The curriculum is constructed to ensure an excellent balance of rotations on a yearly basis as well as throughout the four years of residency. Rotations include:
- Body CT
- Body MRI
- Chest radiography
- Pediatric radiology
- Interventional radiology
- Nuclear medicine and PET/CT
- Musculoskeletal imaging
The program is structured to include a three-year core curriculum which assures excellent preparation for the American Board of Radiology Core Exam. The fourth year allows time for the residents to focus their training on specific areas of interest.
An opportunity exists for all fourth year (PGY-5) residents to select specific “mini fellowships” within our field that will further prepare them for fellowship and beyond. All residents attend the Radiology-Pathology course at the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP) and are fully funded to do so.
Daily educational activities include multiple one-on-one read-out sessions with the subspecialized dedicated faculty as well as significant hands-on procedural experience. Residents are also actively involved in organizing and presenting pertinent radiologic findings in multiple interdisciplinary conferences including tumor boards (general, breast, and thoracic) and morbidity and mortality conferences.
Resident call begins in the first year with a 5-9 p.m. shift where all cases are reviewed with an attending radiologist. Night float begins in the second year and includes coverage of both hospitals from 9 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. These shifts are covered primarily by the radiology resident with a nighthawk backup available at any time. The residents are encouraged to interpret as many cases as possible independently as this leads to greater learning, confidence, speed of interpretation, and decision making. Our emergency room physicians are extremely confident in the residents’ reports and routinely make clinical decisions based upon them without a second opinion or over-read by the nighthawk radiologist. This is an invaluable part of resident training.
There are two conferences per day, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and concluding at 9 a.m. This “back to back” format insures that all residents can attend and not miss time on clinical service due to travel. These conferences can be in a didactic format given by our faculty, an online or video-based lecture proctored by a faculty member, case conference given by a faculty member or resident, and journal club. Given the numerous educational exhibits and research projects our residents present at various national meetings, many times the residents will present their projects internally to the department, including both residents and faculty. This serves two purposes: to allow the resident to gain experience speaking and presenting to a larger audience and to educate the faculty as to the content of the presentation. There is also a dedicated physics curriculum to prepare the residents for the Core exam.
Residents also have immediate access to online radiology informational/teaching sites such as Rad Primer and STAT DX. The department has access to numerous medical and radiologic journals and has many radiology textbooks available which are updated as needed.
Resident Teaching Opportunities
Throughout the residency, beginning as early as the first year, the residents are heavily involved in medical student education. As the hospital is affiliated with Drexel University College of Medicine and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, medical students are offered electives within the radiology department. In addition, Mercy Catholic Medical Center offers an Internal Medicine residency program and one year Transitional and Preliminary Medicine programs. These interns and residents are offered elective time as well in radiology. These students and interns/residents are oftentimes paired with the radiology residents which offers a great teaching opportunity. Both parties benefit greatly from this interaction and the evaluations that result are extremely positive. Occasionally, the residents will also give basic radiology introductory lectures to rotating medical students in the hospital.