Devoted to diagnostic and interventional spine imaging and therapeutics


Defining The Role Of Spine Imaging/Intervention For The New Senior Radiology Resident Mini-Fellowships 2013

Category General Spine Eric M. Spickler
Suresh Patel Purpose The new ABR testing schedule has changed the radiology residency curriculum, providing the opportunity for senior residents to spend focused time in subspecialty areas, essentially creating mini-fellowships.  This will challenge many programs both with manpower and resources.  Spine imaging and intervention are popular training experiences with our residents, and we anticipate many will request mini-fellowships focusing in this area.  With that in mind, we surveyed our large resident pool in order to assess interest level, concerns, and expectations for spine mini-fellowships. Materials & Methods Our survey included the following five questions.  1. Do you plan to request a mini-fellowship in spine imaging and intervention?  2.  How long should the mini-fellowship be?  3.  What percentage should be spent in intervention?  4.  Do you think the mini-fellowships will diminish younger radiology resident experience?  5.  Do you feel the existing neuroradiology fellows will compete with seniors during the mini-fellowship?  Open ended questions asked what spine interventions would be expected. The survey was distributed via Survey Monkey to our 44 residents and 4 fellows. Results There was 100% response.  50% of the residents planned on requesting the mini-fellowship.  The majority wanted two months at least.  The consensus was that a 50/50 split between imaging and intervention would be valuable.  Pain management was most popular for interventions.  Vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty, spine biopsy, and spinal angiography rounded out the list. Most disconcerning was the 95% positive response from residents who felt younger resident experience would be diminished by the seniors.  A similar response came with the feeling that fellows and seniors will clash over the spine imaging and interventional opportunities. Conclusion Residency and fellowship training programs need to carefully consider how they will provide senior residents with focused training in many areas.  We see from our survey that spine imaging and intervention will be popular choices for our seniors.  This will require careful coordination in order to avoid conflicts with younger residents and fellows.  Programs should already be surveying trainees as a way to determine fellowship numbers.  Rewriting curricula will be necessary to bring added experience and compentency to our trainees References radiology residency review committee