What Is a Radiologist? 

Welcome to Strategic Radiology's Patient Education Site. A radiologist is a doctor who is trained in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging. Radiologists fall into three general categories:  

A medical detective

Although you may not meet your diagnostic radiologist, he or she is an important part of your health care team. The diagnostic radiologist sits at a high-resolution monitor, examines your medical history and “reads” your medical images—x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, mammogram, fluoroscopy, PET-CT, and nuclear medicine studies. He or she is looking for clues that will help your primary or specialty physician diagnose and treat your medical condition or disease.

A minimally invasive surgeon

You will definitely meet your interventional radiologist. Interventional radiologists use medical imaging and a needle or small tube called a catheter instead of a scalpel to diagnose and treat a wide array of diseases and conditions. Very often, these procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting for patient convenience. Interventional radiologists have pioneered the minimally invasive treatment of everything from stroke and cancer to varicose veins and osteoporosis.

A nuclear radiologist

Other radiologists specialize in nuclear medicine. These physicians use small amounts of radioactive material to image how your body is functioning (functional imaging) instead of what your body looks like (anatomical imaging). An example is the FDG-PET scan, which detects the rapid metabolism associated with cancer, differentiating a malignant tumor from a benign one, and detecting whether a primary cancer has spread to a different area of the body.

What Is Strategic Radiology?

Strategic Radiology is a coalition of private radiology practices located in communities across the United States that have come together to improve patient experience, safety, and outcomes. We represent 1,700+ board-certified radiologists.


I never understood the importance of connecting with a subspecialist radiologist until I was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Survivor
What is a subspecialty radiologist?
What is a subspecialty radiologist?

After their medical specialty education is completed, many radiologists pursue further studies through fellowship training, subspecializing in a particular disease, such as cancer, or a specific body part (breast or heart, for instance) or organ system, such as the neurological, musculoskeletal, or vascular systems. They are known as subspecialty radiologists.

Subspecialty Radiology
How do I choose a radiologist?

A radiologist is often referred to as a “doctor’s doctor,” because they interact more with your primary and specialty physicians than they do directly with you. Here are some tips for making sure you are getting the best radiological care.

Choosing a Radiologist
How do I choose a radiologist?
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