Fellowships Thoracic Radiology
Ella A. Kazerooni, M.D.
In the past decade there has been growing awareness of the need
for focused subspecialty-training in imaging technologies and organ
system radiology, including thoracic radiology. Once thought of
as a specialty that almost entirely involved the interpretation
of chest radiographs, thoracic radiology has grown to include CT,
MR, ultrasound and interventional procedures. Thoracic radiologists
provide expertise is these arenas to consulting physicians not
only in pulmonary and critical care medicine, oncology and thoracic
surgery, but all fields of medicine; the chest radiograph remains
the highest volume radiology examination performed in inpatient
and outpatient radiology facilities.
Special knowledge of pulmonary and cardiovascular anatomy, physiology
and disease states together with expertise in the interpretation
of chest radiography, CT and MRI, and the performance of chest-related
invasive procedures is in great demand. While this is particularly
true in academic radiology departments, and specialized pulmonary
and cardiac hospitals, the value of trained thoracic radiology
experts has also been recognized in the private practice arena.
One-third of trainees completing thoracic
radiology fellowships in the past ten years have entered private practice immediately
after completing a thoracic radiology training program (STR Spring
In the last five years, twice the number of radiologists completed
thoracic radiology fellowships (STR Spring 1998 Survey) compared
to the previous five years. However, there continues to be a serious
shortage of fellowship-trained thoracic radiologists. Ironically,
thoracic fellowships at many prestigious institutions remain unfilled.
Opportunities exist for excellent training in thoracic imaging
in preparation for either a private practice or academic career.