Program Structure

Program Structure

Goals and Objectives

The aim of the University of Alberta Radiology Residency Program is to teach residents the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to function as a safe, competent and independent consultant in the specialty of Diagnostic Radiology. This includes the abilities to supervise, advise on, perform and interpret imaging procedures at a high standard, functioning as a capable consultant to referring family physicians and specialists alike.

Rotation Structure

PGY-1 Year: This is a basic clinical training (BCT) year, designed to provide a broad experience in clinical medicine. The year is divided into thirteen 4-week blocks: Anatomical Pathology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine (2 blocks), General Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics, Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Elective, 4 week vacation block and Radiology Orientation in the last block. 

PGY-2 Year: The first 5 rotations are introductory rotations, with an emphasis on plain film radiography, computed tomography and basic fluoroscopic procedures, geared toward preparation for on-call responsibilities. They consist of Plain Film Radiology, Body CT, Neuro CT, Gastrointestinal imaging and General radiography. The remainder of the year consists of additional rotations in Fluoroscopy, Pediatric Radiology, Neuroimaging, Body Imaging and introductory rotations in Ultrasound and Musculoskeletal Radiology.  The PGY-2 residents also take an online physics course as well as an interactive anatomy course (taught by Dr. Anil Walji) with radiologic correlation.

PGY-3 Year:  This year typically consists of rotations in Pediatric Imaging, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, Vascular/Interventional (8 weeks), Introductory MRI  (4 weeks), Musculoskeletal Imaging, Thoracic Imaging, Oncologic Imaging and Head and Neck Imaging.

PGY-4 Year: This year is comprised of senior level rotations (in Body Imaging, Neuroimaging, Musculoskeletal Imaging and Thoracic Imaging), an elective month designated for the American Institute of Radiologic Pathology (formerly AFIP), Breast Imaging (one block of Breast Imaging at the Cross Cancer Institute followed by an ambulatory office rotation), Cardiac Imaging, Obstetrical Ultrasound and an additional block of Pediatric Imaging.  The PGY-4 residents also take an advanced Head and Neck interactive anatomy course with radiologic correlation.

PGY-5 Year: This year is designed as a combination of mandatory senior level rotations (Neuroimaging senior, Body Imaging senior, Musculoskeletal senior, Thoracic Imaging (chest CT), Pediatric MRI Imaging, Nuclear Medicine and Breast Imaging) and electives. There is a mandatory “junior staff” rotation, allowing the resident to function as a junior consultant with graduated responsibility in both office and hospital settings, with an emphasis on ambulatory general radiography and fluoroscopy.  The PGY-5 residents are also given dedicated time for exam review and preparation sessions.

Academic Half-Day

There is a designated academic half-day each week (Wednesday afternoon  13:00 to 17:00) set aside for a wide array of academic activities. These include: 

  • Block Teaching: a series of core lectures provided by radiology and clinical faculty in a two year cycle, composed of a series of teaching blocks incorporating all the major organ systems and imaging modalities (musculoskeletal radiology, pediatric radiology, neuroradiology, vascular/interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, thoracic radiology, cardiac imaging, breast imaging and abdominal/pelvic imaging).  
  • CanMEDS sessions: e.g. on professionalism, conflict management, breaking bad news, continuing professional development, simulation sessions. medico-legal, ethics, health advocacy, etc.

Specific activities include radiographic positioning and small group problem-based learning type sessions for the PGY-1 year, anatomy sessions with radiologic correlation during PGY2 and 4, and physics in the PGY-2 and 3 years and an examination review course in the PGY-5 year.

Visiting Professor Program

Every year the program invites distinguished national and international faculty to participate in its Visiting Professor Program.  A typical visit consists of 2-3 dedicated resident teaching sessions, one Grand Rounds presentations and an evening presentation for all residents and faculty city-wide. 

Journal Club

There is a regularly scheduled Journal Club, conducted from September to May.  Residents review and appraise assigned papers from the literature on a select topic, presenting their analysis to their peers and faculty in attendance.  This is followed by group discussion. These sessions are invaluable for developing critical appraisal skills focused on radiology literature and implications on clinical practice. 

Research 

The department strongly supports and encourages research activity by the residents. Each resident is required to complete one research project and one audit or quality improvement project during the course of the residency. This can range from a basic science project or a clinical research project. All projects should be completed to the point where they are ready to be submitted for publication. There is a designated resident research supervisor who guides residents in the selection of their projects and helps coordinate staff mentors and supervisors. The department has an annual Research Day, which is one of the most popular and well-attended events of the academic year. Residents presenting at provincial, national or international meetings are funded by the program. Residents are provided 20 days of protected research time to work on their project.