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Q: 1- or 2-year job/postdoc to prepare a new M.D. for Radiology residency ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: 1- or 2-year job/postdoc to prepare a new M.D. for Radiology residency
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: questioner237-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 02 May 2006 17:29 PDT
Expires: 01 Jun 2006 17:29 PDT
Question ID: 724891
Need a 1-year or 2-year job/fellowship/postdoctoral position that will
help a graduating medical student (M.D.) get a residency in radiology.
 Resume and other information is posted at
Location can be anywhere in the world (U.S./Canada preferred), but
must not require knowledge of a language other than English or
Russian.  The main requirement is that the experience make the student
a stronger candidate for radiology residency in the U.S.
Clinical research in radiology would be ideal.  The position must be
appropriate given the resume (e.g. can't require knowledge of computer
science / digital processing algorithms).  The student is extremely
motivated and has good references, including from radiologists. 
Ideally, the answer would include several options.

Request for Question Clarification by welte-ga on 04 May 2006 18:24 PDT
Hi questioner237-ga,  It would be helpful to have a little more
information about the types of positions you are looking for now
(e.g., clinical or basic research, etc.), area of the country you'd
prefer to end up in, and what type of career you ultimately see
yourself pursuing (i.e., academic, private practice, research,
consulting, etc.).


Clarification of Question by questioner237-ga on 04 May 2006 21:57 PDT
This is for a friend.  They're goal is to work as a radiologist in a
clinical setting.  Radiology residencies being so competitive, they're
looking for work/research experience that will make them more
qualified.  They're not looking to do research for the rest of their
life, but want to do it for a time to get a foothold in the field. 
Problem is, much of radiology research requires a computer science
background which they don't have; and clinical positions require
licensure.  Still, from the radiology rotations they did have they
felt strongly that the type of work radiologists do comes naturally to
them.  They're looking for a job where they can demonstrate this and
gain a deeper understanding of radiology, by working closely with
radiologists in either a research or a clinical setting.  This
experience would then help them get into a radiology residency.

In terms of location, large cities in the U.S. are preferred, but a
worthwhile position anywhere in the world (including Canada and even
Europe) would be considered as long as it realistically matches the
resume and is at a sufficiently reputable place that the work would
enhance the chance of matching into a U.S. radiology residency.

Clarification of Question by questioner237-ga on 04 May 2006 22:07 PDT
p.s. They currently plan to apply for July 2007 residencies, so
positions that open immediately and run for a year would be by far the
most useful.  However, something that runs for two years but promises
to provide a very good experience and significantly increase the
chances of matching into a radiology residency in 2008 (and
realistically matches the resume) may be useful also.
Subject: Re: 1- or 2-year job/postdoc to prepare a new M.D. for Radiology residency
Answered By: welte-ga on 09 May 2006 11:26 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again questioner237-ga,

Thanks for the clarification.  As you state, radiology residency is
quite competitive.  Often having even very strong fellowships and
research background are only minimally helpful.  If your friend is
going for a high caliber academic place, then research will help,
particularly if it is done at the same or similar institution.  For
example, doing research at Mass General will help you get a spot there
or, say, at Brigham & Women's, UCSF, Hopkins, etc.  From my own
experience, many places outside of the higher academic echelon are
much less involved in research.  This has been a problem that the
national society (RSNA) has been trying to address by offering grants
to residents and faculty to get involved in research (both basic and

First, let me discuss some general strategy and planning regarding research...

I'm not sure that research in radiology requires either a computer
science background or a medical license.  With only 1-2 years, your
friend won't be doing a large-scale research project entirely on their
own, so getting through the IRB (Internal Review Board) process, which
would require a license and privileges at an institution, aren't such
an issue.

One possible approach would be to find a couple of programs that your
friend is interested in and look at what type of work their doing. 
Specifically, look at the work the Chairman and residency director are
involved in.  Working on a great project in a department with someone
who doesn't have any influence may not turn out to be very fruitful
unless you end up involving other people in the department.  Chairs
and residency directors tend to be involved in more of the clinical
and educational research anyway.  Larger programs will generally have
more money, but may also be more competitive to get even a
pre-residency research position in.

