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Radiology Residency Questions

What advice would you give about getting letters of recommendation in your specialty?

You need at least 1 LOR from a radiology attending. I would also suggest that at least 1 of the other LOR comes from a core third year rotation such as medicine, surgery, etc.

What is the value of doing audition rotations in your specialty?

I would suggest only doing away rotations if you really need to be in a specific city for personal reasons or you could not get the elective rotation at your home institution. Otherwise, these type of rotations are not required.

To what extent does research, publications, or presentations affect one’s ability to match in your specialty?

It definitely helps you get interviews at the large academic centers, but it is generally not required to have 10+ scholarly activities for most programs. I think program directors like to see a few scholarly endeavors just to see that you are motivated by some aspects of medicine and also that you did more than just the requirements in medical school.

Is a Step 2CK score needed before you will invite someone for an interview?

No, not necessarily.

What does the perfect applicant look like in your specialty?

Tough question! A very good applicant has high board scores, top 1/3 class rank, some volunteer work or previous employment of any kind, outside interests as personal hobbies, and communicates well.

Does having a below average Step 1 score doom you in your specialty?

It is a big challenge, but you can overcome a low Step 1 score by performing extremely well on Step 2.

Would you ever take someone with a Step 2CS failure?

Typically not, but I would like to understand the circumstances surrounding the failure prior to making a judgment.

Does a student need to Honor in your specialty in order to match?

Not necessarily. I think some programs only have Pass/Fail for radiology.

The students have significant elective time during their 2nd and 3rd year for career exploration.

Our specialty gives approximately 5-6 months of elective time in the senior year, as outlined by the ACGME. Fellowship choices are made in the late R2 and early R3 period, at which time most of the subspecialties of radiology are experienced.

What electives would you recommend to a student who knows they are interested in your specialty?

In addition to radiology, I would suggest anything that interests a medical student should be pursued. There are no bad choices. All electives would likely have some benefit to a budding radiologist’s knowledge base.

What electives would you recommend to a student who is undecided but considering your specialty?

I believe our radiology elective offers a nice glimpse of the practice of radiology. Vascular Interventional Radiology would also be a nice way to get to know the specialty.

Is there anything else I haven’t asked that you feel an applicant to your specialty ought to know?

Diagnostic radiology is a competitive and very rewarding specialty that I think everyone should consider if you enjoy the challenges of diagnosing disease on the basis of imaging while serving as a consultant to your clinical colleagues.

Radiology Residency Data

Length of Training: 5 years

Mean USMLE Step 1 score = 240
Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score = 249

Mean number of programs applied to: 42

Programs: 185

Match: NRMP Main Residency Match

Prerequisites:  PGY-1 (required)

Program Interview Invites (%): Completions (%):
Before Oct. 1 21 1
October 52 17
November 19 33
December 6 33
January 3 16

Average hours worked per week: 58


Sources: NRMP; AAMC
Updated: 01-2019