Diagnostic Radiology

A message from the Program Director

Thank you for visiting the Norwalk Hospital Radiology Residency website. We are pleased that our program is of interest to you. We appreciate this opportunity to introduce you to our residents and faculty, and to show you our hospital and department.

Our program has many unusual features, which are detailed below. We are proud of our tradition of excellence in education, and our reputation for outstanding clinical training.

Please review the following materials to learn more about our community program. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our Program Coordinator, Anila Dalipi, the residents, or myself.

Sincerely,

Francis Flaherty, MD

Overview

Norwalk Hospital’s residency in Diagnostic Radiology provides a clinically intense but highly supportive environment for resident training, which is essential to our educational philosophy and approach to teaching. The program consists of 10 radiology residents, three alternating with two in each of the four years. The teaching faculty is composed of 14 fellowship-trained radiologists.

The formal didactic education of our residents is extensive. In brief, the morning and noon lectures from our attending radiologists are excellent, with education further strengthened by several invited guest lecturers from neighboring institutions. Residents are involved in preparing the weekly tumor board, an invaluable learning experience and great preparation for fellowship. We sponsor our residents to attend AIRP to learn radiologic-pathologic correlation in preparation for the CORE boards exam. In addition to the board preparation provided by our faculty, our residents also attend multiple radiology board and physics review courses.

In the absence of fellows, residents gain a primary role in image interpretation, patient management, decision-making and the performance of procedures. This front-line position enables our residents to acquire substantial clinical skills early on in their training. For this reason, our graduates are eagerly sought for fellowships and attending positions in both academic and private practice settings. Our residents have gone on to fellowship training programs at numerous world-class academic medical centers, leading to successful careers in both academia and private practice.

University Affiliations

Norwalk Hospital is an outstanding, comprehensive community teaching hospital providing services to a diverse patient population. We are able to provide excellent clinical training in diagnostic radiology.  However, it is our belief that some subspecialties of diagnostic radiology should be studied, at least in part, at a university center. For this reason, we work closely with Yale University and Columbia University, where our residents spend a total of four months of their 48 months of training. The usual rotation arrangement includes two months of pediatric radiology at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and one to two months of elective rotations at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Norwalk Hospital has an inpatient pediatric unit with outstanding staff pediatricians and a newborn intensive care nursery. However, because acutely sick children are often referred to tertiary care centers, we believe there is value in performing rotations in pediatric radiology at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Similarly, residents at Norwalk Hospital acquire intensive experience in neuroradiology while on rotations in computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and interventional radiology. However, two additional months of electives at Yale New Haven Hospital can be used for additional rotations in neuroradiology or any other subspecialty. Musculoskeletal and chest radiology have both been especially popular. Alternatively, one or both months can be used for university-based research and investigation.

Our relationship with Yale University is long-standing. Several current staff radiologists at Norwalk Hospital are former Yale residents, fellows, or faculty. Many of Norwalk Hospital’s radiology residents have accepted fellowship and/or faculty positions at Yale.

By including appropriate rotations and working closely with Columbia and Yale, we feel that we have created a program that includes the best of both worlds: the outstanding clinical training a community hospital can provide with enough university experience to complete a well-rounded training curriculum.

Educational Curriculum

The first few weeks of initial training include a mix of didactics dedicated for the first year radiology residents. These include lectures in the basics of radiology, radiation protection, handling of emergency situations (particularly contrast reactions), ultrasound, and fluoroscopy. The clinical rotations are in four-week blocks incorporating the usual subspecialties of diagnostic radiology. Our curriculum is organ-system based with core rotations in musculoskeletal imaging, neuroradiology, interventional radiology, body imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, mammography, and GI/fluoroscopy.

The Pediatric experience is supplemented by rotations at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Neuroradiology exposure is optionally supplemented by available electives at Yale New Haven Hospital, although our residents do encounter the full spectrum of Neuroradiology while at the Norwalk campus. A one-month American Institute for Radiologic Pathology rotation is typically scheduled during the third year prior to the board exam.

In the fourth year, residents have elective blocks which can be used for advanced clinical rotations or research.  It should be noted that clinical rotations are selected and arranged in order to facilitate and enhance each resident’s training and education; they are not based on fulfilling necessities of clinical coverage.

After passing the CORE board exam, residents may elect to perform one or more mini-fellowships.

There are two learning conferences daily, usually a morning lecture and midday case conference. Most conferences are given by Norwalk Hospital’s faculty, but we also incorporate guest lecturers, many luminaries in their fields, including topics such as Pediatrics, Cardiac, Chest, GU, Ultrasound, MSK, and GI.  A course in radiation physics and radiation biology is offered twice a week throughout the first year.

Interdisciplinary conferences with other departments are also held regularly, usually on a monthly basis. We currently have joint conferences with pulmonary medicine, hepatobiliary and gastrointestinal surgery, gyn-oncology, heme-oncology, neurosurgery, breast oncology, and gastroenterology. Residents prepare and present cases for these interdisciplinary conferences on a weekly or monthly basis.

