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Diagnostic Radiology Residency

Program director:  Melanie Fukui, MD
Accreditation:  ACGME
Program length:  4 years (PGY2-PGY5)
Residents per year:  7
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About the Program

Our diagnostic radiology residency program has a long history of preparing young physicians to successfully practice radiology, whether in an academic or private practice setting. We believe our residency combines the best attributes of both worlds, and our residents have the opportunity to pursue academic excellence within a framework of significant, supervised “hands on” practical training in image interpretation and procedure performance.

The Department of Diagnostic Radiology is a large, service-oriented department offering a full range of imaging modalities, including computed tomography (CT), ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), catheter angiography and radioisotopic scanning, as well as plain film radiography, fluoroscopy and arthrography. The department also provides complete imaging services at the hospital's Breast Center, which include screening and diagnostic mammography, ultrasonography and stereotactic breast biopsy.

Since the state's first CT scanner became operational at Allegheny General Hospital in 1974, referring physicians throughout western Pennsylvania have had at their disposal an array of sophisticated diagnostic radiologic, ultrasonographic, angiography, CT and MRI services, including:

  • Peripheral and cerebral angiography, digital subtraction angiography and interventional peripheral and intracranial angiographic procedures, such as endovascular treatment of cerebral as well as abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Computed axial tomography of the body and brain, CT-guided percutaneous biopsy procedures, vertebroplasty and pain management
  • Diagnostic ultrasound and noninvasive Doppler evaluation of extra- and intracranial carotid blood flow as well as ultrasound-guided percutaneous aspirations or biopsies
  • General diagnostic radiologic examinations of all organ systems and anatomic sites
  • Bone densitometry
  • Stereotactic biopsy
  • Positron emission tomography

All of the department’s faculty are certified by the American Board of Radiology and have been carefully recruited because of their expressed interest in teaching and commitment to providing the best overall educational experience to residents. The faculty is committed to the educational goals of the residency program, the principal of these being to:

  • Provide residents with sufficient training to allow them to achieve a high level of clinical experience in the radiologic diagnosis of disease processes.
  • Train residents in the competent technical performance of radiological procedures.
  • Support residents in their efforts to acquire the expertise to correctly interpret the results of radiological examinations and to gain an understanding of the pathophysiology and radiological manifestations of diseases, as well as an understanding of the prognosis to be anticipated and of general knowledge relating to the preferred treatment alternative.
  • Instill residents with the intellectual motivation to recognize the need to maintain their expertise by continuing education and self-study in the years beyond their formal training period and to guide and support resident efforts leading to publication and/or presentation of scholarly activities.
  • Provide an environment that encourages inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity, mentoring by faculty and then by more senior residents to more junior residents, and cooperation with colleagues in the pursuit of education.
  • Absolutely stress the importance of quality patient care and service to our patients and referring physicians.
  • Provide residents with the expertise to offer consultative radiological service to their nonradiological colleagues as an integral component of patient management.

To meet these objectives, the educational program is organized into functional subspecialty units to which residents are assigned for repetitive time blocks; these units are:

  • Abdominal imaging (GI/CT/MR)
  • Breast imaging
  • Chest and cardiac imaging
  • Musculoskeletal radiology
  • Neuroradiology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Pediatric radiology
  • Ultrasonography, including obstetric and gynecologic
  • Vascular and interventional radiology

In addition, residents obtain radiologic pathology experience by attending the four-week course given by the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology. Radiologic physics is covered in a series of monthly lectures.

The program director and faculty strive to maintain the optimum balance of "hands-on" clinical experience in terms of interpretative sessions with faculty, as well as technical skills gained in procedure performance, and learning achieved through a full didactic curriculum offered during daily intradepartmental conferences, noon case conferences, journal club and ongoing multidisciplinary interdepartmental conferences.

Ultimately, the chairman, program director and faculty aim their teaching efforts not only for successful board preparation but, more importantly, toward preparing radiologists for successful careers in either academic or private practice radiology, ready to take their place on the patient care management team with their colleagues, and keenly interested in furthering their expertise in their chosen specialty.

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