How Competitive is a Diagnostic Radiology Residency? Updated for 2022 (2023)

If you want a career as a diagnostic radiologist, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into a diagnostic radiology residency. Diagnostic Radiology is the branch of medicine that involves the use of medical imaging, such as x-rays, CT-scans and MRI to diagnose and sometimes treat a patient.

Statistics on the Diagnostic Radiology Match

In 2022, diagnostic radiology had a total of 1,232 applicants and 1,146 spots. This equates to 1.08 applicants per position. Of the 911U.S. MD seniors who applied, 153 did not match.

Total PositionsTotal Number of ApplicantsNumber of Applicants per Position
1,1551,5681.36

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Diagnostic Radiology

In 2022, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 253. Of those, 169 matched, for a 66.80% match percentage. This makes diagnostic radiology a medium friendly field for osteopathic students.

(Video) Was Radiology More Competitive in 2022?

Total DO ApplicantsMatched DO ApplicantsDO Match Percentage
25316966.80%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Diagnostic Radiology

Because there are only 0.79 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, diagnostic radiology is considered to be Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Diagnostic Radiology Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 6.9 volunteer experiences and 3.3 work experiences. They had 3.8 research experiences and 6.4 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is Medium.

Research ExperiencesAbstracts, Presentations and PublicationsWork ExperiencesVolunteer Experiences
4.683.27.2

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Diagnostic Radiology

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in diagnostic radiology was 245. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 253.

(Video) How To Match Into RADIOLOGY - Everything You Need To Know

Overall Competitiveness of Diagnostic Radiology Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of diagnostic radiology is Medium for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 55%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 90%.

How long is a residency in diagnostic radiology? What is the lifestyle like for a diagnostic radiologist resident?

Compared to other residencies, diagnostic radiology has a Long training length. As far as lifestyle, diagnostic radiologists generally have a Low stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

What is the average salary for of a diagnostic radiologist?

The average salary post-graduation from a diagnostic radiology residency is $427,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

(Video) The 2022 Residency Match Data Explained... We Have a Big Problem

What are fellowships one can do from a diagnostic radiology residency?

Following the successful completion of general diagnostic radiology residency, some physicians may choose to continue their graduate medical education with subspecialty training. Board-certified subspecialists complete additional training and qualifying examinations beyond those required for board certification in diagnostic radiology. Currently, the American Board of Radiology certifies the following fellowships:

What are the best diagnostic radiology residencies in the country?

The best residency for diagnostic radiology, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of diagnostic radiology including:

    • MGH
    • Stanford
    • UPenn
    • UCSF
    • Johns Hopkins
    • Washington University in St Louis
    • Mayo Clinic
    • NYU
    • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    • Yale University
    • Northwestern

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Anesthesiology234246
Child Neurology233246
Dermatology248256
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Neurology232245
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Otolaryngology248256
Pathology233242
Pediatrics228245
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Psychiatry227241
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247

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FAQs

How competitive is diagnostic radiology residency? ›

Overall Competitiveness of Diagnostic Radiology Residency and Chances of Matching. The overall competitiveness level of diagnostic radiology is Medium for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 55%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 90%.

How competitive is radiology this year? ›

According to the 2021 NRMP Residency Data Report, 118 of the 989 diagnostic radiology applicants were matched into PGY-1 positions. Radiology programs have a fill rate of 96.7%, which is indicative of their competitive nature. Both DO and MD seniors can apply to radiology residencies and become radiologists.

Is radiology getting more competitive? ›

I base this assessment upon seeing all the slots in Radiology filled and the significant increase in American MD seniors filling spots. Radiology has become more competitive in 2022.

What Step 1 score do you need for radiology residency? ›

A solid Radiology application would include a 240 on Step 1, 230+ on Step 2, an LOR from a Radiologist, and strong MSPE and Personal Statement.

How hard is it to become a diagnostic Radiologist? ›

After completing high school, on average it will take 13 years to become a Radiologist. This includes completing an undergraduate degree which usually takes four years, followed by four years of Medical school, then a one year internship, followed by four years of residency training in Diagnostic Radiology.

How hard is diagnostic radiography? ›

The job is physically tough with lots of standing, stretching, and lifting throughout the day. It requires your complete attention. You could be on your feet for long periods, working in often stressful situations such as busy A&E departments or difficult diagnoses.

