Should Radiology Delay the Start of Fellowships? A Survey of the APDR

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Medical Education | Radiology


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Several major medical specialties have recently considered delaying the start date of their fellowship training programs to allow for completion of their trainees' residency obligations. Radiology program directors (PDs) have voiced the need for a similar solution, as fellowship start dates at some institutions now occur well before the end of residency training. The objectives of this study are to assess the current state of the radiology fellowship transition and understand its impact on residency programs and clinical services.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Survey Monkey (Palo Alto, CA) was used to create a survey consisting of 9 multiple choice and 2 free text questions. The survey was approved by the survey committee of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) and distributed via email to all 240 APDR members in November 2018. The survey was closed after 30 days.

RESULTS: The response rate was 67% (160/240). Fifty-nine percent of respondents indicated some of their residents are asked to arrive at fellowships before July 1, often several days early for orientation and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) training. Sixteen percent of respondents said their own institutions ask incoming fellows to arrive early. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that this causes staffing problems. Seventy-eight percent of respondents supported considering a delay to the start of radiology fellowships.

CONCLUSION: Most APDR members claim that residents are asked to arrive at fellowships early to complete orientation and training before July 1, and most say that this produces staffing problems on services. A significant majority of respondents support a discussion regarding delaying fellowship start dates.


APDR, Delay, Fellowship, Graduate medical education, Orientation, Residency, Start date, Survey

DOI of Published Version



Acad Radiol. 2019 Apr 29. pii: S1076-6332(19)30166-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2019.03.012. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic radiology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID