Congratulations on pursuing a career in radiology! You have made the first and most important choice (and an excellent one at that). Now you must decide where to complete your training. As chief residents, we are excited to share why we chose the University of Michigan and what makes our program one of the top ranked in the nation.
The Residents: Our residency consists of 44 diverse residents (11 per class) who come from all over the country to live and learn together in Ann Arbor. This deep bench of teammates is there with you every step of the way, sharing in your challenges and celebrating your successes as you evolve into a strong clinical radiologist. Michigan Medicine is home to a total of 1,700 residents from all different specialties and touts one of the few resident unions in the country (House Officer Association). Because of the union, Michigan residents receive unique employee benefits and a highly competitive, bargained-for salary.
The Faculty: Our faculty is distinctly accomplished while remaining very friendly and down to Earth. Together, they have a wide array of interests yielding numerous publications on basic and translational imaging research, resident education, as well as quality and safety. Their passion has not gone unnoticed -- our attendings occupy leadership positions in multiple nationally recognized organizations including the RSNA, ACR, ARRS, and AUR. Michigan faculty continue to be some of our biggest supporters and are always eager to have us join them on their next research project.
The Education: Education is a core mission at Michigan Radiology with much of our day centered around learning. The key components include:
- Workstation experience: Workstation reading is divided into morning and afternoon half-days where residents pre-dictate cases and readout with an assigned attending for the day. Readout sessions occur several times each half-day, which allows time for adequate discussion and teaching about each case (as opposed to lumping into a single session and rushing through it). During this time, we learn to hone our search pattern and formulate targeted differential diagnoses under the direct guidance of experienced faculty.
- Conferences: We have two teaching conferences every weekday, which are considered protected time. The first is typically provided by residents and fellows from 7:30 – 8:30 AM and is organized by sub-specialty, allowing us to share interesting cases we have seen on rotation while building our confidence as teachers. The second is provided by faculty from 12 – 1:30 PM and includes a mix of didactic and case-based review.
- Board review: For the two months prior to the Core Exam, morning and afternoon conferences are replaced by rigorous board review sessions during which R3 residents exclusively take cases. Every year our newly minted R4s confirm how valuable this preparation was for their boards.
- Grand Rounds: As a leader in clinical imaging and research, Michigan Radiology is fortunate to host world-renowned experts for Grand Rounds, which happen 1-2 times per month. Topics at these sessions vary widely including challenging cases, diversity and inclusion, medical informatics, and MRI research. Frequently, Grand Rounds speakers will have an independent session with the residents to discuss their career trajectory and answer our questions directly. Finally, our graduating residents give their own Grand Rounds at the end of their R4 year.
- Leadership opportunities: Michigan Radiology and Michigan Medicine are committed to resident leadership. At a department level, our residents sit on several committees including the Michigan Radiology Quality Collaborative and direct most divisional initiatives (with the help of a faculty mentor). At a hospital level, we are engaged in the House Officer Association (resident union) as well as multiple oversight committees regarding patient safety and medicolegal cases. More broadly, we routinely head statewide groups such as the Michigan Radiological Society (MRS) and occupy positions in national organizations, such as the AUR and ACR, in part thanks to support from our faculty.
- Additional training: One benefit of training at such a large university is the availability of countless additional certificate programs that may fulfill a particular interest of yours. A popular example is the Healthcare Administration Scholars Program, which provides a two-year certificate that explores the many aspects of healthcare administration and how to navigate them.
The Research: Research opportunities at Michigan Radiology abound. Almost every faculty member has a clinical project primed and ready for a resident to join. We also recognize the importance of sharing these projects with the rest of the Radiology community and encourage residents to present at national or international conferences with a generous stipend. In previous years, residents have traveled as far as Germany, Austria, Spain, Iceland, Korea, and Denmark to share their work.
The Moonlighting: Michigan Radiology has multiple satellite sites within 30 minutes of the main hospital that require extended off-hour physician coverage, providing ample moonlighting shifts for residents.
The City: Ann Arbor is one of the best college towns in the country—just check the rankings on the US News & World Report! Beyond Michigan Football, the town is home to farmers markets, countless coffee shops, microbreweries, live music, and innumerable restaurants. True to its name, Ann Arbor has dozens of scenic parks, including one where the reigning League Champ radiology kickball team plays in the Spring/Summer. If you visit, make sure to stop by Zingerman’s Deli, Nickels Arcade, Nichols Arboretum, and “The Diag" because everyone back home is going to ask if you did!
We hope this brief overview captures some of the many reasons we love our residency at the University of Michigan. If you feel like this is the right place for you, we would love to meet you during the upcoming interview season! Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have before then.
Sonia, Dan and Nate