What is the hardest part of being a Radiologist? ›

The most challenging and rewarding aspects of diagnostic radiology: The most challenging aspect of taking care of patients in radiology is the lack of sufficient clinical information about the patient to ensure the best interpretation of their images.

Is there a shortage of radiologists in USA? ›

This shortage is also projected to worsen, and according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. is projected to have a shortage of 17,000 to 42,000 radiologists, pathologists, and psychiatrists by 2033.

What is the best state to be a Radiologist? ›

Our research found that Wisconsin is the best state for radiologists, while Minnesota and Wisconsin are ranked highest in terms of median salary.
...
1. Wisconsin.
Total Radiologist Jobs:50
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$156,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$291,000
2 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

What branch of radiology makes the most money? ›

Radiation oncologists and radiologists earn the highest average salaries in this field. However, students must attend medical school to qualify for these positions. Job candidates can also find lucrative radiology careers with high growth potential in roles that require less education.

Is radiology becoming saturated? ›

And in this era of medical science, the clinicians are becoming more and more dependent on investigations, both pathological and radiological. Hence, it's clear that India will not face the problem of saturation in the field of Radio-Diagnosis in recent future.

Is radiology harder than nursing? ›

No, radiology tech school is not harder than nursing school.

It's a common misconception that Radiology Tech School is harder than Nursing School. In fact, both radiology tech school and nursing school are difficult in their own ways and require different skill sets and knowledge.

Is 242 a good Step 1 score? ›

Generally speaking, however, a USMLE® Step 1 score between 230 and 245 is considered a good and a score between 245 and 255 is considered very good.

How many residency interviews is enough? ›

Dr. Allen said that University of Washington tells students that 15 interviews is a good number to aim for. So, an early invitation from a school in the middle of your list—depending on how long your list is—may be one you should strongly consider accepting.

What is the most competitive residency? ›

10 Most Competitive Specialties to Obtain a Residency Training Position
  • Plastic Surgery.
  • Otolaryngology.
  • Dermatology.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • Neurological Surgery.
  • Interventional Radiology.
  • Ophthalmology.
  • Diagnostic Radiology.

Is diagnostic radiology stressful? ›

Their review noted that more than half of all healthcare workers experience burnout, but diagnostic radiologists experience the highest burnout rate. Seventy-one percent (71%) of radiology practice leaders experienced stress from workplace factors.

Is diagnostic Radiography stressful? ›

Evidence demonstrates that diagnostic radiographers suffer from high levels of occupational stress, however, stress is perceived rather than defined. Common causes of occupational stress were identified as poor patient interactions and a lack of time to spend with patients.

Is diagnostic imaging stressful? ›

Radiology can be a stressful job because your work determines the quality of life for other people. Diagnosing diseases is challenging and there is a lot of responsibility in making sure you've diagnosed your patients correctly. In addition, telling them they have a serious illness on a regular basis can be taxing.

Is there a shortage of diagnostic radiographers? ›

The reports have also predicted that based on current projections, the existing 29% shortfall of clinical radiologists – healthcare professionals who use medical imaging to diagnose, treat and manage disease – will grow to 39% by 2026.

What is diagnostic radiography salary? ›

Radiographer - Pay by Experience Level

An intermediate level Radiographer with 4-9 years of experience earns an average salary of R 33 000, while an experienced Radiographer with 10-20 years of experience makes on average R 39 000.

How do I prepare for a diagnostic radiography interview? ›

Radiography University Interview Questions
  1. What makes you want to be a radiographer?
  2. What research have you done into radiography?
  3. Have you visited or had work experience at a working radiography department?
  4. If so, how did it live up to your expectations?
  5. Describe a typical day as a radiographer.

What type of person is best suited to be a radiologist? ›

Radiologists tend to be predominantly investigative individuals, which means that they are quite inquisitive and curious people that often like to spend time alone with their thoughts. They also tend to be realistic, which means that they often enjoy working outdoors or applying themselves to a hands-on project.

How many mistakes do radiologists make? ›

Research shows that radiologists misdiagnose patients' conditions at least 36% of the time. This is 24% more often than what occurs in any other environment.

