Difference between Radiology and Radiography

Radiology vs Radiography

Difference between radiology and radiography is something that confuses many people. However, if you look at the words, they give you a clue. ‘Ology’ means study of, whereas ‘graphy’ simply means to take images. So radiography, in medical world refers to the practice of taking radio images, whereas radiology refers to study of these images in depth, and analyzing them for diagnosis of ailments and choosing correct treatment procedures.

Radiology is then a specialty just like cardiology or urology which a student of med school takes up after the completion of his MBBS program and pursues to become a radiologist, which is a term used to refer to a doctor who specializes in analyzing images obtained by a radiographer in the form of X-rays and MRI scans. Radiography, on the other hand is not a specialty in medical world though it is in itself a full time profession where the practitioner is all the time involved with latest gadgets and machines taking images of patients in 2D and 3D to provide the radiologist with a clear picture of what is inside the body of a patient. In simple terms, X-rays are referred to as radiographs, so radiography refers to taking of these images.

Radiography is an allied profession in medical world that requires skills in operating these machines and taking radio images off different body parts of patients. It is an integral part of the medical profession in modern times as it is on the basis of these radio images that radiologists come to a conclusion about the state of a patient. Radiography does not require as much training as radiology and in the US, all it takes is a High School diploma plus a two year vocational training to become a radiographer. Of course this difference in training and skills is also reflected in the income difference of a radiologist and a radiographer.

In brief:

• Radiography refers to taking radio images of body parts of patients whereas radiology is a field of medicine that specializes in study and analysis of these images

• Radiologist is a specialized doctor who has spent 4-5 years of training whereas radiographer is a parson who handles machines and equipment such as X-ray and MRI machines.