Diagnostic Imaging Residency Programs

An accredited diagnostic imaging residency training center since 1972

Our diagnostic imaging residency program is a 39-month American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) accredited residency that provides training and preparation for the certification examination of the ACVR. Beginning in July, it is a non-degree graduate program that leads to an official University of Georgia certificate of residency.

What can I expect as a resident?

Advanced training is provided in the interpretation and operation of the following modalities:

  • radiology
  • ultrasonography
  • fluoroscopy
  • computed tomography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • nuclear medicine
  • radioiodine treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats.

UGA diagnostic imaging boasts the latest in diagnostic imaging technology. Residents perform and interpret tests under the direction of ACVR diplomats as part of a weekly rotating schedule.

Currently five residents are enrolled in the program. Upon completion, residents are eligible to take the ACVR board examination, and when successful, obtain Diplomate certification.

Program details

Our program duration of 39 months is unique and designed to provide senior residents a familiar environment to prepare for boards while avoiding the typical stressors of moving and new employment associated with residency completion. Additionally, this program allows  new residents to interact and learn from senior residents. Resident appointments are annually renewable, and employment is contingent upon successful performance of the assigned duties, successful integration into the working team, obtainment of a Georgia State Professional License and a valid visa status (if applicable). Resident evaluations are performed in June and December each year.
There are professional development funds that are typically used to cover the cost of the preliminary ACVR examination (US $800), Large Animal Diagnostic Imaging Society course and lab, Nuclear Medicine short course and expenses incurred when presenting study results at the ACVR annual meeting. At UGA, residents have a graduate student status, which implies graduate fees – resident professional funds are sufficient to cover these as well. There are 15 days of vacation per year which cannot be carried over to the following fiscal year, and 12 UGA holidays each year. Professional liability coverage and a life insurance plan are provided.

What’s it like on the clinic floor?

The residents’ first year begins with three-week rotations in the following modalities: technical (image acquisition), radiography, ultrasonography, CT and MRI. In addition, residents must successfully pass UGA’s Radiation Safety training. After this, residents rotate through modalities weekly, in all five positions: Small Animal Radiography, Small Animal Ultrasound, Large Animal Imaging (all types), Small Animal CT and Small Animal MRI. Residents are most often the first contact with students and clinicians from other departments. Our expectation is that  residents conduct themselves professionally, are prepared to perform examinations, properly manage the floor by supervising image quality, lend a hand where needed, and discuss their interpretation with people involved in patient care.

Each resident generates approximately 2100 written reports each year. Preliminary reports are usually generated the same day and reviewed by a board-certified radiologist within 24 hours. Dictation software and microphones are available on all reporting stations. Every week, residents are provided with a list of reports they generated. Reports are accessible in finalized and original formats for direct comparison.

Do residents have protected conference time?

Two hours are reserved every weekday morning for learning. Morning resident rounds take place Tuesday through Thursday. Cases from the prior day are discussed and reports critiqued and verified, overnight cases are reviewed. Residents are expected to prepare for rounds by reviewing relevant clinical data and literature. Mondays are devoted to Known Case Conference (KCC) or Board Objectives, with faculty leading all sessions. Friday mornings, Grand rounds are held, followed by Path/Imaging Correlation Rounds. In addition, every three months there is a two-hour Neuropathology Rounds organized by the Neurology department. In year three, a three-week cardiology rotation is scheduled with the cardiology section.

Is there an on-call schedule?

Most residents would agree that taking call allows them to synthesize and apply their radiology education while building their skills and speed on some of the most challenging cases. Call is split evenly between residents, for a full week every five weeks. Residents are expected to respond in 20 minutes or less (including arriving at the hospital for procedures).    Faculty take back-up call and are available for advice.

Will I have the chance to do research?

Residents are expected to engage in a research project, which may vary in scope depending on the residents’ professional goals, available funding and other factors. Residents are supported in this by a faculty mentor, and should aim for publication of their results in a peer-reviewed journal and presentation at an international meeting. Once a year, residents present a 45-minute Grand Rounds to the hospital on their research or other topic of interest.

Will I have time to prepare for the board exam?

Residents are expected to engage in self-directed study of the objectives and to spend a substantial amount of time studying and reading the scientific literature, some of which will be after hours and on weekends. Monday morning Board Objective reviews are merely a time to consolidate knowledge through quizzes and discussions. In preparation for the preliminary ACVR examination (year two), six weeks of study time are allotted, which may be split so as to reduce interference with departmental activities. In preparation for the certifying ACVR examination (year three), two weeks of study time are allotted.

There are 15 days of vacation per year which cannot be carried over to the following fiscal year, and 12 UGA holidays each year.

What are some things that set UGA apart?

  • Culture – Our strength is our people. We pride ourselves on having an open, collegial and collaborative clinical and research environment. We have ample resources associated with a large and vibrant hospital and diagnostic imaging section. We are a diverse section with our DI residents coming from all over the world and with diverse training and life experiences. One common theme is their desire to learn, a strong positive attitude and a team-oriented approach.
  • Case mix and case volume – our imaging case load is approximately 18,000/year. Studies of human radiologists have determined that approximately 16,000- 20, 000 cumulative readings is most optimal for achieving high reading performance and that annual reading volumes matter. To the best of our knowledge, few other radiology programs offer similar variety and high volume while staying in that reporting “sweet spot”. Upon completion our residents are well prepared for either academic or specialty practice.
  • Educational curriculum -Our curriculum consists of weekly teaching sessions (e.g. journal club, board objectives, case conferences). We strive to balance the content/experience over the years and cover all topics prior to the board exams. We have professional development funds that currently support our residents to attend external training and the ACVR scientific meeting when presenting their research.
  • Excellent faculty in all specialties – All residencies are strengthened by the caliber of primary and supporting faculty. Here at UGA, we are fortunate to have world-renowned specialists who enjoy and are extremely active in resident training for all house-officers.
  • Athens – Many words have been used to describe Athens: vibrant, quaint, quirky. Live music, southern food, a climate justifying the many excellent craft breweries. Modest resident wages go further here where housing is affordable. Athens has lower violent crime rates compared with cities such as Raleigh, NC, Columbus, OH, Gainesville, FL and New York City!

How to apply

Applications are submitted through the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program unless otherwise specified. Minimum requirements include:

  • a recognized degree in veterinary medicine, and
  • at least one year post-graduation clinical experience.
  • Completion of an internship is strongly encouraged.
  • English proficiency is required (both written and spoken).
  • Foreign candidates are eligible and encouraged to apply. Foreign applicants for whom English is not the first language are required to have a minimum TOEFL score of 80, with at least 20 on speaking and writing. For successful international candidates, UGA provides assistance with obtaining a visa.

 

What is the application deadline?

The 2020 VIRMP will begin accepting applicants in October 2019. The new schedule will be available in mid-summer 2019.

Can I schedule a visit?

Candidates are encouraged to visit UGA to learn more about the program, and those attending the annual ACVR Scientific Meeting should speak with as many of our diagnostic imaging faculty and residents as possible. Visitation dates are limited and must be scheduled well in advance through the residency program director, Dr. Karine Gendron.