The designation of Radiologist Assistant is a recently added position with its own specific certification and educational standards that have been set by the ARRT. A radiologist assistant is not a physician (m.d); however, they are considered the most advanced radiology position your can obtain short of being an actual radiologist physician.
A radiologist assistant works closely with the physician on complex imaging and therapeutic techniques. They are able to use their advanced levels of knowledge to correlate the findings from various imaging techniques and determine the best course of action for proper diagnoses and treatment. To become an RA, you must complete a radiology masters degree program and pass an ARRT exam designed specifically for the RA position. Read more about this new and exciting position that is gaining prominence in the medical imaging community.
Find Schools Offering Radiologist Assistant Programs
Browse our list of radiology schools offering a masters degree in radiologic sciences or begin on the path towards obtaining an RA designation by enrolling in a bachelors degree program in radiology.
Radiologist Assistant Job Description
As a radiologist assistant, you will work closely with a physician in a high level role, performing advanced techniques to diagnose illness. Job duties include:
- Performing pre and post procedure evaluations of the patient to a greater degree than a standard rad tech post ion in order to alleviate the time pressures of the physician.
- Assisting radiologists (m.d's) with invasive or complex radiology procedures.
- Performing fluoroscopy or non-invasive procedures under the physicians supervision.
- Acting as a bridge of communication between the referring physician and the radiology department. This would normally be done by the physician; however the RA position allows for this expanded duty.
- Performance of advanced procedures such as feeding tube placements and venous diagnostic exams.
- Assisting the physician with diagnosis; although the formal diagnosis must still be signed off by the radiologist m.d.
The American College of Radiology describes the Radiologist Assistant role this way:
The radiologist assistant is identified as an advanced-level radiologic technologist who works under the supervision of a radiologist to enhance patient care by assisting the radiologist in the diagnostic imaging environment.
The Radiologist Assistant is not a radiologist nor a physician assistant but rather a valuable addition to the radiology team who can enhance quality patient care by performing advanced level radiological services under the supervision of a radiologist.
Radiologist Assistant Salary
Radiologist Assistants have the highest salaries of all radiology positions with exception of radiologist m.d.'s. According to the American Medical Association, in 2008, radiologist assistants made $102,972 on average. Here's a look at RA salary at a glance:
|Radiologist Assistant Salary||Low||Median||High|
|Radiologist Assistant (R.A.)||$90,076||$102,972||$112,615|
Radiologist Assistant Job Outlook
There has been an ongoing shortage of radiologist MD's, which has been a source of great concern. Heavy workloads and average procedures performed per physician continues to grow according to recent studies. In order to alleviate the effects of this shortage, the position of radiologist assistant has been added by the ARRT.
The demand of skilled radiology assistants is very high according to the American College of Radiology and will continue to be high until the shortage of radiologist physicians can be filled. There has never been a better time to find positions paying over 100K per year in the field of radiology. Entering into a radiology masters program is not only a rewarding experience, but one that will take your career and salary level to significantly greater heights.