Board Review 3 – Full lecture

This lecture is a board review lecture geared towards preparation for the radiology resident ABR core exam, although similar material is used for the ABR certifying exam general and neuroradiology sections.

The format of this lecture is case-based. Each case consists of a series of images followed by 1 or 2 questions. The first question is usually to name the diagnosis, while the second is a multiple choice question to test deeper understanding of the specific condition. Try to get the diagnosis before you see the second questions.

The first 10 cases cover brain tumors and the remaining 9 cover general neuroradiology. The final case will be a high speed multiple choice review.

Noncontrast MRI cervical spine search pattern

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine is a very commonly encountered test which can be performed for a variety of indications, including degenerative disease, trauma, demyelinating disease, and metastatic disease. Most of these cases will be done without contrast, as most of the information is there on a non-contrast exam.

This video will walk you through a step-by-step approach to evaluating an MRI of the cervical spine. The optimal approach is to use select sequences to evaluate each part of the study in the following order:

Alignment
Vertebral bodies
Marrow signal
Intervertebral discs
Spinal cord/canal
Soft tissues
Individual levels

Each sequence in the study has strengths at looking at one or more of these things. As we walk through, we’ll take a look at how to use each one.

The level of this lecture is appropriate for medical students, junior residents, and trainees in other specialties who have an interest in neuroradiology or may see patients with spine diseases.

See this and other videos on our Youtube channel.

CT (computed tomography) face radiology search pattern

When you start taking call as a radiology resident, a common test you are going to encounter is a maxillofacial CT, or face CT. This is especially true if you are taking call at a level 1 or level 2 trauma center. A lot of times, this is done in conjunction with a head and/or cervical spine CT. This is an extremely common test in the setting of trauma, including assault and car accidents (MVA or MVC). The key in these settings is to rule out a significant fracture or soft tissue injury to the face.

Because there are a lot of structures, it is important to have a useful search pattern. Reconstructions, especially the coronal reconstruction, are key when interpreting CT of the face. These allow you to see key structures that are parallel to the slice plane on axial images. Symmetry is extremely helpful, as the left should match the right. Additionally, making sure all the fat and fascia planes are clean is very useful.

This video will walk you through a step-by-step approach to evaluating a CT of the face. I recommend a pattern where you start with the coronals at the cranial (top) part of the image, and then work your way down. In this way, you can look at the brain, orbits, sinuses, palate, mandible, and so forth, minimizing the risk of missing a significant finding. Then you can repeat the pattern with the axial images. Finally, the sagittal images are a nice troubleshooting tool, especially for the mandible and cervical spine. As you practice, you will find you can move more quickly through your search without necessarily focusing on each individual element for too long.

The level of this lecture is appropriate for medical students, junior residents, and trainees in other specialties who have an interest in neuroradiology or may be involved with patients with facial injuries and other abnormalities.

 

See this and other videos on our Youtube channel.

Board Review 2 – Full lecture

This lecture is a board review lecture geared towards preparation for the radiology resident ABR core exam, although similar material is used for the ABR certifying exam general and neuroradiology sections.

The format of this lecture is case-based. Each case consists of a series of images followed by 1 or 2 questions. The first question is usually to name the diagnosis, while the second is a multiple choice question to test deeper understanding of the specific condition. Try to get the diagnosis before you see the second questions.

These are all general neuroradiology questions.

Board Review 2 – Introduction

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

This video is a brief introduction before beginning the case style review.

Introduction to Neuroradiology Board Review: Part 2

Neuroradiology search patterns

As radiologists, we often forget that we didn’t know how to go through a study from the beginning. This playlist will be a collection of videos on how to approach studies from scratch. This may be particularly useful to beginning medical students and residents who haven’t sat down at the PACS and looked through a study many times.

Be sure to check back often as more videos are added that cover your favorite neuroradiology exams, or check out our full channel on Youtube.

MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) head radiology search pattern

As a neuroradiologist, one of the most frequently ordered tests you will encounter is an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) of the brain. This test is frequently used to evaluate the vessels of the brain, including the carotid and vertebral arteries and their intracranial branches of the circle of Willis.

MRA of the brain can evaluate for vessel occlusion, dissection, aneurysm, and vascular malformations. It can also be used to follow up on vascular findings seen on other studies. The most common indication, however, is to evaluate for stroke, when it is combined with MRA of the neck and an MRI of the brain.

This video will walk you through a step-by-step approach to evaluating an MRA of the brain, including how to approach each vessel. I use an approach that moves from anterior to posterior and then right to left. While others may have a different strategy, the most important part is to have a strategy and stick to it.

The level of this lecture is appropriate for medical students, junior residents, and trainees in other specialties who have an interest in neuroradiology or may see patients with stroke or other vascular malformations of the brain.

See this and other videos on our Youtube channel.

Cervical spine CT (computed tomography) radiology search pattern

For those aspiring radiologists out there, has anyone ever explained to you what you should do when you sit down at the PACS station to look at a cervical spine CT? What are the common indications to get a cervical spine CT?

For those non-radiologists out there, have you ever wondered what exactly is going through a radiologists mind as they look through the images? How do you even begin to look at all of the imaging findings?

