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.


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


Wake Forest faculty provide opportunity and mentorship for residents to participate in scientific research projects during the four year residency. Over the last academic year, the Department of Radiology brought in over $5 million in NIH funding for grants on which the Principal Investigators are in the Department of Radiology. Radiology faculty collaborate with researchers in several centers within the Institution, such as the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Center for Precision Medicine, the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention, the Center for Integrative Medicine, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, the Center for Research on Substance Abuse, and the Center on Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism. Through faculty connections with these research centers, residents are exposed to world-class research. 
Diagnostic Radiology residents present research at national meetings and publish in peer reviewed journals under the guidance of our nationally known clinician scientists in radiology. Residents have the opportunity to do research electives with faculty, including an optional R4 resident 4-6 month research elective. Residents are also mentored in creating scholarly work in education which they present annually at national meetings. Our residents are encouraged to be creative and innovative in their scholarly work. They have worked with Wake Forest Innovations to develop patented devices to improve patient care. Most recently, two Wake Forest residents created the educational website Casestacks.com to help residents and students learn radiology. This website is now being used nationally. Wake Forest is dedicated to helping residents get involved in the scholarly work which they find most interesting and engaging which results in superior scholarly work productivity.