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Interventional Radiology Residency

The Interventional Radiology Residency Program is dedicated to training physicians in minimally invasive, image-guided techniques to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system, while providing high-quality clinical patient care.

Overview

Interventional Radiology is a distinct specialty that has been newly recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). The specialty uses minimally invasive, image-guided techniques to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system, while providing high-quality clinical patient care.

From the treatment of peripheral artery disease with angioplasty and catheter-delivered stents to interventional oncology procedures that rely on transcatheter treatment or percutaneous ablation of tumors, an interventional radiologist physician is a member of an exciting, evolving and advancing field. The clinical evolution of our specialty has been accompanied by an increased complexity and expansion of imaging and minimally invasive treatment techniques that are employed in an ever-increasing number and variety of procedures.

The ACGME has established program requirements for the new Interventional Radiology residency which, upon completion, offers dual certification in interventional and diagnostic radiology. The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) IR Residency received ACGME approval in 2015 and offers three residency positions annually. The aim of the Interventional Radiology Residency is to provide a more comprehensive training program and to increase the quality and safety of patient care by including a greater focus on clinical care in outpatient clinics, inpatient consultation, admissions and critical care.

The Department of Radiology is dedicated to training world-class clinical radiologists who will practice in a variety of academic and private settings. One of our goals is to train the next generation of academic radiologists, who will continue to contribute to the specialty and expand the frontiers of medical imaging. Opportunities for resident participation in basic and clinical research are provided.

Why Mass General Radiology?

The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiology is uniquely positioned to provide exposure to a wide variety of disease states, a critical component of radiology training:

  • MGH serves as a general hospital for the local Boston area.
  • Satellite imaging centers further increase our coverage of outpatient centers and urgent care clinics.
  • Mass General draws referrals for subspecialty care from all over the world, providing exposure to rare and newly described diseases.

The Department of Radiology has long been dedicated to the training of future radiologists. It was the first in the country to establish a residency training program. Resident education is given a high priority by the faculty, which consists of approximately 120 radiologists, of whom 17 are Interventional Radiologists. The formal residency training program is closely aligned with the latest advances occurring in the radiologic and minimally invasive care of patients. The department performs more than diagnostic 650,000 examinations annually, and more than 15,000 interventional procedures.

Resident Benefits

Educational Resources

Residents receive a $700 fund that is renewed each academic year, which they can apply toward textbooks or other educational materials. Residents also receive annual subscriptions to RadPrimer and RadIQ for use during residency and subscriptions to services including StatDx and E-anatomy.

Board Fees

Residents are reimbursed in full for their annual registration fees to the American Board of Radiology.

Computer Resources

Massachusetts General Hospital, and the entire Partners Healthcare System, use an-Epic-based electronic medical record system, which facilitates access to clinical information across a variety of institutions.

Residents are provided a stipend for a new laptop computer at the beginning of the first year for their exclusive use, allowing creation of a teaching file, preparation of presentations, and easy access to the Internet. An internal resident-maintained website known as Reshub is an invaluable resource for sharing information within the department.

There are extensive IT resources in the Department of Radiology, some of which have been developed by residents. For example, QPID is an internal web-based program that enables the search of a patient’s electronic medical record for any disease, prior procedures, or appropriate medical information that may aid in the interpretation of an imaging study. Residents also have access to Render, a web-based tool that analyzes prior radiology reports. This tool is often used for retrospective research projects and also allows residents to compile a list of all studies they have read or minimally invasive procedures in which they have been involved.

American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP)

Residents spend four weeks away from their clinical rotations to attend the AIRP course in Washington, DC. The department covers the costs of registration and tuition. The department also provides a generous stipend that can be applied to living expenses and housing.

Scientific Conferences

Residents who have an abstract accepted for presentation at a nationally or internationally recognized radiology conference are provided with a generous stipend to defray the costs of lodging, transportation, and food while attending the conference, with the approval of the program director. In addition, all residents are funded to attend one major conference (typically the RSNA in the third year).

Association Memberships

The department sponsors memberships for all residents in the New England Roentgen Ray Society, a local radiologic educational society that coordinates monthly afternoon seminars in Boston, and provides clinical coverage for them to attend. Residents have found this exposure to various current topics in radiology very worthwhile and are encouraged to attend when possible. Residents are also enrolled in other associations that offer free memberships to trainees, including the Massachusetts Medical Society, American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the national Society of Interventional Radiology and the local New England Society of Interventional Radiology.

Moonlighting

Residents who obtain full Massachusetts physician licenses (the costs of which are reimbursed by the department) and are ACLS certified are eligible to participate in moonlighting opportunities within the Department of Radiology, providing physician coverage of contrast injections in outpatient imaging centers in Waltham, Chelsea and Danvers. This important opportunity can be pursued as a PGY-3 trainee as per hospital insurance regulations soon after starting the residency. Moonlighting opportunities outside of the hospital (such as providing coverage for private practice groups in the area) can also be pursued, in compliance with the policies of Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare and the institutional malpractice insurance carrier. These outside opportunities are ordinarily limited to third and fourth year residents, and approval by the program director is required.

