Diagnostic Radiology Residency Curriculum

One of the most appealing aspects of radiology is that it is dynamic and continuously expanding. The role of the radiologist in participating in the diagnosis and treatment of acutely ill or injured patients has seen tremendous growth in recent years.

Clinical Rotations

The four years of the residency are spent in an organized, logical radiology curriculum, which offers a wide variety of educational opportunities. The early rotations focus on basic radiology imaging studies with the resident graduating to more advanced studies and modalities and interventional procedures during the four-year curriculum. Although the schedule varies, the following is typical.

Diagnostic Year I

Basic radiology (including radiographs, CT and ultrasound) is emphasized, covering the areas of:

  • Thoracic
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Pediatric
  • Emergency room
  • Neuroradiology

Diagnostic Year II

New rotations, in addition to those continued from Year I, include:

  • Nuclear medicine
  • Neuroradiology (MRI)
  • Abdominal CT
  • Advanced thoracic (chest CT)
  • Breast imaging
  • Interventional radiology
  • Pediatric cross-sectional imaging and fluoroscopic procedures

Diagnostic Year III

Rotations are scheduled in:

  • Interventional radiology
  • Advanced cross-sectional ches and abdominal CT
  • Advanced neuroradiology (MRI)
  • Obstetric ultrasound
  • Abdominal MRI
  • Advanced musculoskeletal imaging (CT and MRI)
  • The American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (Restin, VA), a four-week program that offers a valuable opportunity to study radiologic-pathologic correlation from the best collection of cases in existence
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Breast imaging

Diagnostic Year IV

American Board of Radiology requirements for breast imaging and nuclear medicine are completed in the fourth year. Residents rotate through predominantly chosen elective rotations based on career goals and interests. Elective rotations include:

  • Advanced musculoskeletal
  • Neuroradiology: MRI and CT
  • Interventional radiology
  • Thoracic/Cardiac imaging
  • Advanced pediatric radiology
  • Research elective (length varies)
  • Abdominal MRI
  • Abdominal CT/fluroscopy

Simulation Education

Residents participate in an organized procedural simulation curriculum in our Radiology Simulation Lab. Residents receive faculty instruction for performing ultrasound-guided biopsies (breast, thyroid, kidney/liver) and vascular access. The lab has a high-quality ultrasound machine and ultrasound probes with attached tablets to learn procedures on high- and low-fidelity phantoms. Residents participate in teaching sessions with faculty and have access to the lab 24/7 to practice on their own. Residents also participate in a contrast reaction simulation annually using a high-fidelity mannequin. 3D printed models are used for simulation of fluoroscopically guided spine and joint procedures.

Global Health Education

Senior residents have the option of doing a radiology global health elective in Kenya. This is a two- to four-week elective doing radiology (ultrasound, plain radiograph and CT) in a hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. The resident goes with a supervising faculty member.

Call System

Our current overnight call system is based on graduated responsibility beginning in January of the first year of training and continues throughout the final year of residency.

The current structure provides three graduated “tiers” of call coverage.

Tier I

  • Coverage responsibilities center on emergency room plain-film and neuro-CT interpretation
  • Night float rotation
  • Some attending-supervised weekend morning responsibilities throughout the first year of residency to aid in preparation for Tier 1 call.

Tier II

  • Coverage responsibilities focus on the interpretation of emergent chest, abdomen and pelvis CT, neuro MRI, musculoskeletal MRI and CT, as well as emergent sonography and nuclear medicine examinations
  • Night float rotation

Tier III

  • Responsibilities are focused on interventional procedures, including CT and ultrasound-guided procedures, vascular interventional procedures, GI/GU fluoroscopy, pediatric fluoroscopy and fluoroscopically guided lumbar punctures and myelograms

We currently employ a tier 3 call frequency of one call every tenth night, with the post-call day off.

All of the above activities fully comply with national duty-hours limits.

Conference and Didactics

Daily conferences are an important part of the schedule in the Department of Radiology. Teaching conferences for residents in the morning and at noon present core material designed for the radiology residency program and ensure an in-depth study of each subspecialty area to prepare for the ABR Core Exam and for the practice of clinical radiology. The proper interrelations of the numerous imaging techniques are stressed. Each subsection presents one conference every other week.

Interdepartmental conferences are scheduled with most medical and surgical disciplines. Designed to meet both clinical and educational needs, these conferences provide an excellent forum for communication between radiology and other departments.

The department chair welcomes informal feedback at a quarterly conference with the residents. A monthly residency meeting with the program directors provides an additional avenue for feedback.