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radiology / rad onc / radiology subspecialties

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drstrangelove

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Is there someone who can explain to me the similarities and differences of fields like:
radiology
radiation oncology
neuroradiology
interventional radiology

My initial guess is radiation oncology has nothing to do with imaging, and only zapping tumors. But I don't know how radiology breaks down into specialties.
 

jgrady

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Caveat: I'm no expert in any of these fields as I'm only a new MSII, however I've done a bit of research in them.

RadOnc: lots of imaging with PET, CT and MRI both in diagnostic and thereuputic modalities. Also, cool (and sometimes convoluted) imaging software used for planning treatment and dosage with medical physists. Usually the Rads guys have already diagnosed a patient before the RadOnc sees them.

Hope that helps...
 

DrBowtie

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Neuro and Interventional are subfields of Rads. Rad Onc is a separate residency. Rad Onc does use some cool imaging software since they want to have as high precision as possible for the least damage to healthy tissue.
 

Docxter

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BrettBatchelor said:
Neuro and Interventional are subfields of Rads. Rad Onc is a separate residency. Rad Onc does use some cool imaging software since they want to have as high precision as possible for the least damage to healthy tissue.

Once upon a time there was radiology, which included both x-ray related diagnosis and radiation treatment. In the late 60s, 70s and even early 80s, things became more subspecialized and the radiation treatment radiologists broke away (not completely at the national level organizations though) to forms the separate discipline of radiation oncology. There are no ACGME accredited fellowships in radiation oncology. Their main political organization still remains the American College of Radiology and their boards examination is still administered by the American Board of Radiology.

Also some doctors have (since the 60s) specialized in radioactive tracer imaging and more recently treatments and are Nuclear medicine doctors. Nuclear medicine departments are almost always a part of the larger department of radiology, though they do have their own national organizations. There are two ways to do this: Internship plus two years of nuclear medicine residency or Internship+radiologyresidency+one-year nuclear radiology fellowship.

Radiology has become more subspecialized in recent years and there are multiple subspecialties, some organ based and some modality based, sometimes with some overlap. The ACGME accredited fellowship programs include neuroradiology, nuclear radiology, pediatric radiology, interventional radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology (alos known as interventional neuroradiology). There are other fellowships in Women's imaging, mammography, body or abdominal imaging, radiology informatics, ultrasound, MRI, thoracic radiology, cardiovascular radiology, etc.
 
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