Happy Holidays! I hope this post finds everyone enjoying the holiday season. While the winter season brings together family and friends in relaxing fashion, for interventional radiology trainees, winter also marks the stressful beginnings of application and interview season. I hope this post (in addition to resources the SIR and the SIR Resident, Fellow, & Student (RFS) Section webpages provide) will clear up any confusion for the residency and fellowship bound hopefuls.
Applying for residency?
By now, all medical students should have applied and most have interviewed for at least 1 radiology residency. If you want a career as an IR, what sort of questions should you ask as you select programs to interview at and rank? For starters, to familiarize yourself with the forthcoming IR training pathhways, the SIR RFS has made an FAQ page specifically for medical students (link). A promising sign (and questions that should be asked) is finding residency programs that have either applied for an (a) integrated IR residency program and/or have an active plan for incorporating an (b) independent IR residency program and/or (c) Early Specialization in IR (ESIR) pathway. [Note: As of the publication date of this post, the independent IR residency and ESIR applications are not open for submission]
Programs ahead of the game? 37 programs have applied for integrated IR Residencies, with 8 programs accredited by the ACGME (Georgetown, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Washington University).
The RFS Section is regularly updating information on program-specific IR training pathways. Bear with us, as we must obtain permission from each individual program before making this information public.
Even for the 100% IR bound medical student, keep in mind that a majority of your residency training is in diagnostic radiology. That being said, I recommend high-volume programs that provide (a) level 1 trauma (b) diverse oncologic and (c) transplant cases. This provides a breadth and depth (both diagnostic and procedural) in all aspects of radiology you will be expected to know as a practicing IR.
Applying for fellowship?
While the fellowship application and interview cycle still annoyingly overlaps with Core exam studying time, residents applying for the 2017 IR fellowship should be thankful that many programs now use the centralized ERAS system for a majority (if not all) of application materials. A few programs use an independent application process (e.g. UVA), and others still are not involved in the NRMP Match. Researching each program’s individual webpage and organized, concise communication with IR fellowship program coordinators is a necessity as applicants apply, await, and attend interviews. The opening submission date for ERAS was December 1st, so if you haven’t submitted yet, get moving!
More questions? Concerns?
The SIR RFS Section SIR Connect Community is a great resource to post discussions and to stay up to date on the application process. An exclusive benefit of members, if you have not registered to be an SIR member, sign up today (link).