Trends in Radiology Fellowship Training: A Canadian Review 2009-2011

Article (PDF Available)inCanadian Association of Radiologists Journal 64(3) · May 2012with160 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.carj.2011.12.015 · Source: PubMed
Purpose: To assess the percentage, type, and location of radiology fellowships chosen by graduating Canadian residents between 2009 and 2011. Methods: A short e-mail questionnaire was sent to the radiology program directors at all 16 institutions in Canada that provide English or French residency. The responses were collected between December 6, 2010, and May 20, 2011. Results: A 75% response rate was observed for the survey: 76%-79% residents were enrolled in radiology fellowship training. In 2009-2010, 72%-73% of residents remained in Canada. This dropped to 51% in 2011. In 2009-2010, 22%-23% of residents chose U.S.-based radiology training. This rose to 49% in 2011. Europe was chosen by 0%-4% of residents: all of whom were French-speaking residents, and all programs were in France. Relatively consistent percentages of radiology residents choose abdominal (19%-30%), cardiac (4%-7%), musculoskeletal (12%-20%), and pediatrics (2%-5%) from year to year. Greater variability was noted in chest (2%-9%), women's imaging (0%-14%), intervention radiology (6%-18%), and neuroradiology (2%-18%). Radiology fellowships in split subspecialties, which were available at a small number of institutions, were chosen by 8%-9% of the residents. Conclusions: Nearly 4 of 5 residents choose radiology fellowship training. In 2011, there was a 2-fold increase in the number of residents who chose training in the United States. This may be a 1-year outlier but should be observed. A wide range of fellowships were chosen, with consistent numbers in some core fellowships and variability in others year to year. Limited exploration of the rationale for, or employability value of, radiology fellowship choices has been done in Canada. Nearly 1 of 10 residents chose split radiology fellowships, an option limited by availability at few centers. The value of expanding this option is worthy of investigation.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: The study aimed to examine the postresidency plans of Canadian radiology residents and factors influencing their fellowship choices and practice preferences, including interest in teaching and research. Methods: Institutional ethics approval was obtained at McMaster University. Electronic surveys were sent to second to fifth-year residents at all 16 radiology residency programs across Canada. Each survey assessed factors influencing fellowship choices and practice preferences. Results: A total of 103 (31%) Canadian radiology residents responded to the online survey. Over 89% from English-speaking programs intended to pursue fellowship training compared to 55% of residents from French-speaking programs. The most important factors influencing residents' decision to pursue fellowship training were enhanced employability (46%) and personal interest (47%). Top fellowship choices were musculoskeletal imaging (19%), body imaging (17%), vascular or interventional (14%), neuroradiology (8%), and women's imaging (7%). Respondents received the majority of their fellowship information from peers (68%), staff radiologists (61%), and university websites (58%). Approximately 59% planned on practicing at academic institutions and stated that lifestyle (43%), job prospects (29%), and teaching opportunities (27%) were the most important factors influencing their decisions. A total of 89% were interested in teaching but only 46% were interested in incorporating research into their future practice. Conclusions: The majority of radiology residents plan on pursuing fellowship training and often receive their fellowship information from informal sources such as peers and staff radiologists. Fellowship directors can incorporate recruitment strategies such as mentorship programs and improving program websites. There is a need to increase resident participation in research to advance the future of radiology.
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