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Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging: Fellowship Overview

The principal objective of the nuclear curriculum for fellows is to provide trainees with a comprehensive experience in the basics of nuclear medicine practice. This training is intended to prepare for clinical practice involving all aspects of nuclear radiology and nuclear medicine. The training includes mentored experiences in interpretation of adult and pediatric diagnostic radiotracer imaging studies, nuclear cardiology (including stress testing), hybrid dual modality PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging, radionuclide therapy of hyperthyroidism and cancer and general quality control and radiation protection considerations. Upon successful completion of the clinical, laboratory and lecture series of the program, trainees will qualify for Nuclear Regulatory Commission - authorized user licensure.

In each year, the clinical experience includes duties on general nuclear medicine imaging, which includes prescribing the appropriate imaging study, quality control, and the interpretation and integration with other imaging and laboratory findings of all imaging studies. Separate rotations include pediatric nuclear medicine imaging, nuclear cardiology, positron emission tomography (PET) and the nuclear medicine endocrine and therapy clinic. In the first year, a week-long laboratory rotation in nuclear imaging equipment, nuclear pharmacy practices and the safe handling of radioactive materials is included. In addition to the clinical rotations, a lecture series on nuclear medicine physics and radiobiology is given to first-year fellows.

Eligibility for Nuclear Medicine training is according to ACGME criteria for Nuclear Medicine Residency. One-year of training is offered to candidates who have recently completed American Board of Radiology training requirements. A 2-year Nuclear Medicine training program is available to candidates who have completed an ACGME residency in a discipline other than Diagnostic Radiology. Trainees are expected to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine at completion of the program.

Trainees undergo additional experience with on-call nuclear medicine imaging studies (primarily lung scans, hepatobiliary [HIDA] scans, and labeled RBC bleeding studies) when they have mastered the basic skills of diagnostic planning and image interpretation in these areas.