What are the disadvantages of being a radiologist? ›

Cons of being a Radiologist

Erratic hours. As healthcare has emerged to be more patient friendly, hospitals and imaging centers have expanded hours and procedures performed. Some specialties like interventional radiology deal with emergencies so unpredictable hours may result. Extensive educational requirements.

What age do radiologists retire? ›

In most cases, retirement occurs between the ages of 55 and 74 years. To better capture radiologist retirement behavior, we classified these physicians in 5-year age groups: 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70-74 years. Radiologists 75 years old or older constitute the last group.

Are radiologists going to be replaced? ›

There is a lot of hype around the radiology profession that deep learning and machine learning and AI, in general, is going to replace radiologists in the future and that perhaps all radiologists will end up doing is looking at images.

Will computers replace radiologists? ›

AI cannot replace radiologists. However, it can facilitate everyday tasks performed by radiologists. As a result, early adopters of AI will likely be at the forefront of the radiology field in the future. The impact of this question has caused concern and shifted the mindset of some radiology medical students.

Can a radiologist Be A Millionaire? ›

Sixteen percent of radiologists have a net worth of more than $5 million. Gastroenterology has the highest percentage in this case with 20%, and dermatology comes in at No.

What do most radiologists major in? ›

The most common undergraduate programs for students looking to become a radiologist include: Biology. Physics. Chemistry.

Where is the best radiology residency? ›

Here are the Best Radiology Programs
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • Harvard University.
  • University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)
  • University of California--San Francisco.
  • Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Duke University.
  • Stanford University.
  • University of Michigan--Ann Arbor.

Are radiologists wealthy? ›

More precisely, Medscape issues a physician debt and wealth study annually. What is this? According to a 2019 research released by Medscape, 49% of radiologists have a net worth of $2 million or more.

Why is radiology so high paying? ›

Also, these fields make a lot because they've tightly controlled the number of radiologists/dermatologists trained each year. By keeping their numbers relatively controlled, they can ensure that they can maintain their demand. That's part of it, when it comes to rads, at least.

What pays more sonography or radiography? ›

Radiology techs and sonography techs also pursue different studies and earn different salaries. A radiology tech makes an average of $50,872, according to Glassdoor.com. Ultrasound techs make an average of $67,332, according to the same website.

Is there a future in radiology? ›

Radiologists also have the knowledge to work together with clinicians since radiology has become the crossroads in many diseases' clinical pathway. So, in the near future, with the help of AI, radiologists will be able to devote even greater efforts to providing a better medical service together with other disciplines.

Is there a future in Radiography? ›

In the future, radiographers will continue to have a key role in the imaging practice, be the professionals who interact directly with patients in imaging, and integrate and collaborate more with care teams across the patients' pathway of care.

Do radiologists earn more than surgeons? ›

Radiologists definitely earn significantly more when they start their careers, but there is a cap to what they can earn, unlike their surgery and medicine colleagues.

Which radiology tech makes the most money? ›

7 highest-paying radiology jobs
  • MRI technologist. National average salary: $61,370 per year. ...
  • Radiologic technologist. National average salary: $65,144 per year. ...
  • Cardiovascular technologist. National average salary: $77,740 per year. ...
  • Sonographer. ...
  • Radiation therapist. ...
  • Nuclear medicine technologist. ...
  • Ultrasonographer.
5 days ago

Is Rad Tech hard? ›

Radiology tech school is somewhat difficult.

The subject matter involved in radiology tech school can be challenging. You will need to have a firm understanding of the human body and how to use imaging equipment. During your program, you will learn things like: Medical terminology.

Is radiology residency hard? ›

Residency is really demanding because you are working a lot of hours, plus trying to learn the craft on your own time. Radiology residency is especially tough in this regard. I probably don't read as much outside of work as others, but ideally they want us reading for 1-2 hours per day outside of work.

Is Step 1 graded on a curve? ›

Note that the USMLE examination is not scored “on a curve”. Students are not scored against each other, but relative to a per-set annual standard. This standard is constant for the year.

What is the national average for Step 2? ›

In 2020 and 2021, the average USMLE Step 2 CK score (246 with a standard deviation of 15) is greater than the average Step 1 and Step 3 (235 with a standard deviation of 18 and 228 with a standard deviation of 15, respectively), meaning you need a higher Step 2 CK score to pass and a higher score to be competitive.

