After three grueling years of medical school, fourth-year medical students spend months interviewing with residency programs across the country. It’s a bit like speed dating, with residents trying to simultaneously impress the residency directors and determine if the program fits them. The schools rank their applicants, the students rank their schools, and those lists are fed into the National Resident Matching Program, which spits out the results on the third Friday of March: Match Day.
High achieving (and lucky) medical students are matched with a school near the top of their lists, while the not-so-lucky may have to settle. The Diagnostic Radiology Residency at UW School of Medicine and public Health is among the most desirable programs in the country, and admission is quite competitive: lots of prospective radiologists want to be Badgers.
The diagnostic radiology residency is a 4-year program, and provides a well-rounded background in radiology as well as integrated didactic and practical work. University Hospital is a major referral center as well as a National Cancer Institute Top Care Center, so students will experience high-tech imaging in addition to the community-based treatment that comes from the hospital’s wide primary care base. That care base is bolstered by the on-site Children’s and Veterans Hospitals, allowing residents to diagnose and manage the problems associated with those patient populations without ever leaving the hospital campus.
But, it is the people that make UW Radiology’s residency program stand out, according to Diagnostic Radiology Residency Director David Kim, M.D.
“The faculty we have are driving the field of radiology with top-tier research and are also amazing clinical radiologists. Our residents get a tremendous education, working with them day in and day out,” said Dr. Kim. Research, education, and clinical care are all intertwined for Radiology faculty, and their attention to detail helps the residency program produce leaders in radiology.
Dr. Kim praised the collegial atmosphere at UW, saying: “Residents feel very comfortable discussing various topics with the faculty, there’s not a hierarchy here.” Many faculty use their wealth of experience to mentor residents, giving advice and helping them create exhibits and presentations for conferences.
Furthermore, a dedicated education team is continually working to improve the program. Dr. Kim works with several Associate Program Directors to identify goals for UW residents. The current Associate Directors are Jason Stephenson, M.D.
, Jessica Robbins, M.D., Allison Grayev, M.D., and Timothy J. Ziemlewicz, M.D. Additionally, a committee comprised of faculty and residents is in the process of overhauling the didactic curriculum: looking at core subjects, taking inventory of lectures, and determining how to best enhance the program.
“We believe that one of the strengths of the residency is resident involvement. It’s resident-led, resident-governed, and residents have a big say in the decision making process at all levels,” said Dr. Kim.
This unique blend of clinical, educational, and leadership experience helps mold residents into well-rounded radiologists by the end of their four years, a sentiment extolled by Dr. Kim: “Whether they continue with academic medicine or go to private practice, the graduates of our resident programs go on to be leaders in the field.”