Difference Between Radiology and Radiography (With Table)

Radiology and radiography can be considered as two sides of the same coin because both are quite interrelated. Without radiography, radiology can’t be done, and without radiology, radiography is useless but what exactly do these terms mean? Is the professional who does those CT scans or X-rays or MRI, a radiologist or a radiographer?

Radiology vs Radiography

The difference between radiology and radiography is that the former is the study of diagnosis and treatment of diseases based on the images obtained by radioactive technologies like MRI, CT scan, X-rays, etc. while radiography is the procedure of obtaining scanned images of the internal organs and tissues of the body through electromagnetic radiation or ultrasound. 

Radiologists are professional doctors who are experts in radiology while radiographers are allied health care professionals expert in radiography. Going to a medical school is compulsory to become a radiologist which is not at all required to become a radiographer which you just need a bachelor’s degree in radiography and can opt for higher education too. Radiologists make more money than radiographers. Also, to become a radiologist, you’ll have to study a lot more than to become a radiographer.

Comparison Table Between Radiology and Radiography

Parameters of ComparisonRadiologyRadiography
Definition Radiology is the branch of medicine in which the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in humans and animals are done by radioactive technology, ultrasound, or electromagnetic radiation.Radiography is the method of producing images of the internal tissues and organs of an organism using electromagnetic waves like gamma rays or X-rays. 
Medical School You will have to attend medical school to become a professional radiologist.You need not attend medical school to become a radiographer. You just need a bachelor’s degree after high school.
Study durationOne will have to study for a longer duration (as the course is vast) to become a radiologist as compared to the one who wants to become a radiographer.To become a radiographer one has to study for a lesser time duration than the one aspiring to become a radiologist.
How to specialize?To become a radiologist, one has to attend medical school after college and then specialize in radiology.To become a radiographer, you need to pursue a university course in radiography after high school.
Professionals The professionals of the radiology field are known as radiologists and they are medical specialists and fully licensed physicians.The professionals of the radiography field are known as radiographers or radiologic technicians and are allied healthcare care professionals
SalaryJust like any other physician, radiologists have high salaries.Radiographers also get good salaries but less than that of radiologists.

What is Radiology?

Radiology is a branch of science dealing with the diagnosis and detection of disease based on images produced by radiographic technology. A radiologist is a fully licensed physician who is an expert in the field of radiology. One needs to attend med school after high school and then specialize in radiology to become a radiologist.

Radiologists do not do the imaging work which is done by the radiographers. They only examine the images and diagnose and treat the disease if it happens to be. Radiologists after pursuing higher studies can even become interventional radiologists.

What is Radiography?

Radiography is a technology in which images of the internal structures of an organism’s body are scanned using ultrasound or electromagnetic radiations like X-rays or gamma rays, etc. Medical radiography and industrial radiography are the two types of radiography. The body scanners and the detectors at security checking are also based on radiographic technology. 

A radiographer, also known as a radiologic technician is an allied healthcare care professional who does the imaging work of internal organs using machines like CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, etc., and the images are then sent to the radiologists for diagnosis and treatment of the underlying disease if any.

Main Differences Between Radiology and Radiography

  1. The professionals who are specialized in radiography are known as radiographists or radiologic technologists or radiologic technicians while those specialized in radiology are known as radiologists. 
  2. A radiographist does all the imaging work through ultrasound or electromagnetic radiation while the primary function of a radiologist is to examine and interpret the images and treat the patient accordingly. A radiologist doesn’t generally do imaging work.
  3. Attending medical school is compulsory to become a radiologist while it is not required if you want to become a radiographist.
  4. To become a radiologist, one has to attend med school after college and then specialize in radiology while to become a radiographer, one has to take a bachelor’s degree from a university after high school. He/she may even opt for higher degrees to become an expert in this field.
  5. Radiologists are qualified doctors or fully licensed physicians while radiographers are allied healthcare professionals and not doctors.

Conclusion

The terms radiology and radiography seem quite similar and it’s obvious to get confused between the two. Radiology is the branch of medicine in which diseases are diagnosed and treated based on the results of radiography. Radiography is the technology of producing scanned images of internal body organs through ultrasound or electromagnetic radiation. These images help the radiologists to diagnose and treat any disease that may be present.

A radiologist, like any other physician (cardiologist or endocrinologist, or gynecologist), is a well-qualified doctor having specialized in the field. To become a radiologist, one has to go to med school after high school and then specialize in radiology. On the other hand, a radiographer is a technician who is skilled in using machines like X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, etc. To become a radiographer, one can simply take a bachelor’s degree in a university after high school and can even pursue a master’s degree or a higher degree after that.

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