February 9, 2001

Radiology residents ranked No.1

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The residents are, from left, front, Drs. Akilan Arumugham, Brett Smith. Back: Michael Penney, Jennifer Turner, Jaydip Datta, and Ross Goldstein. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Radiology residents ranked No.1

Vanderbilt senior radiology residents received the top average score on the American Board of Radiology written clinical examination, topping residents from 212 residency training programs, including all 200 U.S. residency training programs.

Programs have traditionally been given an average score and percentile. However, this is the first year that programs were ranked, according to Dr. Thomas S. Dina, Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director and chair of the Vanderbilt Graduate Medical Education committee.

Dina is extremely proud of the residents’ accomplishment.

“This confirms what we’ve always known,” he said. “We attract quality people.”

“Basically, we attract smart people and stay out of their way,” he added. “We do try to schedule light service for the two months before the exams to allow them more time to study.”

Dina pointed out that since this is the first time programs were ranked, he feels certain that residents in the past were also among the best.

“The students this year ranked in the 96th percentile,” he said. “The class of 1996 scored in the 97th

percentile, so undoubtedly that class was also No. 1 or very close. So, this is not a one-time deal.”

Dr. Brett Smith, a Vanderbilt resident, attributed the success of his class to the faculty. “This is a direct reflection of the faculty at Vanderbilt,” he said.

Dr. Ross Goldstein, also a resident, agreed and added, “This is an environment of team cooperation. We have great faculty support.”

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. Vanderbilt residents were ranked 39th out of the 212 programs in the physics exam.

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.