T4T: Cardiopulmonary Imaging Fellowships
The majority of radiology residents obtain additional training after residency in the form of a fellowship. Though I am clearly biased, I think cardiopulmonary radiology is a great field with many opportunities for young, motivated radiologists. CT patterns in lung disease are some of the most aesthetic in imaging. Radiologists are invaluable in the diagnosis of diffuse lung diseases and are often able to make a definitive diagnosis, obviating biopsy. Cardiac imaging with CTA and MR is one of the few imaging subfields that allows for simultaneous anatomic and functional assessment. Technological advances in quantitative imaging, PET/CT, and MRI have renewed interest in advanced pulmonary imaging. Increased CT temporal resolution and new reconstruction algorithms will soon allow us to virtually stop the heart mid-beat without cardiac gating; every chest CT will become a cardiac CT. There are numerous educational and research opportunities available to those interested in such pursuits. In addition, those attracted to academics would benefit from the strong and cohesive network of chest radiologists in the US and around the world. We are truly a tight-knit community, more than willing to mentor our junior colleagues. Those entering the private sector would also become invaluable to their groups given their specialized skills in HRCT and cardiac imaging (1/3 of those who complete a cardiopulmonary imaging fellowship enter private practice).
You may wonder which university programs offer cardiopulmonary fellowships. The Society of Thoracic Radiology has posted a list of fellowships on their website (http://www.thoracicrad.org/fellowships/introduction.htm). I am also available if you would like to contact me directly to discuss cardiopulmonary fellowships (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to be the first to welcome you to the club.