Overview

The Department of Radiology offers two residencies: diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology.

The diagnostic radiology residency program currently has a total of 32 residents. Eight diagnostic radiology appointments are made each July 1, renewable at yearly intervals for four years. Appointments begin after the completion of at least one year of postgraduate training in a clinical internship. The department offers training in all subspecialty areas and modalities of radiology, including a comprehensive experience with interventional techniques. 

The Department of Radiology is dedicated to training clinical radiologists who will practice in a variety of academic and private settings. One of the 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. The team provides opportunities for resident participation in basic and clinical research. More than 90% of the residents pursue subspecialty training, both through the focused year during the residency and additional fellowship training. Many of the residents choose to stay at Mass General for their fellowship training through one of several ACGME-certified and other fellowship programs.

Residents are evaluated after the completion of each rotation by a report submitted to the program director by division members. The program director reviews these reports with the resident in semiannual meetings or more frequently as necessary. Residents are also encouraged to provide feedback on each rotation and these recommendations are incorporated into the curriculum to further improve the program.

Trainees have opportunities to acquire a broad range of diagnostic skills and participate in vascular intervention, percutaneous biopsies, abscess drainage and other interventional procedures. Residents also receive advanced training in cutting-edge technologies and participate in an interactive hands-on advanced MRI rotation at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging during their third year.

Second-year residents serve as radiologic discussants at the Department of Pathology’s weekly autopsy conference. Residents also serve as consultants at the Radiology Consultation Clinic, where they educate patients and referring clinicians on radiology exam findings.

The in-training examination prepared by the American College of Radiology is administered during the first, second and third years of residency. The results provide a self-evaluation of both the department's and the residents’ accomplishments. We have also introduced RADEXAM. This has been created by the American Association of Program Directors in Radiology and also the Association of University of Radiologists as a national web-based exam library. Examinations are linked to rotations for each residency year. The questions are written by subspecialists and are peer reviewed. Residents are assigned an examination for the end of each rotation. Residents benefit from regular feedback and divisions can identify and target educational needs. Courses in both basic and advanced life support (BLS and ACLS) are offered within the department periodically. 

Why Mass General Radiology?

The Department of Radiology is uniquely positioned to provide exposure to a wide variety of disease states, a critical component of radiology training. Mass General serves as a general hospital for the local Boston area and is a Level 1 trauma center. Satellite imaging centers further increase the hospital’s 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 staff, which consists of approximately 120 radiologists. The formal training program is closely integrated with the latest advances occurring in the radiologic care of patients.

The department is physically and administratively divided into divisions, largely according to organ system. The resident rotations correspond to these divisions. The organization of the department by organ system permits our radiologists to serve as an important part of the subspecialty care team, developing important relationships with referring physicians and building clinical understanding that transcends a modality.

The Department of Radiology is a dynamic area with ever-improving facilities. Some highlights include:

  • Newly updated, next-generation voice recognition software, which streamlines the practice of radiology, allowing residents to complete, edit and sign off reports in one step and instantly transfers a transcribed report to clinicians
  • Newly updated Partners Enterprise-Wide Picture Archive and Communication system, which allows access to all images across Partners HealthCare System.
  • Eleven multidetector CT scanners, including a Siemens Flash scanner, a Force scanner and 2 new GE Revolution scanners
  • Newly renovated breast imaging facilities with state-of-the-art digital mammography, tomosynthesis, ultrasound and breast MRI
  • New vascular interventional and neurointerventional suites
  • Newly opened Lunder inpatient facility, including 150 inpatient beds and three floors of state-of-the-art operating rooms with radiologic equipment (including MRI) to facilitate image-guided procedures. A PET/CT scanner and a 3T MRI are installed adjacent to the neurology ICU.
  • Mobile CT scanners
  • Newly renovated emergency radiology section within the Emergency Department, with two 64 slice MDCT scanners and a 1.5T MRI that is predominantly dedicated to the imaging of the emergency department patients
  • New Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care and a center for the Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging with newly renovated CT and MRI imaging suites offering state-of-the art technology along with patient-centric ambient care designs in imaging suites

