Why is radiology one of the citys best-paid professions?


Remember that Chris Rock joke about how his neighbourhood is full of millionaires, but he lives next door to a dentist?

Well, in Toronto, its possible that Drake lives next door to a radiologist. According to the job search website Indeed.ca, the radiologists of Toronto top the list of average yearly salary, bringing home $291,207.40.

The specialized health profession beat out physician, VP of finance and director of accounting, in the ranking derived from mining Indeeds salary data received from employees, users and past and present job advertisements between February 2016 to February 2018.

If youre reading this and thinking youll just fast-track into this high-paying field, keep in mind that its not an easy process.

To become a radiologist, a person needs to be on the doctor track, with a medical degree followed by a residency in a radiology specialty, and then a fellowship in a specialty within radiology. Once thats completed theyre eligible to work as a staff radiologist.

Radiologists are responsible for interpreting diagnostic images. They are specialized in body parts or areas, such as cardiothoracic, musculoskeletal, neural radiology, interventional radiology, breast imaging and abdominal or body radiology.

Paul Cornacchione, director of imaging operations across UHN, Sinai Health Systems and Womens College Hospital, tells NOW that outside of a populous city setting like Toronto, you will likely find a general radiologist who can do a little bit of everything.

But there is another entry into the field, although it wont land you at the top of Indeeds charts. According to data from the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT), a yearly salary for a registered medical radiation technologist (MRT) in the province can be up to $80,730.

MRTs have an integral role. They implement the imaging technologies to produce medical images of the internal organs and structures that radiologists then use to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MRTs are divided by the specialty identified by the equipment that they use, which includes MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) , X-ray, mammography, nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography scan and interventional radiology.

For the University of Toronto/Michener Institute of Education joint program in Radiological Technology, part of the Medical Radiation Sciences department, the entry requirements are as follows: at least one year of university education with a minimum cumulative GPA of B- and 0.5 credits in each of the following: biology, mathematics (calculus), physics and a social science. Cornacchione says that Michener is one of the better programs in the province, its top-notch in terms of the students that graduate.

After passing the CAMRT national certification examination, graduates can expect to find employment in hospitals, private clinics, research institutes or public health institutions.

The majority of our radiological technology graduates are finding full-time work, although not necessarily in the traditional sense of a full-time, permanent position, says Jacqueline Waldorf, the director of marketing and communications from the Michener Institute. Consistent with the general trend in employment, there are fewer full-time positions available so new professionals are working more than one part-time position in a number of heath care settings.

Also, many students who come to Ontario from provinces without medical radiation science programs then return to their home provinces labour force after graduation.

Weve also noted a trend in the workforce whereby graduates who have training in more than one discipline are more attractive to potential employers, Waldorf adds. Our students are able to pursue credits towards more than one certification, such as MRI courses.

The technologist job demand in the marketplace can fluctuate from year to year, but is generally good, says Cornacchione. Some areas like MRI, general radiology, CT or ultrasound are typically in high demand, while others may have a considerably smaller level of demand for jobs.

Right now, Id say were in a period of flux in areas like nuclear medicine where there probably isnt a lot of demand for employment, he adds.

Another issue is impacting jobs is cuts to health care funding. Radiology services are stretched thin, and wait times for MRIs and CT scans have seen an increase since 2012, according to a 2017 study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The provincial Liberals have promised to boost hospital funding by $822 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year which would improve access to procedures such as MRI scans and create opportunities for MRTs after a four-year freeze hampered wage growth. Watch for the issue to come up during the provincial election campaign.

To be successful, Cornacchione believes candidates should have strong analytical skills, passion and empathy in delivering care, as well as a desire to help people.

I would love to see much more technologists, he says. I would love to see the profession itself grow to where more and more technologists have expanded roles.

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE (Ottawa) Advanced diploma in medical radiation technology: $3,923.94/semester. algonquincollege.ca

CAMBRIAN COLLEGE (Sudbury) Advanced diploma in medical radiation technology: $7,309.33/year. cambriancollege.ca

COLLEGE BOREAL (Sudbury) Advanced diploma in medical imaging technology radiation: $3,823.90/year. collegeboreal.ca

CONFEDERATION COLLEGE (Thunder Bay) Advanced diploma in medical radiation technology: $9,766/year. confederationcollege.ca

FANSHAWE COLLEGE (London) Advanced diploma in medical radiation technology: $2,600.19/term. fanshawec.ca

MICHENER INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES/UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO Bachelor of science in medical radiation sciences advanced diploma in health sciences: $9,667.36/year. michener.ca

MOHAWK COLLEGE/McMASTER UNIVERSITY (Hamilton) Diploma-degree program in medical radiation sciences: $7,855.93/year. mohawkcollege.ca

news@nowtoronto.com | @KellyKaliopi



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