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Like IR but not DR

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Ggg455

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Hi. I'm a 3rd year med student and really like IR so far. Problem is, I'm not into DR very much at all. I know I would love being an interventional radiologist but I do worry about really struggling through all the DR training. There's also the feasibility of finding a way to focus on just IR, or at least mostly IR, once I'm done. Anyway, has anyone here in IR felt this way? Would it be stupid to go through rads residency if I don't like DR that much? I don't want to be a miserable or crappy resident.
 

NZimm

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I don't think you're alone with this feeling. If IR is what your passionate about and want to pursue, then 3 years of DR (with the new dual certificate or mini-fellowship PGY-5 then regular IR fellowship) it's really not too long. You can also get involved in other things like IR research or the SIR during residency to stay involved. Both the med student council (for you right now) and the residents and fellows section of the SIR are actively involved in projects so you should think about applying to those if you're interested. To maintain your skills, you could take some extra call in your IR department or work with your PD to schedule IR electives. Without a solid DR foundation, you can't be an amazing IR anyways because you really need to understand the imaging in order to provide the patient with the best clinical and procedural management.
 

badasshairday

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Hi. I'm a 3rd year med student and really like IR so far. Problem is, I'm not into DR very much at all. I know I would love being an interventional radiologist but I do worry about really struggling through all the DR training. There's also the feasibility of finding a way to focus on just IR, or at least mostly IR, once I'm done. Anyway, has anyone here in IR felt this way? Would it be stupid to go through rads residency if I don't like DR that much? I don't want to be a miserable or crappy resident.

Every 3rd year med student says this. Then they match into radiology and end up liking diagnostics a lot. Very few like interventional. Seems like 80% of people say they want IR when they start residency, and only 10% end up doing the fellowship at the end.
 

shark2000

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If you don't like DR, then probably you can do direct pathway and look for a 100% IR job after.

If you like DR, the opportunities in radiology are A LOT. You can do lots of procedures including drains, biopsies, kypho/vertebro, pain procedures, joint/spine injections, ablations and a lot of others. If you miss patient interaction, you can do mammo which also has a fair amount of light procedures.

Agree with the poster above. Most medical students don't know what exactly DR is. DR is much more challenging than it looks at first place. DR is very very interesting. Still I like it a lot and learn things everyday.
 

TheRealDrDorian

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Hi. I'm a 3rd year med student and really like IR so far. Problem is, I'm not into DR very much at all. I know I would love being an interventional radiologist but I do worry about really struggling through all the DR training. There's also the feasibility of finding a way to focus on just IR, or at least mostly IR, once I'm done. Anyway, has anyone here in IR felt this way? Would it be stupid to go through rads residency if I don't like DR that much? I don't want to be a miserable or crappy resident.

Not sure if you've heard, but IR is slowly becoming it's own residency, and there are some VERY promising programs starting now which I'm sure you've heard about (UVA, Colorado, Michigan) from other posts.

One concern I know people have with these special pathways is that they think they will be pigeonholed into IR. This isn't technically true, as you will be board certified in DR (the 2012-13 ABR Annual Report has a nice page on describing this transition process: http://www.theabr.org/sites/all/themes/abr-media/pdf/Annual_Report_2012-2013.pdf), but the programs are geared for those wanting 100% IR.

I am currently a PGY-2 and want to do 100% IR down the road, and will say DR is interesting, but had I had the opportunity to do a special path, I would have.

In short, if you truly are 100% IR, consider the special pathways. If you're on the fence, do traditional. To find out if you like pure DR? I'd say talk to residents, shadow, and fully invest yourself in a DR rotation.
 

irwarrior

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If I could do it over again, I would have done a IR residency or pathway. Our current IR practice is much more like surgery than radiology. We have longer hours and have busy outpatient clinics, follow patients long term, admit our patients to our own service and have a busy inpatient consultation and rounding service.

A conventional radiology residency does not give you adequate clinical training that is required for modern day IR. If all you want to do is venous access and biopsies then a conventional radiology training program is adequate.

I am glad that there are more and more of these IR residencies coming out as it will have more balanced interventionalists who are not just good at imaging interpretation and procedures but more importantly are competent clinicians.
 
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