Updated: January 31, 2011

Career Guidance Handbook
Radiology

Match Process: Regular

Program Director: Arash Anavim, M.D., UC Irvine Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, 101 The City Drive South, Route 140, ZOT 5005, Orange, CA (714) 456-6579, aanavim@uci.edu

Career Specialty Advisor: Same as Above

Residency Coordinator:  Shane Wong, UC Irvine Medical Center, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, 101 The City Drive South, Route 140, ZOT 5005, Orange, CA (714) 456-6579, wens@uci.edu

List the fourth year elective courses you feel are most helpful to a student considering your specialty.

  1. Radiology Elective
  2. Surgery
  3. Medicine
  4. Ob/Gyn
  5. Pediatrics

What are the most important characteristics a student should evaluate in a residency program in your discipline?

  1. Breadth of patient population
  2. Adequate attending: Resident ratio
  3. Enough "hands on" experience (especially in interventional procedures)
  4. Anticipated changes in program or faculty
  5. Quality of equipment - eg, CT Scanners, MRI, ultrasound, angio suite
  6. Research opportunities
  7. Fellowships obtained by graduating residents

What are the pros of a career in your specialty?

  1. Intellectually stimulating
  2. Opportunity to perform procedures
  3. Consulting role to other physician
  4. Opportunity to work with hi-tech equipment
  5. Job market excellent

What are the cons of a career in your specialty?

  1. Radiation exposure
  2. Limited patient contact
  3. Requires technology oriented interest
  4. Dealing with radiation phobia in patients and families

How long is the training in your specialty and, in general, how vigorous? One year internship and four years residency  Five years total.  Although call and daily work schedule are not as vigorous as some specialties, e.g. surgery, the amount of reading and knowledge base required is demanding.

What is the lifestyle experience in your specialty? Variable, depending on which area of radiology - i.e. interventional radiology lifestyle is much more rigorous than body imaging.  In general, however, demands on time are less than other specialties such as Medicine and Surgery.

How competitive are training programs in your specialty?  What kind of record would a student realistically need to match? Radiology is very competitive.  Most applicants accepted have board scores of 99th percentile (240 and above) and are at the top 1/5 of the class.

Which disciplines should letters of recommendations come from?

  1. Radiology
  2. Surgery
  3. Internal Medicine
  4. Family Medicine

Should students approach faculty in the first and second year of medical school to do research and for letters of recommendation?
Yes. Research is advisable. Letters of recommendation are more meaningful in the fourth year. .

Will research in this field improve changes for obtaining residency?
Yes, but not necessary.

If research is beneficial, what is the minimum length of time to obtain a meaningful experience?
Three months or greater.

Is it beneficial in obtaining residency in this field to complete externships?
Generally, yes, if the institution is well recognized or if it is where the student plans to apply, and can generate some recognition by the faculty.

Is there a benefit to completing more than one externship in this field?
See above

Is it important for the USMLE Step 2 scores to be available for review?
Not vital but certainly helpful