Many people are confused by the differences between a radiographer and a radiologist. So, who do you see when you need an x-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound?

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Find out more about wradiology

Many people are confused by the differences between a radiographer and a radiologist. So, who do you see when you need an x-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound?

The information contained on this site should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided herein is for educational and informational purposes only and in no way should be considered as an offering of medical advice. Please check with a qualified physician if you suspect you are ill. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it.

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Radiology or diagnostic imaging is a medical subspecialty that uses medical imaging equipment, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound. 

The medical images help doctors diagnose and treat diseases. Medical professionals rely on radiology to detect various health issues, including broken bones, blood clots, heart defects, and gastrointestinal conditions.

Meanwhile, radiography is an imaging technique used to view internal parts of the body or industrial components. This technique utilizes X-rays, gamma rays, or ionizing radiation to produce diagnostic images.

A radiologist is a doctor who interprets and analyzes medical images to diagnose and treat patients. Radiologists may choose to specialize in different subspecialties of radiology. 

A radiographer can be called a radiologic technologist or radiology tech. Radiographers are trained to operate the imaging equipment upon the instructions of the radiologist. 

Different types of medical imaging techniques include the following:

  • Fluoroscopy displays real-time moving X-ray images to view how a patient’s organs function. 
  • Computed tomography (CT) combines a series of radiography images taken from different angles around the body. 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of a patient’s organs. 
  • Sonography uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images of organs, tissues, and blood flow. 



Radiology involves various types of specialties, such as diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology. 

Diagnostic radiology focuses on the use of X-rays, ultrasound, electromagnetic radiation, and other imaging equipment to detect abnormalities in the body. 

Interventional radiology includes minimally invasive procedures, such as fluoroscopy, angiograms, angioplasty, and biopsies. 

Radiation oncology uses ionizing radiation, CT, MRI, and ultrasound to treat serious illnesses, like cancer. 


Several schools and colleges in the United States offer radiology degree programs for prospective students. Radiology schools train students on how to use different medical imaging equipment and prepare students to become professionals. 


Various career options are available for individuals looking to enter the radiology field. Career opportunities include becoming radiologists, radiologic technologists, X-ray technicians, MRI technologists, sonographers, or nuclear medicine technologists. 


The anatomy of the human body is studied using advanced medical imaging techniques. Each main area of the body (head, neck, chest, abdomen, appendicular skeleton, thorax, spine, and pelvis) are divided into distinct smaller regions with separate functions.

Shoulder and Arm

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the shoulder provides detailed images of structures, such as bones, tendons, muscles, and blood vessels within the shoulder joint. The medical imaging test is primarily used to assess injuries or abnormalities and diagnose any disorders. 

Elbow and Forearm

X-ray or MRI may be used for evaluating elbow and forearm abnormalities. Medical imaging techniques can visualize fractures, ligament and tendon injuries, inflammatory and synovial conditions, compression or entrapment neuropathy, bone injuries, and soft-tissue masses.

Wrist, Hand, and Fingers

Medical imaging techniques can provide anatomic detail of the small extremities, such as the wrist, hands, and fingers. These images allow accurate identification and characterization of various arthropathies, traumatic injuries, and neoplastic processes.

Hip and Thigh

MRI is the reference standard for imaging muscle injuries of the hip and thigh. This imaging technique is used to diagnose and evaluate edema, partial or complete muscle tears, and hematoma. 

Knee and Leg

X-ray or MRI may be used to visualize the knee and leg joints, tissues, and muscles. These imaging tests can detect a range of problems, such as bone fractures, infections, damaged cartilage, dislocated joint, knee deformity, torn tendons or ligaments, and tumors. 

Ankle and Foot

Medical imaging of the ankle and foot is used for evaluating bone and tendon abnormalities. These imaging techniques can help diagnose several soft-tissue abnormalities that are unique to the ankle and foot, including plantar fasciitis, plantar fibromatosis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and interdigital neuromas.

Find Out More About W-Radiology

W-Radiology provides medical imaging resources for radiology students and other healthcare professionals. 

This website covers a wide range of specialties in radiology, such as diagnostic and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy. 

Medical imaging is where the knowledge of human anatomy meets clinical practice. W-Radiology discusses how medical imaging methods visualize the inner body structures to help diagnose and treat diseases. 

Various medical techniques include X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and mammography. 

Prospective students may find which schools offer the best radiology degree programs in each state. W-Radiology gives a comprehensive review of different radiology tech schools, programs offered, and curriculum. 

This website also presents information regarding the salary and career opportunities available for radiology tech graduates, such as radiologists, X-ray technicians, radiographers, MRI technologists, sonographers, or nuclear medicine technologists.