Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program

Cody SmithWelcome to the University of South Alabama Radiology Diagnostic Residency Program. Thank you for taking time to visit with us here. We hope that you find these web pages informative, reflecting the commitment that the USA Department of Radiology has to maintaining a high quality training program.

The Radiology Residency Program at the University of South Alabama (USA) began training diagnostic radiologists in July 1975, and the program has been continuously accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Under the direction of Samuel McQuiston, MD, our program offers five positions for every year in the diagnostic radiology training program with 20 residents currently in training.

Through a combination of practical educational opportunities and real-time, hands-on training, our program is directed to offering an excellent educational experience in diagnostic radiology with a goal of producing high quality general diagnostic radiologists who will become certified by the American Board of Radiology and successfully advance their career. Training occurs primarily at the USA Health University Hospital, the USA Children's & Women's Hospital, and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. Our graduates are prepared to competently enter a general radiologic practice, advance to subspecialty training in one of the branches of radiology or begin an entrance level junior faculty position.

We hope that you will avail yourself of the opportunity to see that life in the Mobile area offers a year-round, active lifestyle. With a low cost of living, and easy access to amenities from southern Louisiana to the Florida coast, Mobile and Baldwin Counties are a great place to live. 

 

▼   Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) Pathway

The Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) Pathway at the University of South Alabama provides the required 12 months in interventional radiology training for two (2) residents seeking to qualify for a one-year independent interventional radiology residency program. ESIR is a residency training pathway toward board certification in interventional radiology (IR) by the American Board of Radiology which will become available in the year 2020.

ESIR pathwayThe ESIR pathway is completed within a diagnostic radiology (DR) residency and allows residents to meet the requirements for a 1-year independent IR residency (1+4+1). Completion of an ESIR pathway plus a one-year independent IR residency makes the total post-graduate training to be the same length of training required through an integrated IR residency (1 + 5). DR residents who do not complete the ESIR pathway must complete a 2-year independent IR residency (1 + 4 + 2).

After matching into the USA Diagnostic Residency, residents can apply for the ESIR pathway early in the second year (PGY-3 year) of their DR residency. At USA, the ESIR pathway consists of 12 IR or IR-related blocks during the 4 years of a DR residency including 1 block in the STICU at the USA Health University Hospital. The majority of the IR-related rotations at USA are completed in the final two years of training.

Additional information in the ESIR pathway can be found at the following websites.

▼   How to Apply

We only accept applications via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) from the Association of American Medical Colleges. All positions are offered through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

We are pleased to accept applications from graduates of US medical schools. For our program, a complete application file includes the ERAS application, 3 letters of recommendation, current medical school transcript, USMLE/COMLEX scores, and personal statement. Letters from medical school deans are helpful. Once an application file is complete and has met our eligibility criteria, the program evaluates the applicant for an invitation to interview. Offers to interview are extended by email, and we interview approximately 75 candidates during November and December.

USA Radiology NRMP Program Numbers

Diagnostic Radiology - Advanced Position 1852420A0

Diagnostic Radiology - Physician Only Position 1852420R0

▼   Eligibility Requirements

Institutional requirements by the University of South Alabama for eligibility to all USA residency programs are found here. We provide the following details that apply to the USA Radiology Residency Program.

We only accept applications via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) from the Association of American Medical Colleges for all entry level positions. All entry-level positions are offered through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). We are pleased to accept applications from graduates of US medical schools. For our program, a complete application file includes the following:

  • ERAS application
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Current medical school transcript
  • USMLE/COMLEX scores
  • Personal statement
  • Letters from medical school deans are expected after September 30

Once an application file is complete and has met our eligibility criteria, the program evaluates the applicant for an invitation to interview. Offers to interview are extended by email in October, and we interview candidates during November and December.

Prerequisite Clinical Year

All applicants must satisfy the prerequisite clinical year training as established by the ACGME Diagnostic Radiology Review Committee prior to beginning training in the USA Radiology Residency Program. The ACGME policy states...

"To be eligible for appointment to the program, residents must have successfully completed a clinical year consisting of training accredited by the ACGME, RCPSC, or CFPC in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery or surgical specialties, or any combination of these. The clinical year may also comprise a transitional year accredited by the ACGME or RCPSC."

Note to Osteopathic Applicants

On February 26, 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) announced the intent to merge into a single accreditation system. This has resulted in the USA Radiology Residency Program being able to accept applicants who have completed their preliminary clinical year in an ACGME-accredited program. Information on this ACGME policy is included in the document titled "Diagnostic Radiology Eligibility Considerations" [PDF], posted on the ACGME Radiology webpage. Per the ACGME policy, "Eligibility for R1 class July 1, 2018 and beyond: All residents entering radiology residency programs must be compliant with the 2016 clinical year eligibility requirements as stated."

▼   Frequently Asked Questions

How does the USA Radiology Residency accept applications?

The USA Radiology Residency program only accepts application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) a service of the Association of American Medical Schools (AAMC).  

View the ERAS FAQs.

What is the timeline for applying and matching into the USA Radiology Residency this interview season?

