Diagnostic Imaging Residency Program Clinical Schedule

Residents will rotate through all imaging modalities from day one, spending approximately 3 weeks on radiology floor coverage (including special procedures and nuclear medicine), 2 weeks on the ultrasound service, and 1 week each in CT and MRI on rotation throughout their residency. Residents are given 2 weeks of vacation time in years 1-3 and 3-4 weeks off clinics just before the qualifying board exam.

First year resident spends 100% of their time in supervised clinical service. No time off other than vacation time is given. During the first month the resident will choose a research project under the supervision of a diagnostic imaging faculty member. Two months into the program the resident is expected to perform ultrasound exams as well as interpret radiographs, CT and MRI on an emergency basis (after hours). Each resident will be on “ON CALL” emergency duty for one week at a time. During this time, residents are not supervised, but have the option to call a backup faculty member. Reporting of imaging studies will begin the first week of the residency. The resident gradually will increase the number of studies read according to their skill level. During this year they will learn how to properly perform special contrast and fluoroscopic studies as well as develop an efficient, accurate reporting style based on identifying the abnormal radiographic findings, summarizing conclusions, and constructing an appropriate list of differential diagnoses. The resident should develop their own efficient reporting style for all imaging modalities with guidance from faculty.

Second year resident Beginning in October, one week per month of off-clinic time is provided. This time is used for studying for the qualifying board examination, carrying out their research project, teaching in labs, and preparing hospital-wide lectures on relevant imaging topics. A second-year resident is reliable in executing routine and special imaging examinations. Invasive procedures such as ultrasound guided biopsies are performed more often under faculty supervision. Second year residents effectively explain the imaging findings and provide clinicians with clear, concise, and relevant answers to the questions presented. A second-year resident can handle the floor case load with little supervision from faculty, however, they are expected to call faculty for advice when needed regardless of the degree of difficulty of the case at hand. Unless staff shortages occur, the number of cases read on a given day should increase to the point that, along with faculty support, no cases are left unread at the end of the week. By the end of the second year the resident is expected to be ready to take the qualifying portion of the ACVR board exam.

Third year resident spends nearly all of their time in clinical service, with the exception of two weeks of vacation and two weeks of off-clinic time for final submission of their research project to a peer-reviewed scientific journal, preparation of their research abstract to be presented at the annual ACVR meeting, and job interviews. Although faculty members are always available for consultation, third year residents perform ultrasound studies including biopsies by themselves and serve as floor managers. They are the first to be called upon to interpret films, CT/MRI, or nuclear medicine studies. Before the certifying examination, the resident will have one week of “boards boot camp,” intensive preparation for the exam administered by faculty. 

Residents in all 3 years are required to attend all daily radiology case rounds; board preparation rounds, and journal club/written board objective reviews. They are also expected to attend hospital wide Friday morning seminars. These Friday morning seminars include topics in medicine, surgery, pathology, basic sciences, and clinical pathologic correlation. Attendance at other rounds throughout the hospital (e.g., pathology, morbidity and mortality rounds) is contingent upon coverage of the radiology floor by other residents and/or faculty.

The residents may be asked to participate in didactic lecture presentations for students (e.g.,1 to 2 hours of lecture in the third-year ultrasound course). They will also spend approximately 10 hours/year teaching an ultrasound laboratory and approximately 6 hours/rotation giving student rounds during the senior clinical radiology rotation. They are also required to give three continuing education presentations at the Friday morning seminars and 1 formal presentation at the ACVR meeting.