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15+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2002
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Do you guys know how popular this is? I know the route as stroke, neuro rad, neuro IR fellowships. But, do most programs accept neurology residents as opposed to radiology residents? Finally, can a neurologist turn into a neuroradiologist through only the neuro rad fellowship? Thanks.


10+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2006
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  1. Attending Physician
To be a bit more specific...

(1) It is popular to some...unpopular for others. It all depends on what kind of lifestyle you ultimately want and what you are interested in.

I've continued to speak with many Neurosurgeons and Radiologists about this and their answers often surprised me. Many Radiologists are less than eager to undergo additional multi-year training beyond their five year residency for such a grueling lifestyle. Especially when you consider how admittedly sweet Diagnostic Radiology is in private practice. Many of these individuals entered Radiology for lifestyle issues to begin with.

Neurosurgeons complete a grueling seven year residency and are often loathe to undergo two additional years of fellowship training for what would essentially contribute very little to their already prodigious earnings in private practice. And don't forget that plenty of people just aren't interested to begin with.

Many Neurologists are more interested in doing Electrophysiology, Sleep, or Pain fellowships than the protracted training course for ESN. Again, you have money and lifestyle issues barring alot of interest.

I am personally very interested in this specialty, and was a bit shocked that I was in the minority for Neurology. To each their own.

(2) After plenty of long talks with Interventionalists, Radiologists, Neurosurgeons, and Neurologists, plus digging and visiting Neurosurgery and Radiology forums, I can say that it is perfectly accepted for Neurologists to undergo training for ESN. However, this pre-supposes appropriate preparation in terms of Stroke/Vascular and Neuroimaging fellowships. The American Academy of Neurology, American Society of Therapeutic and Interventional Neuroradiology, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Society of Neuroradiology, Society of Interventional Radiology, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section have all jointly established credentialing, training, and competency standards for this new subspecialty of medicine.

(3) Yes, there are Neuroimaging fellowships available through Radiology departments, but these qualify you for reading neuroimaging studies only...not a career of Diagnostic Neuroradiology in private practice. True, you should receive adequate training in Diagnostic Neuroradiology in an Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology fellowship, but it would be an inappropriate/painful way to go about becoming a Diagnostic Neuroradiologist. No sense in doing all of that training if you aren't obsessed with becoming an Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiologist. If pure Diagnostic Neuroradiology is what you seek, then apply for a Radiology residency.
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