Does Step 2 matter for residency? ›

With many students scoring higher, you need a better score on Step 2 to achieve the same percentile. Because residency programs compare exam scores of different applicants to each other (not just looking at the number in isolation), it's your Step 2 percentile that really matters.

Do residency programs rank everyone they interview? ›

Well, the short answer is no. The long answer is that it's incredibly complicated. There are various methodologies that residency programs utilize to rank their applicants.

Can I match with 7 interviews? ›

The bottom line is that if you have 5-7 interviews as an IMG, you are right at the 50th percentile. This also translates to a 50% chance of matching. So if you have 5 or more interviews, your chances of matching is 50%.

Why am I not getting any residency interviews? ›

Having a Low score and failing to adequately address it during your application process is a reason why many applicants may not receive an interview. Many applicants address this in their Personal Statement for residency or articulate other experiences in ERAS application/CV that demonstrate they have overcome it.

How competitive is diagnostic radiology? ›

The overall competitiveness level of diagnostic radiology is Medium for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 55%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 90%.

What is the hardest residency to match? ›

What are the Most Competitive Residencies?
  • Neurosurgery.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • ENT/Otolaryngology.
  • Interventional Radiology.
  • Vascular surgery.
  • Thoracic surgery.
  • Radiation Oncology.
  • Internal Medicine – Pediatrics.
Aug 7, 2022

What is the easiest residency to match into? ›

The 10 Least Competitive Specialties in Medicine
  • Family Medicine.
  • Pediatrics.
  • Psychiatry.
  • Emergency Medicine.
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
  • Neurology.
  • Child Neurology.
  • Pathology.
Sep 10, 2022

Is diagnostic radiology a good career? ›

Radiology is a good career choice. You'll work with patients to help them improve and learn about the body's workings. Furthermore, Radiology is a rewarding career, one of the highest-paying jobs in the medical field.

Is diagnostic radiography stressful? ›

Evidence demonstrates that diagnostic radiographers suffer from high levels of occupational stress, however, stress is perceived rather than defined. Common causes of occupational stress were identified as poor patient interactions and a lack of time to spend with patients.

What is the burnout rate for radiologists? ›

A recent Medscape survey found that 47 percent of radiologists polled are suffering from burnout. It has also been reported that between 54 to 72 percent of diagnostic radiologists and interventional radiologists have symptoms of burnout.

What is the hardest specialty to match into? ›

Based on our comprehensive analysis, the top most competitive specialties are as follows:
  • Plastic Surgery.
  • ENT.
  • Dermatology.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • Neurosurgery.
  • Thoracic Surgery.
  • Urology.
  • Vascular Surgery.
Sep 11, 2022

What is the highest paid modality in radiology? ›

Radiation oncologists and radiologists earn the highest average salaries in this field.

What is the highest paid radiology subspecialty? ›

The highest-earning subspecialty in radiology is interventional radiology. This job title involves using medical imaging, such as X-rays, to make diagnoses and find a non-invasive surgical treatment. This subspecialty is not to be confused with a radiographer or radiologic technologist.

Which radiologist makes the most money? ›

High Paying Radiologist Jobs
  • Neuroradiologist. Salary range: $373,000-$400,000 per year. ...
  • Diagnostic Radiologist. Salary range: $337,500-$400,000 per year. ...
  • Interventional Radiologist. Salary range: $203,000-$400,000 per year. ...
  • Pediatric Radiologist. Salary range: $59,000-$352,000 per year. ...
  • Registered Radiographer.

What is the hardest part of being a radiologist? ›

The most challenging and rewarding aspects of diagnostic radiology: The most challenging aspect of taking care of patients in radiology is the lack of sufficient clinical information about the patient to ensure the best interpretation of their images.

Videos

1. PROS and CONS of Diagnostic Radiology
(Yasha Gupta, MD)
2. UNC Diagnostic Radiology Residency 2021-2022
(UNC Radiology)
3. What The Medical Residency Match Data ACTUALLY Says | Harder Than Ever Before?
(NXTgenMD)
4. Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program at Yale
(Yale Radiology and Biomedical Imaging)
5. USF Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program
(USF Radiology)
6. Radiology | Road to Residency 2022
(Students' Council)

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