Adapted from Ashley Etchison, M.D. (Class of 2023)
Revised by Aaroh Parikh, M.D., M.B.A. and Jerry So, M.D. (Class of 2024)
The first year of radiology residency is such an exciting time because you finally begin your journey to becoming a radiologist. A “typical day” for an R1 is somewhat variable as you rotate between five incredible teaching sites in the Texas Medical Center and surrounding area, each with its own unique patient population and assortment of pathologies. R1s spend more than half of the year in the Harris Health System, rotating at Ben Taub General Hospital (Houston’s flagship county hospital) and Smith Clinic (outpatient center). These rotations are exciting and busy, featuring a mi x of imaging interpretation and procedures.
On an average day at Ben Taub, you will begin your day around 7 a.m. by protocoling upcoming studies and reading a variety of x-rays and CTs that pertain to your rotation’s subspecialty. On the MSK and Body rotations, you’ll also perform joint injections and fluoroscopic procedures between reading cases, which is a great introduction to procedures well before your months on IR. You’ll review your morning cases with your attending before leaving for noon conference.
During noon conference, you will join your co-residents for lunch while attending an educational lecture. Many noon conferences are designed specifically for first-year residents and include physics and team-based learning (TBL) lectures. TBL lectures focus on foundational neuroradiology and abdominal imaging and often have a short pre-reading assignment.
After noon conference, you will return to the reading room and dictate more cases. You’ll review your cases with your attending once again, and wrap up your day by 5 PM. Later in the evening, you’ll review topics related to your subspecialty rotation or pre-read for upcoming TBL lectures.
Although learning radiology from scratch feels intimidating at first, the first year of residency is a very rewarding introduction to the field through the wide variety of radiologic subspecialties and will ultimately build a strong foundation for second year and call. Additionally, our team-building exercises with TBL help set us up for a great teamwork dynamic before we enter our call-heavy and procedure-heavy years! Because we don’t take emergency reading room call as first year residents, we additionally have a lot of time to spend with each other on the holidays and weekends and get to know each other better, with each of us forming multiple friendships that last for the remainder of residency and beyond.