Question About Teaching In Radiology
Hi Dr. Julius,
I am an MS3 who is planning on going into radiology, have always loved teaching, and want to make it a large part of my career. I was hoping to hear your take on how radiologists can teach and any tips to shape my career with this goal in mind.
“What kind of teaching opportunities do you have?” is a common question that I get from my interview candidates for residency every year. Teaching is a large part of learning in most radiology programs. Almost all programs have some form of teaching opportunities. These may manifest as teaching medical students, junior residents from different specialties rotating through your department, or interdepartmental tumor boards. Regardless, you will find many opportunities to teach.
Community Vs. Academic Teaching In Radiology
So what is the difference between programs and the different teaching opportunities? Well, it comes down to the sort of teaching. More community programs tend to give you less opportunity to teach students because they may not be affiliated with a medical school. Instead, you will have more opportunities to teach technologists, nurses, and fellow physicians. And, the options tend to be less formal.
On the other hand, academic programs give you more formal opportunities to teach and mentor research projects and other academic members within your residency, such as students, observers, fellows, and more that you would not get at a community program. And, teaching can be in larger forums. The bottom line is that teaching opportunities are not unique to one type of program or another. The styles just depend on your inclinations and your choice of program.
Stop And Smell The Roses (And Teach!)
I believe that each resident that comes through a program should stop and take the opportunity to teach others. Teaching others reinforces what you know and helps your fellow man or woman. Plus, you wind up hearing or asking questions that you may never have thought about in the first place. These questions make for promising research projects or take you to places that will make you understand ideas more deeply than you ever thought possible. The rewards are invaluable, and the time it takes to do so is relatively negligible.
Then, when you finish your residency, you can decide for yourself if you want to take more opportunities to teach either in academic or private practice. They are all around you. It’s a matter of what you want to pursue in your career.
My forty-three cents on teaching,
Barry Julius, MD