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The Basic Sciences That Drive Radiology

Posted on Feb 7th, 2018 | Topic: Continuing Education, Education, Profession

Radiology is a challenging specialty that employs the use of medical imaging devices to diagnose and treat medical conditions involving the human body. From uncovering diseases such as cancer to revealing where bones are broken, radiology is a critical part of modern medicine.

Radiology encompasses a wide array of imaging techniques to give doctors a visual of what’s going on inside a patient’s body. The radiologic techniques that are used to diagnose and treat diseases in the body include:

  • X-Ray Radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Computed Tomography Scans, or CTs
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Mammography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans, or MRIs
  • Interventional Radiology

The Sciences Behind Radiology

If radiology interests you as a course of study or even a career, you should have a strong passion for science and, of course, technology. While X-rays were used for the first time way back in the 1890s, many advances have been made since as the list of advanced imagery techniques provided above shows. Advances continue to be made today, which means embarking on a career path in radiology will involve a lifetime of learning opportunities.

While it’s exciting to think about the technological developments that will be made in radiology in the future, radiology is based on sciences you’re probably at least casually familiar with. These sciences include:

  • Anatomy: In general terms, anatomy is the biological study of the structure of living things. As a science, human anatomy is the study of the morphology of the human body, which includes gross human anatomy and histology. The study of human anatomy often goes hand-in-hand with physiology and biochemistry.
  • Physiology: The origins of this field of study can be traced back to at least 420 B.C. Put simply, the study of physiology is the examination of how things function within living beings. Human physiology examines biological systems at the levels of a cell, organ, system, organism, and all points in between. The field is typically divided into various subcategories such as ecophysiology.
  • Pharmacology: Pharmacology is the study of how natural and synthetic agents influence biological systems. More specifically, modern pharmacology investigates the molecular mechanisms medicines use to have biological effects on the human body. Pharmacology is viewed as an interdisciplinary field of study because it requires knowledge of other sciences, including physiology, biochemistry, cellular biology, and molecular biology.
  • Pathology: While many people are familiar with pathology thanks to various crime shows which portray pathologists as the doctors who are trained to determine what killed crime victims, pathology involves more than physicians performing autopsies or post mortems. Pathology is the study of disease, and the field is broken into 19 distinct areas of specialty.

To give you an idea of how broad this science is, consider the following. Pathologists work in many types of medical facilities, including hospitals, laboratories, and clinics. Whenever you have a blood test or get a lump removed, a pathologist is the doctor who examines your specimen. Pathologists often provide other doctors with the information they need to diagnose and treat patients.

  • Radiologic Science: This field uses advanced technology to examine, diagnose, and treat maladies. As a radiology technician or radiologist, you can specialize in several areas, including sonography, radiation therapy, bone densitometry, or nuclear medicine, among others.

The sciences that continue to drive radiology are fascinating, and you might even be more eager to enter the field since there are so many possibilities for advances in radiology in the future. If that’s the case, look into taking relevant classes at a college near you or sign up for courses online today.

If you want to take a radiology class online, StateCE is a great place to start. Look through our course catalog today.


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