So, the ideal situation would likely be to apply for and receive a
high profile post-doctoral fellowship to work with someone of
importance in a medium to large academic program.  This brings some
prestige to the program and gets your name out there.  Unfortunately,
most of these types of post-docs are at least 3 years long and are
sometimes more competitive than getting into a radiology residency. 
Planning funding can be the most important and hardest part of getting
involved in any project at any institution.  Even big programs might
have all of their applicable research grant "slots" filled, leaving no
simple way to pay your salary and research costs.  On the plus side,
these larger programs often have slush funds for short term
supplemental funding, but this is political and its availability often
depends on where your advisor stands with the person who can sign off
on the money.

One example of well regarded extramural funding is the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute grant and fellowship program.  The HHMI program of
grants and fellowships are arguably the most prestigious and
competitive awards in the medical field.  Here is their main grants
and fellowships page:

Unfortunately, HHMI is no longer awarding post-doctoral fellowships. 
They do, however, award research training fellowships for medical
students.  Having done one of these fellowships myself, I can say it
is an amazing experience and is a lifelong door-opener.  There are
only about 50 fellowships of this type awarded per year (the number
varies).  You either do research at the NIH, which might not suit your
purpose, or create a proposal with a faculty member where you plan to
perform the research.  This is essentially a grant proposal, and you
want to apply with a faculty member who is familiar with writing
successful grants.  You can usually find this out by reading their CV
or Bio online.  You can do one year of research and apply for a second
year of funding.  Most people do research after their 3rd year, but
they don't have any hard stipulations on this.  Here is the HHMI
Medical Student Research Fellow site:

You can essentially do any type of research, but they prefer topics
that have potential clinical impact.  A good approach would be to
approach a suitable radiology professor and propose a research topic
that has something to do with work he/she is currently engaged in. 
Starting a completely new project with only one year to work is not
usually realistic and you want to work in an environment where there
are a group of people with some expertise to help propel your project
closer to success.  Two years of research and a failed project may not
endear you to the faculty, so it's risky.  I would propose to apply
for a small grant to support your work, including an HHMI grant if you
qualify.  I would discuss with this faculty member the possibility of
being funded on one of their own current grants (e.g., as a research
assistant / research associate) if you are unable to secure your own
funding.  It's actually rare to be able to secure your own funding at
the medical student or early post-doc level unless you are primarily
interested in research and have experience in this area.  HHMI has a
goal of introducing medical students who don't have significant
experience in medical research to this area in the hope of sparking
their interest in a research career, so they like people who are smart
but don't have experience.


Having a funding backup would ensure that you could begin work in a
lab or department relatively quickly, without the threat of having to
leave if a grant or fellowship didn't go through.  Working on a grant
proposal can significantly help you solidify a project and your mutual
goals and evaluate how much can realistically be done in the time
period you have to work with.  It also helps you and your advisor get
to know one another better.

Initially I would e-mail potential advisors to get a feel for whether
or not they might be able to take on an additional project and what
kind of experience they have with getting students through projects. 
Many primarily clinical, non-academic programs will little or not
experience getting projects done and you would be taking a risk going
into such a setting.  Larger programs also have the advantage or
having more projects going on, both long and short term, and more
residency positions that you might ultimately potentially fill when
your project is done.


Some more general advice... Attend all the teaching conferences you
can.  These are usually held at least once per day.  People will then
get to know your face, personality, and abilities, which will be
perhaps the most important thing when it comes around to ranking time
for residency spots.  Present your preliminary results to faculty and
residents at appropriate conferences (e.g., if you're working out a
plan for implementing a new CT protocol, present your findings at a
conference dealing with that topic).  These can be short, but they
show others that you are making a tangible contribution to the

Lastly, before you approach a potential advisor, learn something about
their specific work.  Google them.  Look them up on PubMed and Google
Scholar.  Read a review article on their topic of interest.  You want
to be at least familiar with the issues and topics of the work you'd
like them to pay you to work on.


Here are some potential fellowships, post-doc positions, and grants
that might be applicable to your situation.  Again, you will need to
look at specific programs to better gauge what types of funding to
apply for.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

As discussed above, HHMI offers many types of funding, the most
applicable of which would be the HHMI Medical Student scholars
program, unless you have already graduated.  They unfortunately no
longer offer the post-doctoral fellowship program.