The Department of Radiology performs more than 850,000 examinations annually. The high volume of cases facilitates teaching and clinical investigations. For example, the department census for 2018-2019 included:

  • Total volume: 892,538
  • Radiography: 370,456
  • CT: 179,269
  • MRI: 116,279
  • Nuclear medicine: 37,248
  • Interventional radiology: 18,859
  • Breast: 90,021
  • Ultrasound: 80,686

Curriculum

Years 1-3: Clinical Rotations

Residents are typically assigned in two- to four-week blocks to one of the following subspecialty areas of radiology:

  • Thoracic radiology, including radiographs, CT and MR
  • Thoracic procedures
  • GI fluoroscopy / US
  • Gastrointestinal / Genitourinary CT, MR
  • Ultrasound, including obstetric ultrasound
  • Neuroradiology, including CT and MR
  • Musculoskeletal radiology, including CT, MR and US
  • Musculoskeletal procedures
  • Nuclear medicine, including cardiac, PET, PET-CT
  • Breast imaging, including mammography, MR, and procedures
  • Head and neck imaging (at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary)
  • Interventional radiology
  • Emergency radiology
  • Pediatric radiology
  • Cardiovascular radiology including CT and MR
  • Electives: a two-week elective in interventional radiology at the Mount Auburn Hospital and three months of elective time are available at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

From the beginning, residents are expected to read assigned material, become involved in the performance and interpretation of patient examinations and participate in discussions concerning diagnostic problems. Basic principles of radiology are stressed as the physical and procedural foundations of diagnostic imaging are laid. Residents are encouraged to work toward increasing levels of responsibility, particularly in the emergency radiology rotation, usually completed between the middle of second year and the beginning of third year.

In general, the subspecialty divisions are organized by body system, each encompassing a variety of appropriate modalities to allow residents to become familiar with pathology and pathophysiology and to promote critical selection of appropriate tests. Our radiologists serve as valuable members of the patient care team.

A resident may elect to spend a maximum of three months in rotations at Brigham and Women's Hospital with approval of both program directors. A two-week elective rotation is also available in the Division of Interventional Radiology at the Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital in Cambridge, MA.

Year 4: Focused Year

The focused year represents an important and valuable opportunity to pursue a year or two six month blocks of subspecialty training in the fourth year of residency. During the focused year, the resident is given experience comparable to a clinical fellow in the subspecialty, with equal exposure to many modalities and procedures. During the focused year, residents take call only in the subspecialty area(s) they have chosen for the focused year.

Education

In addition to daily teaching that occurs during the department's clinical activities, residents are provided a high-quality, organized curriculum of case discussion conferences, lectures and subspecialty conferences providing a broad exposure to the many facets of radiology.

Education is a central focus of the entire department. Teaching sessions are considered an important component of resident education, and staff radiologists take their teaching responsibilities very seriously. Case conferences and lectures are uniformly well planned and executed.

Lunchtime didactic conferences are organized into monthly "minicourses," which are coordinated by each subspecialty and ensure each area, including physics, is covered with a thorough and well-conceived curriculum. A complete subspecialty curriculum is covered over a one-year period in the minicourse format.

Staff radiologists and fellows respect the educational needs of the residents and work to ensure the residents can fully participate in all departmental offerings.

Morning Case Conference

(Daily, 7:30 am - 8:15am): This 45-minute case conference trains residents to identify pertinent findings, correlate images with the clinical presentation and construct a concise but complete differential diagnosis. Most importantly, the comfortable and congenial atmosphere of the residency pervades this conference, creating an excellent opportunity for learning. The variety of cases is drawn from the huge breadth of pathology encountered every day at the hospital. These conferences are conducted by faculty members with interest and expertise in teaching.

