February 1, 2002

Radiology residents best in United States

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Dr. Thomas Dina is the director of the Residency Training Program. (photo by Dana Johnson)

For the past five years (1997-2001) VUMC residents have been perfect on the oral American Board of Radiology examinations—only one of three programs in the United States to achieve such a level of success.

“We are ranked No. 1 out of 196 programs,” said Dr. Thomas S. Dina, director of the Residency Training Program in Radiology and Radiological Sciences.

In addition, senior residents in Radiology at Vanderbilt ranked in the top 5 percent on the clinical written American Board of Radiology exams. This marks only the second year the ABR has ranked programs—before last year, programs were only given an average score and a percentile. Last year, VUMC’s Radiology residents ranked No. 1 on the written exam.

“This is truly a significant accomplishment and an excellent vehicle for the strengthening of academic radiology,” said Dr. Martin P. Sandler, professor and chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.

“This success reflects the high quality of the students Vanderbilt recruits into the program and the excellent learning environment the department has created,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of the School of Medicine.

For certification by the American Board of Radiology, residents are examined in three parts. The first is the written physics exam, which can be taken in either the second, third, or fourth year.

The clinical exam is normally taken in September of their fourth and final year. This is followed by an oral board exam in June, which is primarily a pass-fail system for each of the 10 sections of diagnostic radiology. The written clinical examination also covers the 10 subspecialties of radiology, but in a more readily scored format. Diagnostic radiology is the only specialty in which residents complete their board examinations during their residency. All others are examined one or more years after completing the training.