RSNA (Radiological Society of North America)

RSNA is trying to encourage research efforts at all levels.  The site
above includes highlights of some award recipients to give you some
idea of the types of projects they're funding.

You can find more general information about the RSNA Foundation (a
branch of RSNA) here:


One of the best general science funding tools out there is the
Community of Science database (COS):

This free service allows you to enter very specific search
requirements and receive e-mails as new funding opportunities are
announced.  The database contains over 400,000 funding opportunities. 
It is also useful for finding researchers with funding who are working
on a topic you are interested in.  To do some of the searches, you
will need to search from an institution that subscribes to COS.


Another excellent funding database is GrantsNet, a project supported
by HHMI and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS), which works similarly to COS:

A simple search of this database for "radiology" turns up numerous
funding sources, not all of which are applicable, but a start:


Yale Radiology has a good list of radiology funding agencies about
half-way down the page:

UCSF has a similar page:


Here are some NIH funded research topics in radiology, to help you get
some ideas of your own and to start thinking about potential advisors
you might approach:

You can also look at the job postings at Aunt Minnie:


Many of the above extramural funding possibilities require US
citizenship, which will be a barrier for your friend.  In light of
this, I would lean toward trying to get onto a project that already
has funding.  Your friend has a lot of good general skills and some
experience in research, which will be an advantage.  It's still tough
for FMG's (or even US grads) to get into radiology in the US in any
case.  You can also search for general research assistant positions
posted online to get a foot in the door to a lab or center.  Here are
some examples:

Boston University:
This position seems ideal and specifically states that it would be
good for someone planning to apply for radiology residency.  The
position is short (about 4 months), but you might be able to negotiate
a longer stay.


Univ. of Michigan:


Yale MRI research assistant (2 positions):


Another option to consider would be to do a nuclear medicine residency
/ fellowship up front.   These are 1-2 year programs that are less
competitive than most standard radiology residencies and can often
lead to a position in the formal residency program upon completion. 
There are often some open positions out there that can be filled
outside the Match.

You might also be interested in this Powerpoint presentation on
research in radiology (in PDF format):

You may also have special issues as a foreign medical graduate and
your plan to get some more exposure in the US is likely a good plan. 
You might also be interested in this related Answer:


I hope the above information is helpful.  Please feel free to request
any clarification prior to rating.

Best of luck to your friend with the remainder of their training.



Search strategies:
research radiology funding
research radiology

research radiology jobs

"research assistant" radiology positions ~posting -"research assistant professor"

"research assistant" radiology apply  -"research assistant professor"

"research assistant" radiology apply (BA OR MA OR BS OR MS) (position
OR job)  -"research assistant professor"

Request for Answer Clarification by questioner237-ga on 09 May 2006 14:08 PDT
dear welte-ga,
thank you for your effort.
unfortunately, most of the answer misses my question.  i was looking
for specific positions, currently open, that match my friends' resume
-- not for general information or general job-posting websites.  most
of the positions found so far require something that my friend does
not have (e.g. knowledge of computer networking), and/or are not
current (e.g. posted in march 2005).  would you be able to find some
concrete positions, currently open, to which my friend could apply and
 not be automatically turned down because the position requires
something they don't have?
thanks a lot,

Request for Answer Clarification by questioner237-ga on 09 May 2006 14:13 PDT
p.s. my friend has lived in the u.s. for over 8 years, probably has
u.s. citizenship (i'll check) so citizenship restrictions should not
be a problem.

Request for Answer Clarification by questioner237-ga on 09 May 2006 15:55 PDT
p.p.s. my friend is a u.s. citizen.  they also said that positions
requiring 2-year commitment are not that useful since they want to
apply for 2007 residency.  (however, i think if something that matches
their resume really well and would clearly help them get into
radiology later was found, they might reconsider.)