Teaching Conference

(Daily, 12:15 pm - 1:15pm): Daily didactic sessions constitute the fundamental core of the teaching program. These lectures are organized into numerous subspecialty "minicourses," each of which is coordinated by a senior staff member who is responsible for developing a curriculum for the block that covers the fundamental topics of each subspecialty. This organized approach ensures the resident receives broad exposure to each area.

Radiology Pathology Correlation

Tuesday conferences are devoted to radiology pathology correlation. Each resident is assigned one to two conferences per semester, in which cases with pathologic correlation are presented as unknowns to be discussed by a fellow resident. Attendings from each subspecialty are present as additional discussants to discuss the radiologic approach to differential diagnosis, and a member of the Department of Pathology is present to discuss the pathologic evaluation.

Radiology Grand Rounds

On Wednesdays during the academic year, prominent radiologists from around the country are invited to Mass General. The topics of these Grand Rounds typically focus on the latest information and concepts in radiology and are presented in conjunction with the ongoing mini-course. They typically occur twice per month.

Summer Teaching Conferences

The summer daily didactic sessions are directed at the incoming first-year residents, providing a basic core curriculum serving as an introduction to radiology. Special focus is given to radiologic physics and MR physics.

Beyond Interpretation Sessions

Several weeks during the year are devoted to teaching the non-interpretive skills required of the radiologist. These sessions stress the skills and concepts highlighted by the American Board of Radiology and required by the ACGME. These sessions include topics such as statistics, critical and analysis skills, professionalism, ethics and health care policy.

Section Conference

Each subspecialty area convenes conferences that provide additional educational opportunities for the resident. Residents working within a subspecialty are expected to attend, but all residents are welcome. These conferences take on a variety of forms, including a review of interesting cases and didactic sessions with attendings. The current schedule includes:

  • Abdominal Imaging: Daily at 4:00 pm
  • Neuroradiology: Thursday at 4:30 pm
  • Thoracic Imaging: Friday at 8:00 am
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology: Multidisciplinary conference Tuesday at 9:00 am
  • Vascular Imaging: Thursday at 7:15 am
  • Pediatrics: Multidisciplinary conference Friday at 9:00 am
  • Nuclear Medicine: Tuesday at 5:00 pm
  • Breast Imaging: Daily at 4:00 pm
  • Emergency Department: Daily at 8:00 am
  • Cardiac Imaging: Wednesdays at 8:00 am

American Institute of Radiologic Pathology (AIRP) Course in Radiologic Pathology

During the third year of residency, the department provides tuition and releases the resident from clinical duties to attend the four-week course in Washington, D.C.

New England Roentgen Ray Society (NERRS)

All residents have NERRS membership, which sponsors a course in the physics of radiology on a citywide basis as well as monthly meetings focusing on each subspecialty. Residents are excused from clinical responsibilities to attend the monthly meetings.

Library

The Holmes Library is centrally located within the department and includes a collection of textbooks and current journals for the exclusive use of residents. Multiple computers are available for online learning by residents. The department subscribes to a number of online educational platforms for residents, which include case studies. Examples include STAT DX, RAD Primer and Quevla.

Multidisciplinary Conferences

The Department of Radiology participates in multiple conferences involving many specialties. The most notable of these is the Clinical Pathologic Conference, which is regularly published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Residents find many of these meetings to be of considerable educational value, allowing residents to correlate imaging findings within the latest information in treatment and management.

Useful Links

Responsibilities

The Department of Radiology is a busy clinical department offering 24 hours a day, seven days a week service to patients and referring physicians. Residents are required to be on call to provide care during off hours for inpatients, outpatients in offices and satellite urgent care clinics, one of the busiest emergency departments in New England and a level 1 trauma center.

Our call schedule is carefully designed to provide this coverage while also providing an important educational setting for residents, helping to build confidence and experience. These experiences build up to coverage of the emergency department in a one-month night float experience that takes place in the middle or second half of the second year of residency.

Highlights

  • Because our department is centered at a single hospital, only one resident covers the hospital during the overnight hours (9:30 pm to 8 am), decreasing the number of overnight calls required during the residency.
  • By the time residents are assigned to overnight call in the second year, they will have trained in all the major subspecialty areas and feel comfortable with the important decisions required of an on-call radiologist. A staff radiologist is also present in the Emergency Department at all hours to ensure prompt review of cases read by the resident overnight.
  • The total overnight responsibilities in the Emergency Department shift include a four-week block (five nights a week) plus approximately 15 additional night shifts over the course of the entire residency.
  • The overnight is a carefully designed balance of autonomy and back-up.
  • Residents are responsible for protocolling, supervising and interpreting all neuroradiology studies, including acute stroke scans, from 3:00 am to 6:30 am. A neuroradiology fellow and attending neuroradiologist are available by pager for urgent questions.

Call Schedule

Call schedule is divided among different call "pools" that are assigned to each class of residents in turn.

  • July of Year 1 - December of Year 1 | Emergency Room day buddy call: Residents are immediately given the opportunity to learn the basics of the Emergency Department, working with a second-year resident. Shifts are between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm for two weeks.
  • October of Year 1 - October of Year 2 | Emergency Room evening coverage: Residents are given the opportunity to learn the basics of the Emergency Department, working with a staff radiologist and fellow in the evening to learn the important categories of acute disease, study selection, patient triage and consultation in the emergency setting. Shifts are between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm every ninth or tenth weeknight evening.
  • December of Year 1 - December of Year 2 | Dodd Saturday: Residents are in-house between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm to cover the inpatient intensive care portable radiographs, emergent and postoperative GI fluoroscopy studies, and abdomen/pelvis CTs. This responsibility rotates among the residents in the class.
  • March of Year 1 - March of Year 2 | CT Weekend N/M Beeper Call: Residents interpret inpatient and outpatient CT scans for the thoracic and abdominal imaging sections, reading out with a staff radiologist. Residents protocol the studies in advance and are on hand to provide consultations to referring physicians. Residents also cover the Division of Nuclear Medicine pager to facilitate urgent nuclear medicine examinations. The shift typically runs between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and includes both days of the weekend. This responsibility rotates among the members of the class.
  • March of Year 1 - March of Year 2 | Emergency Room Weekend Days: Residents are assigned to cover the Emergency Department between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, working with staff radiologists and fellows to cover all modalities, including plain film, ultrasound, CT and MRI.
  • March of Year 2 - March of Year 3 | Senior Weekend: Residents interpret inpatient and outpatient CT scans in the thoracic division in the morning. The afternoon is spent focused on body MRI studies. The shift runs from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sundays. This responsibility rotates among the residents in the class.
  • Emergency Room nights: A four-week block of night float (five nights a week) is scheduled between the middle and end of the second year. This block is an important step in the development of our residents, where they can apply the principles they have learned to deal with acute problems encountered in a busy ER. The overnight night float rotation is scheduled after a four-week block of ER days. A staff radiologist is also present and reviews all studies dictated by the resident during the night shift. Although challenging, this rotation builds the confidence and skills of our residents. After this rotation is complete, residents help to cover Saturday overnight shifts, as well as one week of overnights during the summer time, for an additional total 11 shifts. There is an ultrasound technologist in-house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which enables the radiology resident to focus primarily on the interpretation of studies.

Typical Day

Radiology residents are busy during the workday. They are interpreting studies, interacting with patients and referring physicians, planning and protocoling upcoming studies and participating in the educational activities of the department. Although there is no typical daily schedule because of the variety of clinical rotations, a typical schedule might include:

  • 7:30 am - 8:15 am: Morning case conference
  • 8:15 am - 12:00 pm: Clinical responsibilities
  • 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Didactic conference
  • 1:15 pm - 5:00 pm: Clinical responsibilities

The Department of Radiology offers many resources to help streamline the residents’ daily work.

Newly updated, next-generation voice recognition software allows residents to efficiently dictate, edit and sign off on each report instantly, making the reports quickly available.

