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21 Jul 2016

Difference between Radiologists and Radiographers


Over the centuries, a lot of progress has been made in the healthcare profession till this present day. Physicians now have a lot machines and equipment at their beckon to aid them in conducting treatment for patients much more effectively. One of such machines is the X-ray machine. While most healthcare professionals could read an X-ray image, creating and interpreting them is the work of technologists called radiographers and medical doctors called radiologists.

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Since time past, a lot of confusion have always risen as regarding the difference between radiologists and radiographers. Well, there are differences between these two professionals and I intend to shed more light on the issue via this post.

First and foremost, considering the names given to these professionals etymologically, the suffix ‘-graph’ in radiographer is derived from the Latin word ‘graphicus’ which means ‘image’ literarily, while the suffix ‘-logy’ in radiologist is derived from the Greek word ‘logos’ which means ‘study’. Apparently, from this analysis we could arrive at a simple definition of the roles played by these healthcare professionals like this: a radiographer takes images while a radiologist is involved with studying.     

A radiographer is a technologist (or an engineer, sort of) involved with the handling and maintenance of machines such as X-ray machine and other diagnostic tools used in conducting radiological treatments. Basically, a radiographer takes images of affected body areas of a patient and analyzes the image such that it could be interpreted correctly by a physician in making diagnosis of a patient’s ailment and conducting treatment for such patient. The physician who interprets these images and uses them in making diagnosis is called a radiologist.

It is imperative that we understand that the radiologist is on his own a physician who has passed through medical school and has decided to specialize in radiology. Although, the radiologist in actual fact collaborates with other doctors in defining the treatment required to heal a patient as they (radiologists) are mostly diagnosticians.

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To sum up, radiologists and radiographers are mutual ‘organisms’ who cannot but dwell and work together as the radiologists needs the radiographer to take the images he would use in diagnosing a patient’s ailment. There are just about 2000 radiologists in Nigeria presently. It is a fast-growing profession and a suitable career for one whoever aspires to become one.    

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