Consultant radiologists are highly trained specialist doctors who interpret and report on the images generated by radiographers to the hospital medical team or referring GP, in order to diagnose or treat diseases and conditions. Consultant radiologists use an array of imaging technologies such as X-ray, ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), nuclear medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to diagnose or treat diseases. Health professionals involved in clinical radiology include radiographers and radiologists supported by nursing, health care assistants, physicists, administration and portering staff - all of whom are needed for a modern functioning department.
Much of the consultant radiologist’s time is occupied in helping to decide upon the best management of patients’ problems, and in performing and interpreting complicated procedures. Interventional radiology is a clinical specialty with outpatient, ward and procedural duties, commensurate with those of a consultant surgeon. In addition to the treatments performed, consultant interventional radiologists also have a role in diagnosis e.g. tissue sampling and invasive diagnostics. As technology advances and high-quality imaging equipment becomes more widely available, it is able to offer patients and referral physicians a growing number of new treatment options, often replacing major surgery and improving recovery times.