Radiology

Survey from December, 2015: Future of the Radiologist Workforce

In the face of the widely anticipated physician shortage, many of our imaging leaders have questioned what these shifting dynamics mean for the future of the radiology workforce. In response, we’ve compiled our latest on the current makeup and future of the radiologist workforce to help you better understand where the workforce is heading and how to prepare for the anticipated changes.

The current state:

According to the American College of Radiology’s 2015 Commission on Human Resources Workforce survey findings, for the first time ever, the percentage of body imagers (including gastrointestinal and genitourinary imaging) now trumps the percentage of general radiologists in the workforce. These body radiologists currently make up the largest proportion of the radiologist workforce and the number of those employed in this sub-specialty has grown by 72% over the last two years!

Conversely, the number of general radiologists has fallen by almost half in the past two years, now accounting for 12.8% of all radiologists. The other largest groups of specialists are below, listed in descending order:

  • General interventional radiologists
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Musculoskeletal imagers
  • Breast imagers
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Basic research

The largest proportion (30%) of radiology jobs in 2015 are projected to be in the South, followed by 14% in the Midwest, with the remaining jobs in the Mid-Atlantic, West, Southwest, and New England areas, in decreasing order. While the largest majority of jobs are projected to be in private practice (47%), the American College of Radiology estimates another 32% will be in academic practice and 17% in hospitals.

Signs of a looming shortage:

Recent data has indicated strong signs of an already existing lack of radiologists to meet market demand. A historical perspective study from the Journal of Academic Radiology recently shed light on the outsized demand for radiologists, calling attention to a rise in the number of residency positions from 1,090 to 1,156 in the last 5 years despite applicants for radiology residency positions dropping during that same period from 1,431 to 1,141. Further, given that 7% of all radiologists are older than age 65 and 22% are between the ages of 56 and 65, the looming retirement of a large portion of the radiology workforce threatens to create a further need for these specialists.

The experts estimate that outpatient imaging volumes will grow by 7% over the next five years. With increased access to health care being a top priority for providers and policy makers alike, the decreasing availability of radiologists may well indicate a potential radiologist shortage at a time of unprecedented demand. As is the case with many other medical specialties, elevating the role of the non-physician providers can pose an opportunity to meet this outstanding demand for imaging services despite physician shortages.

Source: The Advisory Board Company

If you are interested in getting the education in the field of Medical Imaging please check our offerings:
AS in Radiologic Technology Program (Concord Campus)
AS in Ultrasound Technology Program (San Mateo Campus and Fresno Campus)
AS in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Program (San Mateo Campus and Modesto Campus)
BS in Diagnostic Medical Imaging (via Distance Education)

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine refers to medications that are attached to a radioisotope (radioactive material); the drug is called a radiopharmaceutical. Several different radiopharmaceuticals are available today to study various parts of the body and treat some conditions and diseases.

The radioisotope which is attached to the drug is usually called a “tracer”. The most common tracers used in nuclear medicine are thallium-201 and fludeoxyglucose (18F) (18F-FDG), gallium-67, indium-111), iodine-131, iodine-123, and technetium-99m.

The radiopharmaceutical is administered either by injection, orally (swallowing) or as an inhalation. It is designed to target a specific part of the body where there might be some abnormality or disease. The radioactive part of the drug emits gamma rays which are detected using a gamma camera. The doctor can then see what is happening inside the body.

Nuclear medicine is commonly used to evaluate the gallbladder, liver, thyroid, lungs and heart. Physiological function can be determined well using nuclear medicine, rather than anatomical detail.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear medicine can, for example, be used to identify lesions deep inside the body without having to open up with patient (surgery). It can also determine whether certain organs are working properly; it can determine whether the heart is pumping blood adequately, or whether the brain is getting enough blood, and whether the brain cells are functioning properly.

After having a heart attack, nuclear medicine procedures can help accurately assess the damage to the patient’s heart.

Nuclear medicine is useful in locating the brain sites of seizures (epilepsy), Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nuclear medicine can also be used to treat patients. Thousands of people with hyperthyroidism are treated every year using radioactive iodine. Certain types of cancers, as well as bone pain resulting from cancer can also be treated.

With the most advanced equipment, nuclear medicine images can be used almost simultaneously with CT scans, making detailed anatomical studies possible.

What is radiology?

Radiology is a specialty of medicine that uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Radiology uses technologies, such as X-Ray Radiography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to see within the human body in order to diagnose disease and abnormalities.

What is the difference between a radiologist and a radiographer?

A specialist in radiology is a radiologist; a doctor who then specializes in radiology. To become a radiologist you must first complete your training at a medical or osteopathic school to become a doctor, and then train for an additional five to six years.

