The Nuclear Medicine Residency Program at the University of Maryland Medical System was established in May 1999. The program has five ACGME-approved resident positions. The passing rate for those program participants who took the American Board of Nuclear Medicine examination over the past five years has been 100 percent.
The principal objective of the program is to prepare residents for a career in nuclear medicine. On completion of the program, residents should have developed the highest level of clinical competency and skills needed to successfully provide nuclear medicine services. The residency program provides a broad understanding of general nuclear medicine, as well as advanced subspecialties in nuclear oncology, nuclear cardiology, and molecular imaging. For example, our nuclear cardiology program is a nationally recognized program led by Vasken Dilsizian, MD, director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine and a diplomate of the American Boards of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Nuclear Medicine. The division includes four full-time physician faculty, one physicist, and one radiopharmacist.
In addition to clinical nuclear medicine training, the program emphasizes academic activities and involvement in scientific research. Residents are encouraged to participate in the division's research projects that fit their interests and that contribute to achievement of their career goals. Our residents have been quite successful in academic productivity, with numerous abstracts accepted for presentations at major national scientific meetings, such as the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) scientific sessions. We have been awarded the RSNA Molecular Imaging Young Investigator Award twice in the past five years (2006 and 2008).
Training is conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center (site 1) and the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center (site 2). The two hospitals are physically connected. The program has seven advanced SPECT cameras (four in site 1, three in site 2), two PET/CT scanners (one in site 1 and one in site 2), and two radionuclide generators (99mTc and 82Rb, in site 1). The radiology department now includes a small animal imaging center, with SPECT and PET/CT capabilities, as well as other preclinical research modalities.
Our residents are exposed to diverse nuclear medicine studies and populations, including children. We have a nuclear radiation dosimetry and radiotherapy program. In 2008, the program performed 3,056 general nuclear medicine studies and procedures, including radionuclide therapy; 3,273 nuclear cardiology studies; and 2,090 18F-FDG-PET studies, along with hybrid CT (with and without contrast).