Radiology Program Structure
Residents in the Department of Radiology work closely with each other and with radiology faculty and fellows, forming a close-knit team. Our caseload is large and, thus, our residents see a vast number of cases and participate in a variety of procedures. They share interesting cases with each other and develop a high degree of confidence and skills as they progress through the program. Medical students also rotate through our department, offering residents the opportunity to participate in teaching.
Each year of the residency is primarily made up of monthly rotations through the subspecialties of radiology. Rotations early in the training program help our residents acquire basic knowledge, while subsequent rotations increase their expertise and responsibilities. All cases are reviewed with a faculty member and every case has the potential to be a “teaching case.” We require evaluation forms to be completed after each rotation by both residents and faculty members. In addition, the program director provides ongoing supervision and evaluates the residents twice a year.
First-year residents rotate for one month through each of the core rotations at the VCU Medical Center, including body CT, breast imaging, chest, emergency room, GI/fluoroscopy, MSK, neuroradiology, nuclear medicine, pediatrics, and ultrasound.
Second- and third-year residents spend approximately 60 percent of their time at the VCU Medical Center and 40 percent at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Rotations at the VA include vascular interventional, GI/fluoroscopy/ultrasound, neuroradiology, body CT and evening call (12 a.m.-8:30a.m.). During the second and third year, residents have varied schedules on the numerous rotations and spend a significant amount of time on the vascular interventional service at VCU. In addition, the ACR In-Training examination is given each January to second-year residents and all third-year residents spend four weeks at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. Registration fees – currently $1,500 – and lodging for the institute are provided by the Department.
Fourth-year residents enjoy a significant reduction in call responsibilities, with the majority consisting of backup weekend call for the in-house residents. As well as the opportunity to design their own mini-fellowship.
All residents are required to be currently certified in ACLS support. This course is provided by VCU Health.
There are several formal and informal social functions throughout the year attended by residents, faculty and other Department members. For more information on resident events, resources, recent graduates/alumni news, scholarly activty and research, please visit our radiology resident Web site.
Resident call duties
During the beginning of the second year, residents begin taking overnight call blocks as the “plain film” resident. This consists of a two-week block of nights – 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends – during which they again handle plain film, head CT and C-spine CT responsibilities. At the same time there is always an upper-level resident handling an “imaging” call block with them, during which that resident handles all other CT examinations, MR, interventional procedures and ultrasound. On average, each resident has a total of six or seven two-week blocks of night call during their residency.
During each resident's first “imaging” call block we also attempt to schedule an upper-level resident as the “plain film” call in order to provide help as needed. Call responsibilities at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center provide additional confidence and experience as the transition to upper-level call occurs.