UW Radiology

Diagnostic radiology resident perspectives on fellowship training and career interest in emergency radiology

Emerg Radiol. 2018 Dec;25(6):653-658. doi: 10.1007/s10140-018-1633-8. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Authors: Herr KD1, Risk B2, Hanna TN3.



(1) Evaluate radiology resident perception of emergency radiology (ER). (2) Identify potential barriers to pursuing fellowship training or a career in ER among radiology residents.


A 9-question digital survey was designed using Qualtrics Experience Management software (Qualtrics Inc., Provo, UT) and distributed to all US radiology residents via a multi-pronged distribution approach.


Four hundred fifty-one residents responded out of an estimated national total of 4432 residents (10.2%). Gender proportion was nationally representative (female = 24.5%; p = 0.57), with a slight R1 predominance (p = 0.034). Of the residents, 88.8% were aware that an ER subspecialty exists, 82.0% were aware that ER fellowships exist, but only 51.7% were aware that the American Society of Emergency Radiology (ASER) exists. Nearly a quarter reported no ER division or ER resident rotation. Residents in a program without an ER division or rotation were nearly twice as likely to be unaware of the existence of ER subspecialty, ER fellowships, and ASER compared to others (p = 0.017). The presence of an ER division and rotation significantly increases the knowledge of ASER (65.5% vs. 40.7%, p < 0.001) and increases residents’ ratings of their ER training (p < 0.001). The following factors were ranked as the most important for fellowship choice: (1) personal interest, (2) intellectually stimulating, and (3) work hours. When asked if ER had an appealing work schedule, the mean response was 56 out of 100 (0 = disagree, 100 = agree).


US radiology residents with the greatest exposure to ER during residency are more familiar with ER training, ER career opportunities, and ASER and had a more favorable perception of the field. Subspecialty leaders should focus on ER’s inherent intellectual appeal and reframe its nontraditional schedule as positive (flexible).

Links to full text