This video attempts to demystify a lot of that by showing exactly how you might sit down and look at a cervical spine CT on your own. It starts with the reformatted images (those in sagittal and coronal planes) to get an overview of the alignment and anatomy before reviewing the axial images. This video doesn’t include everything you should look at, but is a guide for how you might begin.

The level of this video is appropriate for medical students, junior residents, and trainees in other specialties who have an interest in neuroradiology. It may also be of interest to those with an interest in radiology who are simply curious to learn more about radiology.

See this and other videos on our Youtube channel.

Neuroradiology job search – part II – Applying and getting a job

This is the second part of a piece about getting a job as a neuroradiologist. The first section covered some general steps that you might take, including deciding on your interests, preparing your CV, and finding a mentor. If you haven’t read it already, you might consider going back and checking out Part 1.

Link to Part I – Preparing for the search

This article focuses on what to do once you are ready to apply.

5. Network

The importance of networking is tremendous. The majority of job openings are known before they ever reach a job board. Knowing about a job prior to its broad posting can give you an advantage, as you may be interviewing for a job while others are just applying. If you know people in your desired area or practice (from residency, meeting contacts, etc.), it is reasonable to politely contact them and ask if they are looking to hire in the upcoming year. In the best scenario, there is a job available and they want to know more about you. If no position is available, you have still put yourself on the radar if a position becomes available.

In addition to people that you are close to, you should also consider secondary networking and new contacts. Our faculty come from multiple geographic regions and many trained at other institutions. Additionally, neuroradiology is a relatively small community. For these reasons, faculty often have contacts in other regions and may be able to introduce you to new people that can help in your search. Society meetings, such as American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), are great places to meet people from areas you may be interested in and learn about jobs in other locations.

It is much easier to get introduced to someone by a known party than to simply cold call or email. People get many emails and will often ignore solicitations for jobs. However, if there is a practice or area you are interested in, it may be reasonable to contact them. Blanket emailing or calling of numerous practices may be successful in some cases but is probably the least effective technique.

Blanket emailing or calling of numerous practices may be successful in some cases but is probably the least effective technique.

6. Use online job databases

Online job databases are another extremely useful to find out about job opportunities. Although word of mouth is faster, many jobs eventually end up posted on online job boards. The most useful resources are the society online job boards. Postings can be filtered by type and location to tailor the search further. You can create saved searches and alerts which will email you automatically when jobs meeting your criteria become available. This can save you from compulsively rechecking these sites. Many of these postings will direct you to an online application or recommend you email your CV and/or a cover letter. If you don’t hear back about an application within a couple of weeks, a follow-up call or email may yield more information. The most useful online job boards include:

Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

ACR logo

American College of Radiology (ACR)

American Society of Neuroradiology

Several of these resources include jobs for non-radiologists, including scientists and researchers. RSNA and ACR cover the entire radiology field while ASNR covers neuroradiology only. Other job posting sites exist although their signal/noise ratio may be lower due to difficult to interpret postings from recruiters and spam.

7. Prepare for the interview

To a certain extent, this goes without saying, but it is still worthwhile to prepare for your interview. Brief telephone interviews are common before in-person interviews and are a good opportunity to introduce yourself to a practice. In-person interviews often involve meeting more people throughout the course of a day. Probably the most important part of the interview is being able to articulate your qualifications and reasonably describe why you are interested in a program. This will be easiest if you learn a bit more about the practice and geography of the reason. You need to be able to state what your goals are and how this job would help you achieve them. Otherwise, the best advice is to relax and be yourself. People want to hire a normal human being, so try your best to be one.

8. Be patient – but not too patient

Each step of the job search is going to take time, as practices are often large organizations that take a while to make decisions. Expect this to take anywhere from days to months, but don’t let a lead get completely cold. When pursuing a job, you should remain in contact until you have either taken the job or it is clear that one or both parties are not interested. Ideally, at the end of each interaction (phone interview, email interview, etc.), you should set up a clear timeline for what will happen next. For example, after an interview set a clear time for follow-up. You can do this by saying something like, “It was great meeting you and your group. I know it may take some time to discuss it with the partners, but it would be great if we could follow up on the phone in two weeks.” This will give you clear time frame without looking overly desperate/anxious about the position.

Ideally, at the end of each interaction (phone interview, email interview, etc.), you should set up a clear timeline for what will happen next.

Many things may change over the lengthy job search process. Your interests and goals may change. New positions will become available. It is a fluid situation. While the peak time to get jobs for the following summer are probably late fall to winter, very good jobs can become available in the spring. The timing of hiring can vary with fluctuations of the job market in general. It’s important to not let your anxiety about the process cloud your judgment and pressure you into taking a job where you won’t be happy. It may also depend on your personal needs. If you are looking for a job with very specific requirements, it may take a bit longer. Seek advice from your colleagues and mentors throughout the process and they can help.

Conclusion

This document is by no means all inclusive, but it is designed to give you some general notion of how to approach the process. Other topics, such as negotiating the terms of your employment and salary although important, are not discussed here. Hopefully it is informative and helps allay some of the anxiety from this inherently stressful process. With preparation and patience, this can be a rewarding process in which you finally move on from being a trainee to an independent radiologist. Good luck.