Research and Investigation

We feel that participation in research is a crucial component of residency training.  While four years is a relatively short time to become a competent clinical radiologist and to receive board certification, it is also clear to us that participation in research makes one a more critical reader and more well-rounded physician. While we strongly encourage scholarly pursuits, our only formal requirement is that each resident prepare at least one case report, abstract, or paper suitable for publication, and a QI/QA project during their four years of training. In practice, most residents do significantly more than this and some have prepared and published numerous projects.

Time is made available for research and investigation during electives and during research rotations at Norwalk Hospital and at Yale New Haven Hospital. Norwalk Hospital will pay the travel and lodging expenses for residents attending conferences for purposes of presenting a paper or exhibit.

Norwalk Hospital has an Interdisciplinary Research Committee overseeing and coordinating projects involving various departments. In addition, we have a departmental research advisor, a hospital-wide research coordinator, a biostatistician, and other support staff as needed.

Housing and Benefits

In addition to a competitive salary, Norwalk Hospital provides highly subsidized housing. Residents receive an apartment in one of two buildings on the hospital campus, directly across the street from the hospital itself, at a very low cost. Hospital housing serves important functions which relate indirectly to education. Because the apartments are on the hospital campus, residents who choose to live there have no commuting expense or excessive commuting time. With a great salary and subsidized housing, residents can live comfortably for their four years of training at Norwalk Hospital.

Because most of the residents live in hospital housing, it is common for junior residents to call upon senior residents to help out in some situations. This has proven most valuable in resident-to-resident teaching. House staff and fellows from other departments also live in the hospital-housing complex, which has consequently emerged as a social center for house staff and their families. For the few that choose to live off-campus, Norwalk Hospital provides a monthly housing stipend of $370 per month.

Medical, dental, life, and disability insurance are provided for the house staff and their families.

All first-year radiology residents receive, from the faculty, a myriad of radiology textbooks deemed important for learning general radiology and passing the CORE exam. For outside rotations, including the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology and clinical rotations at

Yale New Haven Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and the faculty pay tuition, travel costs, and lodging. There is no expense to the resident. A physics review and clinical review course for the ABR Core exam is fully reimbursed.

FAQs

Q: What are the most positive features of your program?
A: Among many points:

  • Emphasis on resident education
  • Outstanding fellowship-trained faculty
  • Superior clinical training
  • Outstanding board passage statistics
  • Community, inpatient, outpatient, and university hospital rotations
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Outstanding outpatient center
  • State-of-the-art PACS, RIS, voice recognition, EMR
  • Great location
  • Congenial atmosphere
  • Teleradiology coverage on call

Q: What kind of applicant are you looking for?
A: Like most programs, we seek applicants who are highly motivated and show a commitment to clinical and academic excellence. Transcripts, clinical evaluations, letters of recommendations, and USMLE scores are all considered. However, since we are a close-knit and supportive department, we also place great emphasis on personality in order to ensure the right fit. We do not discriminate against applicants with unconventional backgrounds or with prior post-graduate training in other fields.

Q: How many candidates do you interview?
A: We interview a relatively small percentage of applicants selected through ERAS, generally in the range of 50 – 70 applicants.

Q: Do you use rankings, USMLE scores, or other cutoffs?
A: No. We consider each candidate as an individual. To do so otherwise would be contrary to the philosophy of our program.

Q: What is the deadline for applications?
A: We have no absolute deadline but submission by November 15 is strongly encouraged.

Q: What becomes of your graduates?
A: Most graduates go on to fellowship training in subspecialties at top institutions. This list includes Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, Brown, Mt. Sinai, Duke, UCSF, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, etc. Our most recent residents have matched at the following programs:

2022
Musculoskeletal Imaging—University of Wisconsin, WI
Abdominal Imaging & Ultrasound—University of California San Francisco, CA
Musculoskeletal Imaging—University of California Irvine – Long Beach, CA

2021
Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY
Body Imaging—Thomas Jefferson University, PA

2020
Neuroradiology—Mount Sinai, NY
Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY
Neuroradiology—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, MA

2019
Interventional Radiology—Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, NH
Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY

2018
University of California, Irvine, CA – Musculoskeletal Radiology
Baylor Medical Center, Houston, TX – Breast Imaging
Northwell Health, NY – Musculoskeletal Radiology

2017
University of California, San Francisco – Neuroradiology

2016
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Neuroradiology
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) – Body Radiology

2015
Stanford University – Pediatric Radiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Neuroradiology
Medical University of South Carolina – Vascular/Interventional Radiology

2014
NYU Langone Medical Center – Neuroradiology
Harvard/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Neuroradiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Nuclear Medicine

2013
Duke University Medical Center – Neuroradiology
New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Neuroradiology

