See below responses to our most frequently asked questions regarding the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program at Norwalk Hospital.

Q: What are the most positive features of your program?

A: Among many points:

  • Emphasis on resident education
  • Outstanding fellowship-trained faculty
  • Superior clinical training
  • Outstanding board passage statistics
  • Community, inpatient, outpatient, and university hospital rotations
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Outstanding outpatient center
  • State-of-the-art PACS, RIS, voice recognition, EMR
  • Great location
  • Congenial atmosphere
  • Teleradiology coverage on call

Q: What kind of applicant are you looking for?

A: Like most programs, we favor good students from good medical schools. Grades, evaluations, letters of recommendation and USMLE scores are all considered. However, since we are a close-knit and supportive department, we probably put more emphasis on personality than some other programs. We definitely look for the right fitWe do not discriminate against applicants with degrees in Osteopathy, applicants with unconventional backgrounds, or applicants with prior post-graduate training in other fields.

Q: How many candidates do you interview?

A: We interview a relatively small percentage of applicants selected through ERAS; 40 to 50 each year is typical. We like candidates to see our hospital, meet the faculty, and especially spend time talking with our current residents. Large groups would make this difficult. During interview days, candidates will be given a tour and may be shown on-campus apartments.

Q: Do you use grade or USMLE score or other cutoffs?

A: No. We consider each candidate as an individual. To do otherwise would be contrary to the philosophy of our program.

Q: What is the deadline for applications?

A: We have no absolute deadline but submission by November 15 is strongly encouraged. 

Q: What becomes of your graduates?

A: Most graduates go on to fellowship training in subspecialties at top institutions. The list includes Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, Brown, Mt. Sinai, Duke, UCSF, Mallinkrodt Institute of Radiology, etc. Our most recent residents have matched at the following programs:

Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY
Body Imaging—Thomas Jefferson University, PA

Neuroradiology—Mount Sinai, NY
Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY
Neuroradiology—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, MA

Interventional Radiology—Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, NH
Breast & Body Imaging—Northwell Health, NY

University of California, Irvine, CA – Musculoskeletal Radiology
Baylor Medical Center, Houston, TX – Breast Imaging
Northwell Health, NY – Musculoskeletal Radiology

University of California, San Francisco – Neuroradiology

Yale-New Haven Hospital – Neuroradiology
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) – Body Radiology
Stanford University – Pediatric Radiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Neuroradiology
Medical University of South Carolina – Vascular/Interventional Radiology
NYU Langone Medical Center – Neuroradiology
Harvard/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Neuroradiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Nuclear Medicine
Duke University Medical Center – Neuroradiology
New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – Neuroradiology
University of Maryland Medical Center – Thoracic Radiology
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center – Body Radiology
University of Southern California – Vascular/Interventional Radiology
University of Maryland – Women’s Imaging
Mt. Sinai Hospital – Neuroradiology
New York-Presbyterian Hospital & Weill Medical College of Cornell University – Musculoskeletal Radiology
University of Southern California – Vascular/Interventional Radiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Breast Imaging
Massachusetts General Hospital – Musculoskeletal Radiology
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Women’s Imaging
Thomas Jefferson University – Neuroradiology
Thomas Jefferson University – Body Imaging
Columbia University – Body Imaging
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Abdominal Imaging
Yale-New Haven Hospital – Women’s Imaging
Columbia University – Neuroradiology
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology – Nuclear Medicine

Q: Do you sponsor J-1 and/or H-1 visas?

A: The residency program has accepted J-1 visas. In regard to H-1 visas, we do sponsor those on occasion, but that would be determined with the Residency Program Director at the time of the interview. We prefer that all requirements for the H-1 visa be completed before we sponsor such a visa, i.e., you should plan to take the USMLE Step 3 exam before applying.

Q: Do you accept applications from international medical graduates?

A: Yes. Although the majority of our residents are from U.S. medical schools, we have had several excellent international graduates in our program over the years, and we value diversity. Educational and/or clinical experience in this country strengthens one’s application considerably. There are several requirements prior to consideration for international medical graduates. An ECFMG certificate and an ACGME-accredited clinical year are required (Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics or Transitional).