Ultrasound technologists are in the hospital 24 hours a day to complete emergency and portable cases, so the resident can then focus mainly on image interpretation. Each resident is also fully trained in the techniques of scanning so he or she can check and troubleshoot particularly difficult cases. We are fortunate to have many well-trained fellows who serve as an additional source of interesting cases and in-person teaching and function in parallel to the residents.

Resident Opportunities

James H. Thrall Management and Leadership Training Program

The James H. Thrall Management and Leadership Training Program (MLT) is an innovative program created to cultivate the next generation of leadership in radiology. Residents who choose to enroll in the MLT program become active participants in multiple facets of radiology business administration, operations, quality improvement and finance.

The MLT program offers several lectures throughout the year that are open to the entire department. These lectures are given by leaders within the field of radiology, including Jim Brink MD, chair of the Department of Radiology. Examples of topics covered include financial management in health care, IT management and decision support in radiology, artificial intelligence, mechanisms of reimbursement and leadership in organizations.

The MLT residents have several additional unique opportunities:

  • A personalized two-week health administration elective with Peter Slavin, MD, president of Massachusetts General Hospital. This elective consists of attending meetings with Dr. Slavin and other hospital leaders to gain first-hand experience in health care management within a complex organization.
  • A radiology specific health administration elective with Dr. Brink. This elective offers additional hands on experience with management of a large academic radiology department.
  • Review Harvard Business School cases with faculty in small group settings with personalized feedback and instruction from leadership within the department.
  • Access to lectures and networking opportunities within the Partners Centers of Expertise (COE), which provide multidisciplinary educational sessions related to medical education, global and humanitarian health, health policy and management and health care quality and patient safety.
  • During the fourth year, MLT residents can customize a six-month leadership project and work closely with thought leaders in health care to build dynamic and novel solutions to a wide variety of health care management challenges.
Global Health Programs

The Department of Radiology offers an international radiology elective rotation in Rwanda. The resident or fellow will gain extensive experience working with health care providers to address unmet medical imaging needs for vulnerable populations.

The Mass General Imaging Global Health Programs are dedicated to addressing unmet medical imaging needs and health care disparities for vulnerable and crisis-affected populations.

Center

The Webster Center is dedicated to improving patient safety and maintaining high quality of care in radiology.

Learn more 

MESH Incubator

The MESH Incubator is a first-in-kind in-house creation group and physical prototyping lab developed within the Mass General Department of Radiology in 2016. It is designed to capture key clinical needs on the ground level and accelerate solutions to produce patents and licensable intellectual property, launch products and services and provide fundamental education in innovation domains to trainees and staff. It is the first integrated innovation incubator of its kind in a medical training program.

In addition to accessing open incubator space and equipment available for use by Mass General staff and trainees, residents rotate through the MESH Core and optionally the MESH Advanced Industry Consult and additional programs. Many trainees and staff have obtained patents on their inventions. They’ve also received licenses to or launched companies. 

Through its programs, MESH teaches and instills the following skills in trainees and staff: 

  • Idea generation and validation
  • Clinical and non-clinical 3-D printing
  • Artificial intelligence and informatics
  • Device and software prototyping
  • Intellectual property
  • Corporate structuring and entrepreneurship
  • Investing
  • MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School case design
  • Grants, funding and starting a research enterprise

 Learn more about MESH in an Imaging 3.0 case study by the American College of Radiology and in peer-reviewed medical journals

 For more information about MESH, please email Marc D. Succi, MD, founder and executive director of the MESH Incubator at msucci@mgh.harvard.edu or visit www.meshincubator.com.

Harvard Medical School Education

Residents actively participate in the Harvard Medical School clinical clerkships within the Department of Radiology, serving as teachers, tutors and mentors to students enrolled in the clerkship and introducing medical students to the practice of radiology. Residents are also given appointments as clinical fellows at Harvard Medical School, which grants them access to the Harvard University library system, athletic facilities and bookstore discounts.

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact our program coordinator, Jacquie Williams-Johnson, at jwilliams-johnson@partners.org.



Resident Resources

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The Clubs at Charles River Park

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