Diagnostic Residency Training Program

The University of North Carolina Diagnostic Radiology residency training program at UNC Hospitals is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The Residency Program Director is Dr. Robert Dixon. The program is a four-year training experience, leading to board eligibility in Diagnostic Radiology, and is in accordance with the training requirements of the American Board of Radiology.

The program requires an internship prior to entry. BLS and ACLS certification are required. Eight radiology residency positions are available each year. The curriculum is based on rotation blocks. Each rotation consists of a four-week concentration in one of the subspecialty areas of radiology. There are 13 four-week blocks per year. At the end of each rotation, the resident is evaluated by the faculty and obtains feedback on his/her performance in that area.


Goals & Programs by Year

The primary goal of the UNC Department of Radiology is to deliver quality patient care. We strive to provide compassionate, appropriate, and effective care, and we demand professionalism from residents, faculty, and ancillary staff alike. With this in mind, the Department of Radiology provides services to a diverse patient population at an 800-bed hospital 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over 400,000 imaging studies are performed annually.

As patient care is one of the best settings for learning, UNC residents have a significant amount of interaction with the patient population as well as supervised review of radiographic studies by attending staff. In addition to the core radiology attending staff, there is a full-time staff of medical physicists, epidemiologists and computer technologists who provide resident teaching throughout their tenure at UNC. Resident teaching and resident conferences are a high priority.

Radiology residents participate in teaching by giving lectures to medical students beginning in the second year of residency. Each radiologist must be a team player, and the UNC program strives to develop these personal qualities within its residents.

Aside from clinical responsibilities and teaching, research is an important aspect of the UNC curriculum. A variety of opportunities are available to the residents throughout the Department. Research opportunities can be found in every major area with supervision from attending physicians and support staff.

It is the hope of the Department that at the conclusion of four years of training, the resident will be a well-rounded radiologist who is well versed in all aspects of radiology, from plain-film interpretation to performance of cutting-edge interventional procedures.


Year 1

The first-year resident spends most of his or her time learning the basic disciplines of radiology across the majority of the sub-specialties, including chest, GI/GU, vascular/interventional, pediatrics, musculoskeletal, mammography, nuclear medicine, neuroradiology, ultrasound and abdominal-pelvic CT.  In addition to the rotation schedule, the first-year resident gains experience initially by observing other residents perform during case-oriented noon conferences, and later by participating in and preparing conferences.


Year 2

The second year of residency expands on the fundamentals learned during the first year with reinforcement of the fundamentals and expansion into additional areas including abdominal-pelvic, MRI, emergency radiology and cardiovascular imaging.  Added responsibility is also given in the area of medical student lectures, faculty/staff presentations and resident conferences.  A protected, two-week research block intended for involvement in scholarly activity starts in Year 2 and extends to another two-week block in Year 3.


Year 3

In the third year, residents are given the opportunity to work with other departments by rotating through obstetrical and peripheral vascular ultrasound. They also receive additional training in cardiovascular imaging.  During the third year, residents attend the American College of Radiology (ACR) - facilitated by the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (formerly held at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) for a unique four-week experience which covers the "radiologic presentation of a broad range of disease and their pathological basis from all organ systems and imaging modalities."

Year 4

With the ABR's new "Core Exam" held during the end of the third year, the focus of the fourth year will be directed toward refining clinical knowledge.  The curriculum has been reconstructed to allow for "mini-fellowships," allowing residents to focus their education on one (or two) disciplines for up to 6 months. At the conclusion of the fourth year, the resident will have met all of the requirements necessary to become board eligible in the field of radiology.


Below is a summary of our new curriculum.

Curriculum 2014

A Word About Call

Prior to beginning call, each first-year resident participates in a series of "training" call nights where they work with a second-year resident to learn what call entails and to gain some experience in the on-call environment. In addition, there is a formal pre-call lecture series designed to further hone and review important skills before beginning call. Once call officially starts, the second-year residents cover the in-house junior call in two-week rotations. During this two-week period, they function as a "night float," and are released from their daytime clinical duties.

The resident call responsibilities are divided into two call pools, lower level and upper level. The lower level call resident has responsibilities limited to emergency studies generated from inpatients and the emergency room. These studies include conventional radiographs, CT, and basic ultrasound. An upper-level call resident is in-house for backup consultation.

The upper-level call resident begins taking call at the beginning of the third year. The call is taken in-house on a nightly rotating basis among the third- and fourth-year residents. Call responsibilities include all emergent interventional studies, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, inpatient body CT until 1:00 a.m, ultrasound, MRI, and backup for the lower level call resident. After morning signout (~8AM), the upper level call resident is off  duty for the remainder of the day.



Residency Benefits 2012 - 2013

PGY1:       -- $46,984
PGY2 (R1) -- $48,622
PGY3 (R2) -- $50,203
PGY4 (R3) -- $51,306
PGY5 (R4) -- $53,427

VACATION: 3 weeks

MEETINGS: Residents are excused from clinical services to attend approved educational meetings. Travel expenses for residents who present at approved conferences are reimbursed by the department.  Designated residents will also be given days off to represent the department at the annual Association of University Radiologists (AUR) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meetings. Select residents attend the North Carolina American College of Radiology (ACR) meeting at departmental expense. The allocation for meeting days is as follows: PGY-2: 0 days; PGY-3: 3 days; PGY-4: 5 days; PGY-5: 5 days.

SICK DAYS: 5 sick days per year


Read all GME policies here.

FOREIGN GRADUATES: Effective January 1, 2004, UNC Hospitals will accept residents who have been issued a J1 visa and who hold a current ECFMG Certificate. H1B visas are not sponsored at UNC Hospitals after December 31, 2003.