Question For Residency Director
Dear Dr. Julius,
First of all, thank you for writing up this excellent blog. I found the ‘choosing fellowships’ section to be of highly beneficial to me. But even after that beautifully written post, I am still undecided. I am currently a radiology resident in the UK. And, I am keen to apply for a fellowship in the USA(I have completed my USMLE). I like working with my hands. Moreover, I think that I am talented. I understand that the traditional interventional radiology fellowship will no longer be available by the time I am eligible to commence my fellowship (2021).
Now, I am quite interested in neurointerventional radiology. By 2021, I would have completed a five years residency in the UK (3 years in general radiology and two years in neuroradiology). Realistically speaking, what are my chances of getting into a two-year fellowship in neurointerventional radiology being a foreign medical graduate? I understand that it is a competitive fellowship. Also, what kind of interventions do I get to perform by doing a body fellowship?
Many thanks for your help!
Unfortunately, all those years in the UK are not directly transferrable to the United States requirements. So, you are stuck with one of two possibilities in the United States. First, you could look to satisfy the alternate pathway requirements. However, interventional fellowships of any sort have become the most competitive of them all in the United States. Even though you may want interventional radiology, getting a slot as a foreign grad may be next to impossible. And, if you were to find one, you may not satisfy the requirements for licensure in many individual states within the U.S. when you completed your fellowship and looked for work here. Therefore, that would be a tough road to choose.
Second, you could theoretically apply to repeat your clinical and radiology residencies in the USA. But, that would mean an additional five years of training. And, then you could ask for a fellowship in interventional for a year or two (Depending on whether the program has ESIR)
And finally, the most unlikely option, you can apply directly to the IR/DR residencies. But again, only a few accepted applicants were foreigners because it has become one of the most competitive residencies in the match.
To sum up, your options are a bit limited. For your best chances, I would apply to the US residencies and start anew. That would involve many years but would be the most likely scenario to succeed. It would be a tough road to follow.
Body Fellowship For Interventional Practice
In terms of the body fellowship, depending on the location, you may encounter a bit of interventional variability. Some programs do more biopsies and drainages. Others may have a mammo/breast component. And, even others may have a small interventional/vascular element. It comes down to the individual program practice patterns. So, you need to ask around before committing to any particular body fellowship.
Let me know if you have any other questions,
Barry Julius, MD