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Nuclear Medicine - Curriculum

 

The Nuclear Medicine residency program at University of Toronto offers a 2-year post Diagnostic Radiology residency position open to trainees who have completed or will be completing an accredited residency in Diagnostic Radiology. 

The academic curriculum fulfills the requirements Diagnostic Radiology (PGY1-5) and Nuclear Medicine (PGY6-7) of the Royal College and includes the following: 

PGY1

This year is spent learning clinical medicine and is divided between a core university teaching hospital and a community hospital.  The PGY1 year includes two months of Internal Medicine and subspecialties, four months Surgery and subspecialties, and one month each of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology. An additional month is spent in the university anatomy laboratory.  In the final month of PGY1, all residents take an introduction to radiology course.

PGY2

This is a core year in general radiology.  After a 10-week introductory program, residents spend one or two months rotations on thoracic, musculoskeletal, abdominal and neuroradiology imaging. As well, there are one month rotations in CT and ultrasound.  PGY2 trainees spend the first year at one or possibly two of our principal teaching hospitals, either  Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the Joint Department of Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network, or St. Michael's Hospital. 

PGY3

This year is divided into three to six month blocks at hospitals within the principal teaching hospitals. By the end of PGY3, each resident will have spent time at each of the principal teaching hospitals taking advantage of the varied academic programs unique to each facility. The principal rotations of PGY3 include ultrasound, nuclear medicine, neuroradiology, vascular-interventional radiology and more advanced general radiology including breast imaging.

PGY4

This year includes four months of pediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children, additional training in vascular-interventional radiology and additional general radiology including breast imaging and a community rotation. MRI is included at all levels in relevant rotations and is available at all primary hospitals.  Most residents attend the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology during the PGY4 year.  

PGY5

There are five elective blocks designed by the PGY5 resident in consultation with the program director. This allows opportunity for personal selection of hospitals and electives including additional MRI training. Residents may choose to spend three or four months in one imaging rotation or may select one month review rotations, but the experience must meet the training requirements for The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

PGY6

This is the first year of Nuclear Medicine residency program.  The year is divided into one to three 4-week blocks at each of the participating adult teaching hospitals.  The residents will spend two blocks at The Hospital for Sick Children for paediatric exposure.  In addition, residents are required to complete one block each of radiopharmacy and community rotations.  One elective rotation is also offered, where the residents have the option to choose a specific rotation of their choosing with prior approval from program director.

PGY7

This final year of the program consolidates skills learned in previous years and finalizes a resident's ability to run a nuclear medicine practice.  The residents have the option of spending six months of the PGY7 year in advanced molecular imaging rotations which enhance a modern multimodality perspective on molecular imaging. Additional rotations are available in radiopharmacy a, cardiac nuclear medicine and community, as well as up to four months of elective time which can include dedicated research rotations as deemed appropriate by the residency program committee.

PHYSICS INSTRUCTION

A formal program of physics courses and lectures is provided by members from the Department of Medical Biophysics.  In the PGY6 and PGY7 years, a dedicated physics course is provided at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  Residents have three one-week courses and a few lectures on clinical MR Physics offered by clinical faculty which are integrated into the academic half-day curriculum during their radiology residency training.

RESEARCH PROGRAM

All Residents are required to participate in the didactic research program and to complete at least one research project during their residency.  A series of lectures is given to introduce the Residents to critical appraisal, quality improvement, research methodology, study design, data handling and manuscript preparation during a four day research course held annually.  Residents may choose research rotation during their elective blocks.  A dedicated nuclear medicine research project is encouraged to undertake during the PGY6 year and present at the annual research day in PGY7.

HALF DAY PROGRAM

There is protected academic time each week (every Tuesday morning) when the Residents are free from clinical duties to attend scheduled seminars and Department activities.  The half day program includes weekly core clinical lectures principally for the PGY1 to 3 years. The didactic portion of the Nuclear Medicine program includes physics, radiation biology, 12 hours of introductory lectures in clinical nuclear medicine and twice monthly nuclear medicine seminars are included in the PGY 2 -5 years.  This curriculum repeats every 2 years and covers all major areas/subspecialties of the Diagnostic Radiology program (medical expert competency) with updates and additions made to the curriculum to continually improve the program based on feedback and evaluations.
 
In addition, there is a curriculum of non-medical expert CanMEDS competencies with sessions that are mandatory for all residents (includes sessions related to the manager, collaborator, communicator, professional, scholar and health advocate competencies).

In the PGY6 and PGY7 year the resident receives formal didactic sessions in physics, radiopharmacy, radiation safety, radiobiology, instrumentation as well as additional clinical seminars.

JOURNAL CLUB

There are approximately 4 to 6 Journal Club meetings yearly in Department of Medical Imaging, two of which are organized by Nuclear Medicine.  These are held in the evening with dinner provided.  Faculty attend and assist the residents with critical appraisal of the chosen articles.  Residents are also encouraged to attend and participate in the GTA Nuclear Medicine city-wide rounds.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO VISITING PROFESSOR PROGRAM

Visiting Professors are invited each year and spend a half day with the residents and faculty, and present three didactic lectures.  They also meet separately with the Residents for case showing rounds. The visiting professor program is integrated into the Academic Half-Day Program and occurs from October to May each year.

ORGAN IMAGING REVIEW COURSE

This is an internationally recognized review course organized by the Department of Medical Imaging and take place in Toronto, which all Residents (PGY 1-7) are given the opportunity to attend annually.

OTTAWA HEART NUCLEAR CARDIOLOGY COURSE

This is a three-day review course specifically targeted to both Nuclear Medicine and Cardiology residents.

CALGARY NUCLEAR MEDICINE REVIEW COURSE

This review course is especially organized for the Nuclear Medicine residents.  The residents are encouraged to attend this course.  The program provides partial reimbursement of travel expenses up to a maximum amount is set by program.

ROUNDS

Resident rounds are held at each hospital for 1 to 3 hours daily.  One round every other week is devoted to Nuclear Medicine.  In addition, Residents may attend interdisciplinary rounds depending on their rotation.  Rounds may be staff or Resident directed, and topics may be clinical or non-clinical skills. Nuclear medicine residents are encouraged to attend all rounds.