A radiographer, or radiologic technician is a person who performs the radiography imaging scans, such as X-Rays – they then operate the imaging machines. A radiographer is not a doctor, while a radiologist is.

The radiologist looks at the images and interprets them. He/she pinpoints an injury or abnormality, determines what it is and possibly how severe the abnormality is. The radiologist will typically consult with the patient’s doctor when interpreting the results of an imaging scan.

Radiologist
A radiologist is a qualified doctor who then specializes in radiology

 

What is Fluoroscopy?
This is a type of medical imaging that displays a continuous X-Ray image on a screen – a bit like an X-Ray movie. It displays the movement of a body part or of an instrument or contrast agent (dye) through the human body.

In this procedure, an X-Ray beam passes through the body, the image is transmitted to a screen so that a specific body part and its motion can be viewed in fine detail.

Fluoroscopy may be used in several different types of examinations and procedures, such as:
– To see movement through the gastrointestinal tract, using Barium X-Rays and enemas
– An angioplasty or angiography procedure, to direct the placement of a catheter
– To be able to see how blood flows through specific organs
– To look at fractures or fracture treatments following orthopedic surgery

 
What is Interventional Radiology?
This is a rapidly expanding field of medicine. Interventional radiology is minimally invasive, targeted treatments which are performed using imaging guidance. These procedures are often carried out instead of open surgery. They are less risky, involve no large incisions, and are less painful, compared to surgical procedures. Patients who undergo interventional radiologic procedures usually recover faster.

Some interventional procedures, such as angiograms, are done for just diagnostic purposes, while others, for example angioplasty, are treatment procedures.

Somebody who works in this field is called an interventional radiologist. They can diagnose and treat several different types of diseases and disorders, including hepatic interventions, gastrostomy tube placements, inferior vena cava filter placements, renal artery stenosis, and peripheral vascular disease.

The main purpose of using images in interventional radiology is for guidance – the images help the surgeon use his/her instruments accurately and precisely. The main instruments used are needles and catheters.

With the guidance of images, the interventional radiologist can thread the instruments through the body to wherever the disease or injury is located. Interventional radiology involved much less physical trauma to the patient, compared to other procedures.

AS in Radiologic Technology Program. Gurnick’s X-Ray School

A Radiologic Technologist is a person trained in the “art and science” of creating images of the human body using ionizing radiation. The radiologic technologist works closely with the radiologist (physician specially trained to interpret images) and other physicians, and plays a vital role as a professional member of the total medical team. Technologists work in hospitals’ general radiography, surgery, trauma, pediatrics, clinics, doctors’ offices, CT, mammography, and imaging centers. This exciting and dynamic field is perpetually changing. Our students will receive the necessary skills to transition from education to employment.

  • Programmatically Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • Programmatically Approved by the California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch as a school for radiographers. The program also holds State approval as a fluoroscopy school
  • Institutionally Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau for Health Education Schools
  • Approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
  • Programmatically Recognized by American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

AS in Radiologic Technology Program Highlights:

  • 24 month intensive program including preparation for the ARRT exam
  • Experienced Instructors
  • Modern digital X-Ray lab
  • Associate of Science Degree
  • Financial Aid Assistance
  • Private Loans Assistance
  • Employment Assistance

Our Radiologic Technology Program includes didactic and laboratory training as well as a clinical internship that correlates with the theoretical knowledge. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be prepared to sit for the ARRT exam. Once students pass this exam, they will be able to work as Radiologic Technologists.

Our Program Curriculum is sequential, integrated, and reflects contemporary Radiologic Technologist practice. It provides students with the technical, clinical, and interpersonal skills necessary to succeed in this field. Courses include topics such as general physics and radiation production, digital imaging, radiologic and radiographic procedures, radiation protection and radiobiology, radiographic pathology, pharmacology, drug administration and venipuncture, special radiologic procedures, basic principles of computed tomography, ethics, law, and diversity in the radiologic sciences, fluoroscopy, certification and career path development, registry review.

Our Campuses conduct courses in classrooms equipped with modern audio-visual teaching aids, anatomical charts and models. Our X-Ray lab allows students to practice positioning skills and to conduct experiments. Students will also have rotations in separate clinical settings to gain clinical experience in actual CT and fluoroscopy exams in patient care setting.

Our Clinical Education (Internship) is a crucial part of the x-ray program that facilitates the development of student competence with clinical skills. The affiliated clinical sites are utilized to provide supervised clinical instruction in the patient care setting. Internship will be provided for all of our students.

Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology Program is currently offered at Concord Campus.

Contact our admissions department to find out if you qualify for this program.