The University of Southern California offers a one-year ACGME accredited training program in Neuroradiology. This program is designed to provide trainees with the unique clinical, academic, research and technical skills required to practice this specialty. The education program is organized to provide comprehensive, in-depth training and experience in the evaluation and diagnosis of patients in all aspects of Neuroradiology including brain, spine, and head & neck imaging for both pediatric and adult patients.
Diagnostic modalities covered in the training program include plain x-ray, computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography with 3D post-processing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MR angiography, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), and other advanced imaging techniques including CT perfusion and MR perfusion/permeability.
In addition to diagnostic training, the program provides trainees with a structured experience in procedural work such as lumbar spinal punctures/myelography, cervical puncture, epidural blood patch, percutaneous image-guided pain procedures including facet/epidural spinal injections under both CT and fluoroscopic guidance, CT-guided bone and soft tissue biopsies/drainages, vertebral augmentation (vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty), and diagnostic cerebral angiography.
The fellowship program is ACGME accredited and accepts six fellows per year. Fellows rotate through various hospitals, including Los Angeles General Medical Center, Keck Hospital of USC, private outpatient clinic HCC1 and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Fellows also serve a key role as educators themselves, teaching residents while on service and giving educational conferences for residents, co-fellows, and faculty. Fellows are also encouraged to participate in research, with alumni fellows having regularly submitted to national conferences.
Faculty & Program Director
The USC Neuroradiology program has ten primary full-time faculty members who teach and provide clinical coverage at Los Angeles General Medical Center and the Keck Medical Center of USC. There are also two USC faculty Pediatric Neuroradiologists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The program additionally has the benefit of three faculty who serve on a part-time and voluntary basis over the course of the year.
All USC Neuroradiology faculty members are certified by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Radiology with all eligible faculty also holding a CAQ in Neuroradiology. These faculty members demonstrate a commitment to the subspecialty as documented by membership and leadership in professional societies, publications in the field, and an ongoing dedication to patient care and the clinical practice of Neuroradiology. The faculty provide fellows with teaching at the workstation, didactic lectures, case conferences, journal clubs, hands-on supervision and guidance during procedures, and direct supervision of patient care including management decisions, interpretive skills, and consultative aspects of the specialty. The program also provides systems based practice, practice quality improvement, and business of radiology exposure.
Facilities and Resources:
- Keck Medical Center of USC, the university inpatient medical center, has a full array of imaging equipment including three MRI scanners, two 3.0T and one 1.5T scanners, two CT scanners, and a neurovascular biplane angiography suite. The fellows work here interpreting Neuroradiology scans and performing procedures in an acute setting for complex inpatients. Fellows get exposed to a wide variety of surgical patients as well as acute stroke, aneurysm, and vascular malformation cases. The Neuroradiology division works closely with a several clinical departments including Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurology, Oncology, and Radiation Oncology.
- USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center provides fellows an opportunity to play a key role in the care of cancer patients from their diagnosis to staging to treatment. Many staging MRIs and CTs are performed at USC including a robust head and neck tumor service. Fellows are also a critical component in the Code Spine rapid spinal cord compression assessment and treatment team. They also perform intrathecal chemotherapy treatments and radiation planning myelograms.
- USC Healthcare Center 2 (HCC2) is a state-of-the-art outpatient imaging facility with one 1.5T and two 3.0T MRI scanners in addition to two CT scanners including a 320-slice unit. There is also an angiographic fluoroscopy suite for procedures. The pace of service here provides fellows a good feel of a private practice environment in terms of diagnostic volume with a number of outpatient procedures including many CT-guided pain injections, biopsies, lumbar punctures, and myelograms.
- Los Angeles General Medical Center is the tertiary referral center for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services providing care to millions of people in the greater Los Angeles area. Fellows are front and center providing diagnostic and procedural imaging services for one of the busiest emergency departments in the country in addition to the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient populations. The Neuroradiology service performs diagnostic angiography here with our fellows serving as the primary operators. Los Angeles General Medical Center also has three 1.5T MRI scanners imaging and four 64 slice CT scanners in addition to a biplane neurovascular suite.
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country treating children with rare genetic and congenital diseases, neurologic disorders, and pediatric tumors. Fellows spend one month of their year rotating at CHLA reading diagnostic exams and participating in multidisciplinary conferences.
The patient population fellows provide care for at USC is extremely broad and diverse between time spent at Keck Medical Center of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Healthcare Center 2 outpatient imaging center, Los Angeles General Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Fellows are exposed to Neuroradiology practice in multiple settings including emergency, inpatient, and outpatient imaging at a large tertiary referral university based hospital network, one of the nation’s largest and busiest level I trauma county hospitals treating the underserved, and a preeminent tertiary referral pediatric hospital. Fellows see a far range of pathologies such as trauma, congenital and pediatric neurological disorders, neuro-oncology, head & neck oncology, infectious disease, and pre- and post-operative brain/spine/head & neck imaging.
Research and Academics:
There is ample opportunity for research and scholarly activity in the Neuroradiology program at USC. All fellows are required to participate in ongoing or new research projects during their fellowship. Neuroimaging has been significantly bolstered at USC with the establishment of the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, which includes the USC Imaging Genetics Center. The fellows are encouraged to participate in research with the Neuroradiology faculty and/or these other Neuroimaging investigators on the Health Science Campus as well as other engineers and MR physicists at the highly regarded USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Zilkha Institute of Neurogenetics.
How To Apply
Thank you for your interest in the USC Neuroradiology Fellowship. Those wishing to apply must apply through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System) and submit the following:
- A copy of your curriculum vitae
- A personal statement
- 3 Letters of recommendation
- USMLE scores
- Professional photo