2012
University of Maryland Medical Center – Thoracic Radiology
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center – Body Radiology
University of Southern California – Vascular/Interventional Radiology

 

2011

University of Maryland – Women’s Imaging

Mt. Sinai Hospital – Neuroradiology

 

2010

New York-Presbyterian Hospital & Weill Medical College of Cornell University – Musculoskeletal Radiology

University of Southern California – Vascular/Interventional Radiology

 

2009

Yale-New Haven Hospital – Breast Imaging

Massachusetts General Hospital – Musculoskeletal Radiology

 

2008

Yale-New Haven Hospital – Women’s Imaging

Thomas Jefferson University – Neuroradiology

 

2007

Thomas Jefferson University – Body Imaging

Columbia University – Body Imaging

 

2006

Yale-New Haven Hospital – Abdominal Imaging

Yale-New Haven Hospital – Women’s Imaging

 

2005

Columbia University – Neuroradiology

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology – Nuclear Medicine

 

Q: Do you sponsor J-1 and/or H-1 visas?

A: The residency program has accepted J-1 visas. In regard to H-1 visas, we do sponsor those on occasion, but that would be determined by the Program Director at the time of the interview. We prefer that all requirements for the H-1 visa be completed prior to us sponsoring a visa.

 

Q: Do you accept applications from international medical graduates?

A: Yes. Although the majority of our residents are from U.S. medical schools, we have had several excellent international graduates in our program over the years, and we value diversity. Educational and/or clinical experience in this country strengthens one’s application considerably. There are several requirements prior to consideration for international medical graduates. An ECFMG certificate and an ACGME-accredited clinical year are required (Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics or Transitional). We participate in the ERAS program, and paper applications are not accepted. Learn more about the ECFMG-ERAS program.

 

Q: How many residents per year are accepted?

A: Two alternating with three, resulting in a total of ten residents.

 

Q: What is your call frequency?

A: Because we are a small residency, call may be more frequent than at some larger programs. Call is front-loaded to give younger residents more experience, and allowing less call for more senior residents studying for their board examinations. We believe that on-call experience is necessary for training but that call need not be exhausting or abusive. Studies after 8-9 PM are read by teleradiology.

 

Q: What kind of conferences do you have, and how often?

A: We have two conferences a day – morning and noon – that are either didactic presentations or case conferences. In addition, we have several regular guest lecturers (some of whom are prior oral board examiners) who give monthly conferences on Ultrasound, GI, GU, Cardiac, Chest, and Pediatrics. Inter-departmental tumor boards with the Internal Medicine residents, GI fellows, and Pulmonary fellows also occur on a monthly basis. This averages out to approximately 2-3 hours of protected resident education per day.

 

Q: Are there any areas where you feel your education could be improved?

A: Norwalk Hospital has a surprisingly broad spectrum of cases. To round out our educational experience, we spend time at Yale New Haven Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital distributed throughout the residency. Neuroradiology and Pediatric radiology are the primary focuses at these institutions, respectively. Our residents work side-by-side with their faculty, and have the same privileges and responsibilities as their residents.

 

Q: Do residents have much autonomy?

A: Resident autonomy is a priority of the Radiology department. While everything read by a resident is over-read by an attending, the residents are first-line in protocoling radiological exams, departmental problem solving, and providing consults for visiting clinicians. As residents become more proficient in procedures, more independence is encouraged based on personal resident comfort level. As a reminder, there are no Fellows in the Radiology department competing for complex cases or procedures. In addition, the residents are in charge of their own call schedule and scheduled vacation time.

 

Q: What other perks does your program offer?

A: Where to begin?

  • 22 days of annual vacation (four weeks and two personal days); an additional vacation day is added if a holiday call is worked
  • Five days of annual CME/conference time
  • Ability to decide when to take vacation (with only minor restrictions)
  • Ability to decide call schedule
  • Excellent textbook package – the faculty provides a set of new textbooks for the incoming R1 residents
  • Stipends provided during Yale rotation months, housing at the Columbia pediatric radiology rotation, and one of the most generous stipends among radiology programs for the AIRP conference ($3,500 in addition to tuition)
  • Two board review courses subsidized by the program (up to $1,500 each), including physics
  • The faculty encourages research; if research is presented at a conference, the program will cover the fees
  • Prime location: one hour by train or 45 minutes by car to Manhattan, 35 minutes by car to New Haven, and 2.5 hours to Boston. South Norwalk offers a variety of upscale dining and lively weekend nightlife

 

Q: What is the benefit of NOT having radiology fellows at Norwalk Hospital?

A: More advanced and versatile residents

  • With no fellows in the way, residents gain direct, hands-on training in diagnostic and interventional procedures that are otherwise reserved for fellows in other programs.
  • The relationship between faculty and residents is close and personal, with attendings working one-on-one with residents throughout each day.  Discussion, suggestions, and examples drive each resident to a higher level of clinical competence and confidence.