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Samuel A. McQuiston, M.D.


Shikha Khullar-Gupta,M.D.

Informal Description of the Clinical Discipline

As is evident to any reader of the weekly clinical pathologic conferences in the New England Journal of Medicine, Radiology has assumed an increasingly important role in clinical medicine.  In the past Radiology was confined to plain film examination of the chest, abdomen, skull, spine, and extremities as well as barium contrast examination of the G.I. tract, and intravenous contrast of the G.U. system.  Today, new imaging modalities and procedures have considerably expanded the role of radiology in diagnosis, treatment, and screening.

Radiology consists of a group of sub-specialties.  Although radiologists in private practice may cover many or most aspects of these specialties, they do specialize to some extent.  Areas/techniques of specialty include Neuroradiology, Cardiovascular/Interventional Radiology, Ultrasound, Computer Tomography (CT), Mammography, Pediatric Radiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, and Muskuloskeletal Imaging.

The qualities necessary to make a good radiologist include acute visual perception and ability to make a differential diagnosis.  Since a good portion of residency training includes radiologic physics, ability in the physical sciences is also important.

Following 1997, a clinical internship year is required by the American Board of Radiology. The period of radiology residency is four years.

Following the residency, one or two-year fellowships are available in subspecialty areas such as Pediatric Radiology, Cardiovascular/Interventional Radiology, Neuroradiology, or Ultrasound/CT/MRI for those desiring greater knowledge in these areas.  The job market in Radiology is excellent.  There is a shortage of radiologists.  Recent graduates of USA’s Radiology program have had little or no difficulty obtaining a desirable practice and/or fellowship opportunities.  Most radiologists enter hospital practice or group practice.  Among the medical and surgical specialties, radiologists probably fall in the mid to upper range monetarily, and selected residents are usually from the top quartile of their medical school class.

Radiation Oncology

Shikha Khullar-Gupta,M.D.

Informal Description of the Clinical Discipline

Radiation Oncology (also known as Radiation Therapy) is the field of Medicine which deals with the use of ionizing radiation as a medical treatment modality.  Included in this field is the evaluation, treatment and follow-up of patients.  The field also includes usage of chemical and biologic modifiers of ionizing radiations and participation in national clinical trials.

There are 68 Radiation Oncology residency programs which provide four years of training beginning in PGY 2.  Residents are usually scheduled on three month rotations to include all anatomical sites in addition to brachytherapy and remote afterloading, as well as radiation physics, radiobiology, intra operative and hyperthermic therapy.  The resident rotates through other oncology subspecialties in order to obtain a broad understanding of oncology. 

Nuclear Medicine

Shikha Khullar-Gupta,M.D.

Informal Description of the Clinical Discipline

Residency training in nuclear medicine requires two years of AMA approved training in Internal Medicine, Pathology or Radiology or any other Primary Care specialty prior to entry into the nuclear medicine residency.  The duration of nuclear medicine residency approved by the AMA is two years.  Upon completion of successful training, trainees become board eligible in the nuclear medicine specialty.

The field of nuclear medicine consists of in vitro tracer kinetic studies, in vivo imaging (the most common type of NM practice), therapeutic uses of unsealed isotope sources, and researches using various radioactive tracers.

Nuclear Medicine procedures are based upon physiologic, metabolic and functional nature rather than anatomical information used in U-S, C-T and MRI.  There are ample opportunities for basic and clinical researches in addition to clinical practice.  Radioimmunodetection using radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies, the continuous development of new radiopharmaceuticals, single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) are exciting developments in nuclear medicine in recent years.

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