We participate in the ERAS program, and paper applications are not accepted. Learn more about the ECFMG-ERAS program.

Q: How many residents per year are accepted?

A: Two alternating with three, resulting in a total of ten residents.

Q: What is your call frequency?

A: Because we are a small residency, call may be more frequent than at some larger programs. Call is front-loaded to give younger residents more experience, and allowing less call for more senior residents studying for their board examinations. We believe that on-call experience is necessary for training but that call need not be exhausting or abusive. Studies after 10 p.m. are read by teleradiology.

Q: What kind of conferences do you have, and how often?

A: We have two conferences a day with our faculty – a morning lecture (usually didactic) and a noon conference during which cases are presented. In addition, we have several regular guest lecturers (some of whom are Board Examiners) who give us monthly conferences on Ultrasound, GI, GU, Cardiac, Chest, and Pediatrics. Inter-departmental tumor boards with the Internal Medicine residents, GI and Pulmonary fellows also occur on a monthly basis. This averages out to approximately 2-3 hours of dedicated resident education per day.

Q: Are there any areas where you feel your education could be improved?

A: Norwalk Hospital has a surprisingly broad spectrum of cases. To round out our educational experience, we spend time at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Columbia University’s Children’s Hospital of New York distributed throughout the residency. Neuroradiology and pediatric radiology are the primary focuses at these institutions, respectively. We work side-by-side with Ivy League faculty, with the same privileges and responsibilities as their residents.

Q: What is the difference between a systems-based and modality-based approach?

A: We have a modality-based education at Norwalk Hospital. What this means is that we learn based on the study modality (CT, MRI, US, etc.) rather than on a body system (GI, GU, cardiac, etc.). This leads to a much more practically oriented education, especially for people interested in a private practice setting.

Q: Do residents have much autonomy?

A: In terms of radiology, everything we review as a resident is over-read by an attending. Regarding procedures, residents can exercise their own discretion as to how involved they get after competency is obtained. As residents become more proficient in procedures, more independence is allowed in performing them (there are no fellows) – to the comfort level of the resident. Regarding residency issues, we decide our own call schedule and vacation times.

Q: What kind of support do you get from your faculty?

A: Our faculty is very supportive. They are responsive to our educational wants and needs, and they tailor their lectures to reflect this. Texts and educational DVDs and CD-ROMs are available in the department library, and can be ordered if felt to be of benefit to resident education. Radiology board preparation is outstanding from our faculty.

Q: What other perks does your program offer?

A: Where to begin?

  • 23 days of vacation (four weeks and three personal days; four if a holiday is worked)/year
  • Five days CME/conference time/year
  • Ability to decide when to take vacation (with only minor restrictions on timing)
  • Ability to decide call schedule (with compromises to other residents, of course)
  • Excellent text package – the faculty provides a set of texts for the new residents. This previously included the entire Requisites and Case Review series, but resident input has altered this to reflect texts more useful for resident education.
  • Stipends provided during Yale rotation months ($400/month), housing at the Columbia pediatric radiology rotation, and one of the most generous stipends among radiology programs for the AFIP conference ($3,500 in addition to tuition).
  • Three review conferences subsidized by the program (up to $1,500 each), plus a physics review course, plus a radiobiology review course.
  • The faculty encourages research; if research is presented at a conference, the program will cover the fees.
  • Location; one hour by train, 45 minutes by car (depending on traffic) to Manhattan; 2.5 hours to Boston. South Norwalk offers a variety of upscale dining and a lively weekend nightlife (young professional scene)

Q: What is the benefit of NOT having radiology fellows at Norwalk Hospital?

A: More advanced and versatile residents.

  • With no fellows in the way, residents gain direct, hands-on training in diagnostic and interventional procedures that are otherwise reserved for fellows in other programs. 
  • The relationship between faculty and residents is close and personal, with attendings working one-on-one with residents throughout each day.  Discussion, suggestions, and example lead each resident to a high level of clinical competence and confidence.