When applying for a position in the USA Radiology Residency, keep in mind that this is an advanced program, and the required clinical (preliminary) year must be completed prior to beginning training in radiology. Important dates for this interview season are as follows:

  • September 15, 2017: Review of applications begin.
  • October 2, 2017: Initial interview offers extended.
  • October – December, 2017: Interviews.
  • January 2018: Rank order finalized, uploaded, and certified.
  • March 16, 2018: Match Day!
  • June 29, 2018 (tentative): Orientation for R1 position.
  • June 29, 2019 (tentative): Orientation for A1 positions.

View the full RMP Match Calendar [PDF].

What are the minimum criteria for an applicant to receive consideration by the program?

We require passing scores on USMLE and/or COMLEX exams and a medical degree from an accredited medical school with preference given to students from medical schools accredited by the LCME and AOA, but students and graduates of other accredited medical schools may be considered.

Each year we receive nearly 400 applications for the 5 positions in our training program. Before our selection committee reviews an application, it must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Three or four letters of recommendation, of which at least one should be from a radiologist
  • USMLE and/or COMLEX transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) AKA Dean's Letter*

*We begin our application review process before MSPEs are available. Early applicants who are highly qualified candidates may be offered an interview before their MSPE is available. After October 1, the MSPE is expected to be available for program review.

Performance on the USMLE and/or COMLEX exam correlates with successful performance on the American Board of Radiology exam and is strongly considered when determining which applications to review; however, other factors may compensate, such as strong academic performance in key medical school courses and clerkships or excellent letters of recommendation.

What is the deadline to apply to the USA Radiology Residency program?

We schedule 96 interview appointments from late October to mid December. Once these appointments have filled, we cease offering appointments and create a wait list. This date varies from year to year, but in general by October 15, few interview slots remain. If interview appointments become available, we initially offer these to those on our wait list. If an appointment is not filled, we may look at late applications to offer interview appointments.

What is the difference between advanced (A) and categorical (C) programs?

Advanced programs are 4 years in length, and the required clinical year (PGY-1), referred to as the preliminary year, is NOT integrated into the program. A student in their last year of medical school MUST apply separately for a preliminary position and create a supplemental rank order for the preliminary position. If the applicant is either currently in or has completed a residency that qualifies as a preliminary year, the applicant does NOT need to apply for a preliminary position. However, this means that there will be an academic year between the year of The Match and the beginning of the radiology residency training, and plans should be made for this year. The USA Radiology Residency program is an advanced program, but we have three preliminary positions available through our Internal Medicine program. Those interested in these positions must apply separately to the USA Internal Medicine Residency.

Categorical programs are 5 years in length, and the required clinical year is integrated into the program. Applicants do not need to apply for a separate preliminary position, will not create a supplemental rank order list, and will begin training with the program in the same year as The Match. The USA Radiology Residency program is NOT a categorical program.

What is an R1 position?

An R1 position, listed as "Physician only" in ERAS, is an entry level position (PGY-2) in a radiology residency beginning in the same year as The Match. This can be due to a resident completing their training early, residents who transfer or withdraw from a program, or a program has increased the number of training positions. Our R1 position is available due to a temporary increase of one in our number of training positions. An applicant for the R1 position must have completed the required clinical year before beginning the radiology residency. Therefore, the applicant must be a medical school graduate who either is currently in or has completed a residency that qualifies as a clinical year.

What residencies meet criteria to qualify as the required clinical position?

Per the ACGME, “This year must consist of training accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or equivalent organization in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery or surgical specialties, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, family medicine, emergency medicine, or any combination of these. The clinical year may also comprise a transitional year accredited by the ACGME or equivalent organization.” Most radiology residents will have completed their clinical year in internal medicine, surgery or transitional programs. The USA Internal Medicine program has three preliminary positions dedicated to radiology residents. Applicants MUST apply to this program separately from the USA Radiology Residency program.

Why does an applicant's rank order have a supplemental rank order?

The applicants primary rank order will include their radiology programs. For each advanced position, a supplemental rank order is completed by applicants who will not have completed the required clinical year. Per the NRMP, “Supplemental rank order list(s) are used if you are ranking advanced (PGY-2) positions on your primary rank order list and also want to secure a first-year (PGY-1) position. It is possible for you to match to an advanced position, but not to a first-year program, which would make you 'partially matched.' If this occurs, you are committed to the PGY-2 position, and then must seek a PGY-1 position through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) or after Match Week.” A supplemental rank order is not completed for categorical (C) or physician only (R) positions.

If a position is being sought for the clinical year, each advanced program that is listed must have a separate supplemental rank order created. When an applicant matches into an advanced radiology position, the algorithm branches to the supplemental rank order to seek a match for the clinical year. If there is not a supplemental list, the search ends and no clinical year position is matched.

▼   Contact Information

Look for us on the free NRMP Prism  app on the Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information, contact Ms. Shunda Carlisle-Fakaha, Radiology Residency Program Coordinator.

Program Director: Samuel McQuiston, M.D.
Program Coordinator: Shunda Fakaha
Address: 2451 University Hospital Drive, Mastin 315, Mobile, AL 36617  
Phone: (251) 471-7866 • Fax: (251) 471-7882
Email: SFakaha@Health.SouthAlabama.edu   
Facebook: facebook.com/USARadiology