Pediatric radiologists specailize in applying their knowledge of pediatrics and radiology to utilize medical imaging techniques in order to diagnose or treat disease in children.

Watch an Overview of Pediatric Radiology

About Pediatric Radiology

Pediatric radiology is a field of medicine that utilizes medical imaging techniques and procedures to identify, diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and illnesses found in infants, children and adolescents. Specializing in the treatment of children, these radiologists are uniquely trained to provide for the various needs and necessities of younger patients. Pediatric radiologists are trained to work not only with the children, but to communicate with the parents or guardians of the children.

Children are typically referred to the services of a pediatric radiologist when other specialists are unsure of a diagnosis, are unable to reach a diagnosis, or need further diagnostic testing performed. Pediatric radiologists ensure the safety of the tests to be performed by assessing the child’s past and current medical history, as well as their family history in an attempt at preventing any foreseeable conflicts. Pediatric radiologists can perform a range of different imaging techniques such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scans and other imaging procedures. Following completion of these tests, the pediatric radiologist will assess the results in an attempt at making a diagnosis. If the radiologist is unable to make a diagnosis, they will order more diagnostic tests to be performed.

Pediatric Radiology Education & Training

Pediatric radiologists must complete a demanding program of training and study beyond that of a standard physician before they are able to practice in the field of pediatric radiology. After earning a four year undergraduate degree, the student must attend medical school. During four years of medical school, the student is given a general medical education and when complete, will culminate in an MD or DO degree.

After graduating from medical school, the physician must complete a four year residency program in diagnostic radiology. During the residency training, the physician will be exposed to the necessary techniques for diagnosing and treating patients using medical imaging techniques and radiation. Some residency programs may allow for the physician to begin specializing in pediatric radiology, but most complete that training during a fellowship.

Following completion of a residency in radiology, the physician must complete a one to two year fellowship in pediatric radiology. This highly specialized fellowship provides the physician with the skills and training specific to their specialty; they will become familiar with the appropriate diagnostic and treatment techniques that are safely used when providing care to children. After completion of the fellowship, the physician will have become all of the necessary skills for providing care as a pediatric radiologist and will be able to seek board certification from the American Board of Radiology in pediatric radiology.