A radiology residency is not as popular a residency for med school graduates as a family medicine residency or internal medicine residency, even though radiology is instrumental in saving lives. If you’ve ever taken an x-ray, CT scan or MRI you’ve been in the care, albeit briefly, of a radiologist.

Radiology Residency Application

What is a Radiology Residency?

A radiology residency, in both the US and Canada, typically lasts between four and five years, but you can add more years if you decide on pursuing a medical fellowship afterward in any one of the many subspecialties in radiology.

  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Neuroradiology
  • Nuclear Radiology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Pediatric Radiology
  • Vascular and Interventional Radiology

What’s Involved in a Radiology Residency (US)

In the US, you can follow many different paths into more specialized fields, or stay within the highly valued role of a diagnostic radiologist when you enter a radiology residency. Many of the radiology residency programs in the US, and Canada, for that matter, use diagnostic radiology as the entry point for residents, as it presents the fundamentals of radiology and prepares them to enter other subspecialties.

What You Need to Get into a Radiology Residency (US)

Here’s where radiology stands out among other medical specialties, as you have to meet many more academic requirements to enter a Diagnostic Radiology residency than many others.

  • Having taken and passed the USMLE Step 1
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Official transcripts
  • Radiology residency personal statements
  • Between three and four letters of recommendation
  • ERAS application form
  • Transitional year residency (program-dependent)

Applying to a Radiology Residency

Every radiology residency program in the US uses the ERAS to accept and review applications, while the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) is the residency match service that ties you to your preferred programs, as they appeared on your rank order list.

How Radiology Residencies are Structured (US)

Like with all residencies, your first years as a radiology resident requires you to pass through several core rotations, in other disciplines, even if you have completed a transitional year residency.

What’s Involved in a Radiology Residency (Canada)

The way radiology residencies are structured in Canada is a little different than in the US. The length is longer, as most Canadian programs last for five-years, which can be even longer if you decide to do a research fellowship or receive more specialized training in Interventional Radiology.

What You Need to Get into a Radiology Residency (Canada)

In Canada, as in the US, Diagnostic Radiology is the main point of entry to radiology. There are Interventional Radiology residencies available in Canada, if you want to pursue that field, but an admission requirement of most IR programs in Canada requires completion of the full DR residency.

  • Residency CV
  • Official transcripts
  • 3 or more letters of reference
  • CaRMS personal letter
  • Altus Suite (program-dependent)
  • Medical Student Performance Record

Applying to a Radiology Residency

There are only 83 radiology residency positions in Canada compared to the nearly 1200 radiology resident positions in the United States. The Canadian number is down from 85, which means that less and less students are interested in radiology.

How Radiology Residencies are Structured (Canada)

The introduction of the Competence by Design model we talked about before has had a ripple effect on all residency program curriculums in Canada. While some things, such as core rotations, are still in place, many schools are still assembling other parts of the residency curriculum, including the final year of residency where you ascend to, or are awarded, the rank of chief resident.

Learn how we can help with your application for Radiology Residency.