Library

The department has a current library of radiology textbooks and CD-based learning resources that are reserved exclusively for the use of residents. Residents can check these materials out for self-study during each subspecialty rotation.

Salary and Benefits

As an employee of Partners Health System, residents are paid according to a standardized scale that is applied to all residents working at Massachusetts General Hospital. The annual salary for a PGY-2 resident starting the residency in July 2016 was $63,240. In addition, Partners offers a range of health insurance plans, dental insurance plans, and life, disability, and accident insurance. Residents can also participate in tax-deferred dependent and healthcare reimbursement accounts as well as tax-sheltered annuities through one of several investment firms.

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Curriculum

The Interventional Radiology residency curriculum at MGH is structured to provide a strong clinical background and broad exposure to the entire interventional radiology scope of practice and the full range of IR Procedures. At the same time, we also provide our residents with a strong foundation in Diagnostic Radiology.

PGY 1: Clinical Internship

The program starts with a clinical internship (General Surgery, Internal Medicine, or transitional year). For those applicants who match into our IR residency program, we also offer an in-built General Surgery Internship at MGH as an option.

PGY 2-4: Diagnostic Radiology Rotations

The subsequent three years of training are essentially the same as the MGH Diagnostic Radiology curriculum. In brief, residents are assigned in two- to four-week blocks and will rotate through all diagnostic radiology subspecialties.

At the end of 36 months of rotations, IR residents are expected to pass the American Board of Radiology Core Exam (part 1).

PGY 5 and 6:

The last two years of training will be dedicated to mastering clinical and procedural skills in Interventional Radiology. A typical rotation layout for PGY 5 and 6 years is as follows:

  • Vascular Intervention: 26-32 weeks
  • Non-vascular Intervention: 24-28 weeks
  • Cardiovascular Imaging: 8-26 weeks
  • Vascular Surgery: 6 weeks
  • Research: 6-24 weeks
  • Clinical Service (Outpatient clinics, ward rounds, consultations): 8 weeks
  • Off-Service Electives (e.g., ICU): 8-24 weeks
  • Vacation & Conferences: 8 weeks.

Once training is completed, a resident is eligible for the American Board of Radiology IR/DR certificate.

Alternative training pathways to achieve training in Interventional Radiology

Independent pathway (two positions/year):

  • Requires completion of diagnostic radiology residency
    • Two year program; exception is the Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) which, upon completion, reduces the training requirement to one year
    • Match during PGY 4 year of diagnostic radiology residency
    • Enter independent residency for PGY 6 and 7 (or PGY 6, if ESIR certified)

Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR)

  • Diagnostic radiology programs that wish to provide residents with sufficient IR training to qualify for an advanced entry into the second year of an independent IR residency may offer the ESIR program
  • Requirements include 12 months or IR (e.g. through a ‘focused year’) or IR related rotations and 500 procedures

Summary table of DR and IR training pathways

ACGME DR IR integrated pathway ESIR IR independent pathway
PGY 2 DR 1 DR 1 DR 1 DR 1
PGY 3 DR 2 DR 2 DR 2 DR 2
PGY 4 DR 3 DR 3 DR 3 DR 3
PGY 5 DR 4 IR 1 ESIR DR 4
PGY 6   IR 2 IR 2 IR 1
PGY 7       IR 2

 

Additional Information

Clinical Experience

The Massachusetts General Hospital is the largest Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital, with over 900 beds. It is a world recognized, full service facility covering multiple sub-specialties. It is a Level 1 trauma center with a nationally recognized Cancer Center and active liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant surgery programs. With over 47,000 inpatient admissions per year and over 1 million outpatient visits per year, trainees are able to gain exposure to a wide variety of patients and diagnoses.

Facilities

The interventional facilities include nine state-of- the–art fluoroscopy procedure suites, and three procedure CT rooms; four additional hybrid operating rooms with both open and endovascular surgical capabilities are available as well. All fluoroscopy procedure suites are equipped with digital subtraction angiography capability and physiologic monitoring. The department is well staffed with dedicated Interventional Radiology nursing personnel to provide conscious sedation and procedural care. All nurses in the department are critical care and/or ER certified, and several are pediatric specialists.

Faculty

The interventional faculty includes experienced interventionalists, some who have more than 30 years experience:

 

 

 

Resident Life

Outside of Work

Importantly, our residents enjoy socializing outside of the hospital. Residents frequently meet after work for drinks at The Hill or Harvard Gardens, across the street from the hospital on Cambridge Street, or at one of the bars at the unique new Liberty Hotel, which occupies the renovated Suffolk County jail next-door to Mass General. Wine and Cheese parties, pot luck dinners, and poker nights have become frequent events. Several residents have taken sailing lessons at the public Community Boating, located right across the street from the hospital. This congenial atmosphere pervades the residency as well, creating a fun and comfortable place to work.

