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Overview of Diagnostic Radiology

Overview of Diagnostic Radiology

The Diagnostic Radiology residency program at Queen’s University meets or exceeds the training requirements in each subspecialty area of radiology, as set forth by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). Our program is divided into four stages, according to the Competence by Design (CBD) framework of the RCPSC.

The first stage of Diagnostic Radiology residency at Queen’s consists of eight off-service clinical rotations which allow you to transition into the role and responsibilities of a resident, build connections with your clinical colleagues, and better understand the role of imaging in the larger clinical picture. Rotations include Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology. There is also an opportunity for an elective rotation.

The remaining stages of the program are radiology-specific, including rotations in gastrointestinal/genitourinary imaging, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal imaging, cardiothoracic imaging, mammography, nuclear medicine, fetal and obstetrical imaging, and vascular/interventional radiology. Trainees are introduced to most subspecialties and techniques very early in their training. The established block rotations are intended to provide a broad clinical experience with graded responsibility, development of technical skills, and acquisition of knowledge.

Rotations are completed at the Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital and require active participation in organizing and presenting academic rounds, teaching undergraduate medical students and junior radiology trainees, and supervising junior residents.

The pediatric radiology rotation consists of three blocks at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. This is arranged by an inter-university affiliation agreement and occurs in the PGY-4 year.

A research project is a compulsory component of our program. All residents must complete and present one project during their training.

The final stage of residency (Transition to Practice) intended to be a consolidative experience, providing opportunities for residents to experience life as “junior staff”, complete any outstanding compulsory rotations, and shore up their knowledge in specific target areas. This stage includes an intense period of plain film interpretation as well as ample opportunity to be involved in special procedures or to broaden one's experience in an area of special interest. Depending on the degree of experience, knowledge and confidence, the trainee will work under supervision or independently with consultative support.

Residents are evaluated throughout their training, with resident assessments reviewed regularly by the program’s Competence Committee.  Residents participate in the annual American College of Radiology In-Training Examination (for residents in the PGY-3 and 4 year) and an annual OSCE examination.


Educational Activities

The academic program involves many formal and informal rounds, some of which are interdepartmental rounds. Many of the rounds are organized and conducted by the trainees themselves. Others are conducted by the faculty. Trainees are expected to attend the rounds of other departments which are pertinent to their current rotation.

A comprehensive core curriculum has been developed. This is intended to provide a sense of direction to the program. The emphasis is on anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, classification and staging of diseases. The cycle requires approximately two years to complete.

A variety of seminars are offered throughout our training program. These include: medical ethics, physics, contrast media, research methodology, quality assurance, hospital administration. The department has an active Visiting Professor program consisting of three two-day visits during each academic year.

The program is successful in acquiring positions each year to enable resident attendance at the four week Radiologic-Pathology Course at the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology in Washington, D.C. This represents the most comprehensive short course curriculum in the world. 

Training Sites

The Queen’s University Diagnostic Radiology training program is based out of Kingston Health Sciences Centre, which is comprised of two teaching hospitals: Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital. Kingston General Hospital is the tertiary care centre for Southeastern Ontario. The hospital has a Neonatal Unit with Level 3 Nursery and is the designated Trauma Centre. Acute inpatient care is now centralized at KGH.  Hotel Dieu Hospital focuses on ambulatory care services including outpatient surgery and the vast majority of principal, secondary and tertiary outpatient clinic facilities. The two hospitals are well equipped with state-of-the art radiological equipment including CT, ultrasound, MRI, angiography and nuclear medicine.


Hospital for Sick Children

A three (3) block mandatory Pediatric Radiology rotation at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) is scheduled in the PGY-4 year.