Clarification of Answer by welte-ga on 10 May 2006 10:05 PDT
Hi again,

Sorry for the misunderstanding.  I have found a number of specific
positions that seem appropriate for your friend that have been
recently posted.  I would also look into positions even if they were
posted a year ago - I have seen a few such positions go for nearly 2
years without being filled, often because the PI's on the project are
too busy to follow-up on applicants.  I've provided brief descriptions
and links below:

American College of Radiology Research Assistant to help with data
management (not programming) in Philadelphia:


The Brigham is looking for a person to help with grant preparation and
other research related projects.  While this position wouldn't involve
direct research, it could allow your friend to get their foot in the
door and potentially do more than simple clerical work.  He/she could
potentially play a pivotal role in preparing large grants, utilizing
the medical writing skills mentioned in their resume.  Another
advantage would be the frequent direct contact with multiple
attendings on a daily basis, which would again help in getting
established.  Most people applying for this position won't have an MD,
but one would certainly be helpful in understanding the types of
projects that the applicant would be helping to manage.


The Brain Imaging Lab at the University of Colorado posted a position
about 2 weeks ago for a research assistant.  The computer requirements
are only facility with word processing and spreadsheets to manage
data.  The state that they will train the applicant how to carry out
the job.


Here is a position also at the Brigham with minimal skills requirements:


This position at Memorial Sloan Kettering states that they want 2
years experience in clinical trials, but your other educational
qualifications may make this stipulation negotiable.  It's work a

Here are other related clinical trials positions, with similar requirements:


Cornell is looking for a Research Aide to work on lung cancer
screening in radiology:


UCSD has posted a position for an entry level research associate.  The
job would involve working with small animals, etc.:


Mayo is looking for a research study assistant.  This may involve a
fair amount of clerical work, but would also give your friend the
opportunity to interact with people in the radiology department.


UCSF is looking for a research assistant to help out with clinical
trials.  The requirements sound flexible and allow for a combination
of education and experience.


The Brigham is looking for an entry level research assistant to help
with image transfer and manipulation for clinical trials.  They have
established protocols, so they're not looking for someone to write
code for them (at least as part of this job).  Such a position would
also help your friend become familiar with computer operations that
they would be using nearly every day as a radiology resident.


Here's a position from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. 
The position is likely fairly clerical at it's base, but could
possibly be negotiated into something more:

Here is a possibly related position:


Northwestern is looking for multiple research associates for 1-2 year
positions for work on a body imaging project.  They specify that they
prefer applicants who have completed medical school and are interested
in radiology.


MGH entry level research assistant position on a breast imaging project:


Here's another position from UCSD for work on MRI image processing
(not programming)

Here's another posting of what appears to be the same position:


Stanford lymphoma research position. It is somewhat more broad than
just radiology, but is worth a look:


Here's a UCSF pediatric brain imaging position with flexible
requirements that your friend would likely qualify for:


RSNA is one of the best central sources for finding all types of jobs
in radiology.  Here's their main job page:

Here is a page searching for research jobs with BS or MS level qualifications:

Here is a search including MD level qualifications:

These lists are constantly updated, and I recommend checking back to
find new listings.


The NY Times also posts many potential positions at the many NY
hospitals.  Here's a search that should be continuously updated:

Here is a broader search, not limited to NY (but powered by their search tools):

This last link is one of the most comprehensive lists I have found anywhere.


I hope this information is more helpful.  Feel free to request
additional clarification.


Request for Answer Clarification by questioner237-ga on 10 May 2006 10:59 PDT
dear welte-ga,

thanks a lot, this is much closer to what i was looking for.  my only
remaining question is, can you share some of the methodology you used
for finding this information?

many thanks,


Clarification of Answer by welte-ga on 11 May 2006 08:17 PDT
No problem... I listed all of my searches at the bottom of the
original answer and the last answer clarification.  The one that was
most useful was found through the NY Times job site, setting the scope
to the whole US, and then sifting through about 40 pages of results
for relevant results.  Not that easy, but it did yield more results
than any of the other sources I listed.  Here's the link for


Clarification of Answer by welte-ga on 13 May 2006 08:40 PDT
Thanks for your kind words and generous tip!  Best of luck to your friend.

questioner237-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $40.00
Thanks a lot -- you found info I could not have found myself, and gave
me the tools I can use to find more.  All the best to you!

There are no comments at this time.

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