Question About ABNM-ABR Pathway And Breast Fellowship
I am a 4th-year radiology resident graduating from the ABR-ABNM 16-month dual certification pathway in June. I matched fellowship in breast imaging starting July. However, I am liking nucs and am considering bagging the breast fellowship and working in nucs.
Can you help me think through if this would be advisable?
Nucs Versus Breast
Dear Nucs Versus Breast,
If you are graduating from an excellent ABNM-ABR dual certification program, you have completed a “fellowship.” So, if you can find a job in nuclear medicine or nuclear radiology that you like, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to forgo the breast fellowship. Especially nowadays, the market for all sub-specialist radiologists is excellent (nucs included).
However, some breast fellowships rely on their fellows a lot. So, bailing out just before the start of the fellowship year may not be the best way to make strong connections in radiology. Of course, this is especially the case if you have already committed and signed on the dotted line. So, make sure to discuss the issue with the breast fellowship director if that is what you want to do. See if they can find another fellow easily and if it will be a hardship on the program if you decide to leave before starting. But before you do anything, make sure you have a job (with a contract in hand) before you talk to anyone about canceling the breast fellowship!
Also, just because you are not doing a breast fellowship doesn’t mean that you can’t practice breast imaging when you leave. I have been reading screening mammos and diagnostic mammos for some time now without a fellowship. And, you will likely have the opportunity to do interventional mammo as well if you want to go in that direction, with or without a fellowship. Completing a fellowship only implies having some additional expertise. It does not mean that other radiologists cannot be excellent breast imagers!