Frequently Asked Questions about the USA Radiology Residency Program


How does the USA Radiology Residency accept applications?

The USA Radiology Residency program only accepts application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) a service of the Association of American Medical Schools (AAMC).  

ERAS FAQs can be found here.


What is the timeline for applying and matching into the USA Radiology Residency this interview season?

When applying for a position in the USA Radiology Residency, keep in mind that this is an advanced program, and the required clinical (preliminary) year must be completed prior to beginning training in radiology. Important dates for this interview season are as follows:

  • September 15, 2017: Review of applications begin.Postcard Iron Seahorse Fairhope Pier by Scott Minto.jpg
  • October 2, 2017: Iinitial interview offers extended.
  • October – December, 2017: Interviews.
  • January 2018: Rank order finalized, uploaded, and certified.
  • March 16, 2018: Match Day!
  • June 29, 2018 (tentative): Orientation for R1 position.
  • June 29, 2019 (tentative): Orientation for A1 positions.

Full NRMP Match Calendar can be found here


What are the minimum criteria for an applicant to receive consideration by the program?

We require passing scores on USMLE and/or COMLEX exams and a medical degree from an accredited medical school with preference given to students from medical schools accredited by the LCME and AOA, but students and graduates of other accredited medical schools may be considered.

Each year we receive nearly 400 applications for the 5 positions in our training program. Before our selection committee reviews an application, it must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Three or four letters of recommendation, of which at least one should be from a radiologist
  • USMLE and/or COMLEX transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) AKA Dean's Letter*
*We begin our application review process before MSPEs are available. Early applicants who are highly qualified candidates may be offered an interview before their MSPE is available. After October 1, the MSPE is expected to be available for program review.

Performance on the USMLE and/or COMLEX exam correlates with successful performance on the American Board of Radiology exam and is strongly considered when determining which applications to review; however, other factors may compensate, such as strong academic performance in key medical school courses and clerkships or excellent letters of recommendation.


What is the deadline to apply to the USA Radiology Residency program?

We schedule 96 interview appointments frpom late October to mid December. Once these appointments have filled, we cease offering appointments and create a wait list. This date varies from year to year, but in general by October 15, few interview slots remain. If interview appointments become available, we initially offer these to those on our wait list. If an appointment is not filled, we may look at late applications to offer interview appointments.


What is the difference between advanced (A) and categorical (C) programs?

Advanced programs are 4 years in length, and the required clinical year (PGY-1), referred to as the preliminary year, is NOT integrated into the program. A student in their last year of medical school MUST apply separately for a preliminary position and create a supplemental rank order for the preliminary position. If the applicant is either currently in or has completed a residency that qualifies as a preliminary year, the applicant does NOT need to apply for a preliminary position. However, this means that there will be an academic year between the year of The Match and the beginning of the radiology residency training, and plans should be made for this year. The USA Radiology Residency program is an advanced program, but we have three preliminary positions available through our Internal Medicine program. Those interested in these positions must apply separately to the USA Internal Medicine Residency. 

Categorical programs are 5 years in length, and the required clinical year is integrated into the program. Applicants do not need to apply for a separate preliminary position, will not create a supplemental rank order list, and will begin training with the program in the same year as The Match. The USA Radiology Residency program is NOT a categorical program.


What is an R1 position?Postcard Sunrise over Mobile AL by Elmer Sellers.jpg

An R1 position, listed as "Physician only" in ERAS, is an entry level position (PGY-2) in a radiology residency beginning in the same year as The Match. This can be due to a resident completing their training early, residents who transfer or withdraw from a program, or a program has increased the number of training positions. Our R1 position is available due to a temporary increase of one in our number of training positions. An applicant for the R1 position must have completed the required clinical year before beginning the radiology residency. Therefore, the applicant must be a medical school graduate who either is currently in or has completed a residency that qualifies as a clinical year.


What residencies meet criteria to qualify as the required clinical position?

Per the ACGME, “This year must consist of training accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or equivalent organization in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery or surgical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, family medicine, emergency medicine, or any combination of these. The clinical year may also comprise a transitional year accredited by the ACGME or equivalent organization.” Most radiology residents will have completed their clinical year in internal medicine, surgery or transitional programs. The USA Internal Medicine program has three preliminary positions dedicated to radiology residents. Applicants MUST apply to this program separately from the USA Radiology Residency program.


Why does an applicant's rank order have a supplemental rank order?

The applicants primary rank order will include their radiology programs. For each advanced position, a supplemental rank order is completed by applicants who will not have completed the required clinical year. Per the NRMP, “Supplemental rank order list(s) are used if you are ranking advanced (PGY-2) positions on your primary rank order list and also want to secure a first-year (PGY-1) position. It is possible for you to match to an advanced position, but not to a first-year program, which would make you 'partially matched.' If this occurs, you are committed to the PGY-2 position, and then must seek a PGY-1 position through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) or after Match Week.” A supplemental rank order is not completed for categorical (C) or physician only (R) positions.

If a position is being sought for the clinical year, each advanced program that is listed must have a separate supplemental rank order created. When an applicant matches into an advanced radiology position, the algorithm branches to the supplemental rank order to seek a match for the clinical year. If there is not a supplemental list, the search ends and no clinical year position is matched.


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USA with Apron.jpgUniversity of South Alabama Health System
Department of Radiology

2451 Fillingim St, Mastin 301, Mobile, AL 36617  
Phone 251.471.7866  •  Fax 251.471.7882

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