The medical imaging world offers many opportunities for career positions. Now that you have had an introduction to the variety of imaging specialties, you may be asking yourself:
“How would I know if a career in medical imaging is for me? If I choose this path as a career, what would it actually be like to work in one of these imaging modalities?
Let’s focus on the first question, how would I know if a career in medical imaging is for me?
I think you first have to ask yourself, “Do I enjoy interacting with people and helping them? Do I have the capability of being empathetic to patients that are ill? Would I find it stimulating to work in a hospital or private office setting? Do I like working with state of the art equipment/technology and computers? Do I faint at the site of blood or broken bones?"
If you answered yes to all of the above (except the last question!), then this may be a great career choice for you.
How I Decided
In my case, I knew from early on that I wanted to do something in the medical field. I always had an interest in the sciences. My father was a chemist who worked for the Department of Public Health in Massachusetts in the Food and Drug Administration. During summer vacations, he would occasionally bring me and/or my siblings with him to work. We got a first-hand look at all of the “cool” equipment he got to use as part of his job.
For me, these visits really helped to reinforce my interest in science. While my father was hoping that I may become a chemical engineer one day, growing up in the ‘70’s, (I’m dating myself now), watching TV shows like “Emergency” and “St. Elsewhere” turned my interests more to the medical side of science. It was during these years that I thought I would like to become a physician.
As the time came to decide on a college to attend, I knew I would be majoring in biology, but I needed a back-up plan in case my medical school plans did not work out. I chose to attend a college that offered training in nuclear medicine. I had never heard of nuclear medicine before, but I thought it sounded interesting. As I progressed in my training, I found that I truly enjoyed this line of work and that it satisfied my interest in science as well as my desire to work in a hospital setting.
Over the past 35 years, I have watched all of the medical imaging modalities advance in technology which has led to better diagnosis and thus better treatment and outcomes for patients. It has been a very satisfying and enjoyable career.