Boston Highlights

Boston's reputation as a center for medicine, scientific research, and education is world-renowned. The city itself, with its unique blend of cosmopolitan beauty and quaint, historical charm, offers an exciting diversity of cultural attractions. For the outdoor enthusiasts, Boston is conveniently accessible to both the mountains and the seashore, and most residents enjoy the area during their training years. The New England fall foliage is an annual worldwide attraction, and residents frequently take advantage of the locale to ski, hike, and sail.

In addition, Boston boasts the advantages of a world famous city. Boston's restaurants are among the most celebrated in the world, with a diverse selection of restaurants featuring both well established and rising young chefs and a variety of cuisines. We are home to the New England Patriots as well as the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins. The Museum of Fine Arts heads a list of notable museums, and the Boston Symphony and Boston Ballet are among the most famous offerings in the performing arts.

Massachusetts General Hospital is located on the edge of Beacon Hill, one of Boston's most famous and historic neighborhoods, which is home to the Massachusetts State House and the historic Charles Street shopping area. The hospital is located just steps away from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, the Boston Common and Public Gardens, the Back Bay with the Newbury Street Area, and the North End, Boston's traditionally Italian neighborhood. Mass General is also located just steps across the Charles River from Cambridge, home to the main Harvard University and MIT campuses as well as a host of biotechnology firms.

Because Mass General is accessible by car, public transportation (the MBTA), and the commuter rail, there are numerous housing options that are appropriate for residents with different personal and family needs. Many residents choose to live in close proximity to the hospital, either on Beacon Hill or the nearby Charles River Park apartment and condominium complex. An equal number of residents live outside of the city in the suburbs, choosing instead to commute to work. After you have matched in the program, we can help you locate resources.

 

How to Apply

Application Process

Applications to the Program in Diagnostic Radiology are made through the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) in the fall of the fourth year of medical school, approximately 20 months before the starting date on July 1.

Applications must be submitted before November 1 of the corresponding match year. No applications will be considered if submitted after November 1.

The following components of the application should be submitted through ERAS and are essential in order to complete the application:

  • Universal Residency Application, including:
    • Personal statement
    • Curriculum vitae
  • Dean's letter
  • USMLE board scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcript
  • Completion of USMLE Steps I and II

On the basis of the submitted application, approximately 20 to 30 candidates are selected for personal interviews. Each completed application is carefully reviewed. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible by e-mail for an interview date (November, December, or January). For a variety of reasons, occasionally applicants may be asked to arrange travel plans on short notice. Residents are chosen on the basis of their medical training, general achievements, and personal qualities. No preference is given to any particular medical school or geographic area, nor is race, sex, or national origin a consideration.

International medical graduates are made aware of the restrictive provisions of Public Law 94-484, the Health Professions Education Assistance Act. The following conditions must be met:

  • Standard ECFMG certificate
  • Completion of an accredited internship in the United States
  • Eligibility for ECFMG visa sponsorship if candidate does not have permanent status in the United States

Our program coordinator, Kaitlyn Ouellette, can be contacted at 617-726-5518 in the event that personal circumstances demand direct information.

For further information, please contact the residency director:

T Gregory Walker, MD Gregory Walker, MD
Interventional Radiology Residency Program Director
Department of Radiology
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Email: tgwalker@partners.org

 

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Interviewing process

  • The interview day includes an introduction from Dr. Walker, a tour of the department, and several one-on-one interviews with both diagnostic and interventional radiology faculty and trainees. Please expect to stay at MGH for the entire day (8am to 5pm).
  • Applicants applying for both DR and IR may also be selected for a separate interview with the DR program the next day. In this instance, please expect to be at MGH for two consecutive days.
  • All candidates are invited to join us for dinner on the night after the interview to meet a small group of current residents and fellows at a restaurant in Boston or Cambridge. Details about this dinner will be provided to interviewees as the interview day approaches.

Places to stay

  • Wyndam Boston Beacon Hill
  • 617-742-7630
  • Located across from Mass General. Please state that you are interviewing at Mass General to receive a discount.
  • Liberty Hotel
  • 617-224-4000
  • Located one block from Mass General. Please state that you are interviewing at Mass General to receive a discount.
  • Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill
  • Special Residency Interview Rates - Free Transportation to/from MGH and Hotel

Getting here

By plane:

  • Boston Logan Airport, a major international gateway, is served by many national carriers with direct flights from around the country. Mass General is easily accessible from the airport by taxi or the subway (the MBTA).
  • Providence TF Green Airport (RI) and Manchester Airport (NH) are alternatives to Boston Logan. Several discount carriers offer flights at a discount to these airports. Be sure to plan transportation into Boston if you select one of these airports.

By car:

  • Driving directions to Mass General
  • Interviewees can park in the Fruit Street or Parkman Street garages located outside the main entrance. Be sure to ask the department for a parking validation for discounted parking.

By public transportation:

  • Boston's subway system (the MBTA) offers direct access to Mass General via the Red Line. The hospital campus is located at the Charles/MGH stop.
  • If you travel by bus or train, Boston's South Station is also located on the MBTA Red Line, just a few stops away from Charles/MGH.

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