Nuclear Medicine

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by turtleboard, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Resident [Any Field]
    How is Nuclear Medicine different from something like Diagnostic Radiology or Interventional Radiology?

    I read the description from the Society for Nuclear Medicine website and still find it rather indistinct from a lot of other programs/specialties. Someone who knows better -- please shed some light!

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  2. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
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    Nuclear medicine is both a separate specialty and part of diagnostic radiology, which might explain why it seems so indistinct.

    There are residencies in just nuclear medicine (I believe three years) which one can do straight out of medical school. I believe they do one year of clinicals and 2 of nuc med (I'm not 100% sure of that). Many practicing diagnostic radiologists also do nucmed and all residency programs now require a certain number of nucmed rotations (I think it is 6 months). There is also a 1 year nuclear medicine fellowship after radiology. To make things even more complicated, many of the current nuclear medicine attendings have done internal medicine residencies before specializing in this field.

    What does the future look like? From what I have read and heard, those with only nucmed residencies have a difficult time finding positions since diagnostic radiologist grads offer so much more. I've also heard of some people doing nucmed residencies if they were unable to match into radiology with the hope that this would make their application stronger.
    I personally find nucmed very interesting and with the development of combined PET-CT scanners, the anatomic localization of these studies is greatly improved. I think the field is going to outgrow its reputation as "unclear medicine." All that being said, I am applying to radiology positions this year. Hope this info helps.
  3. I'm not the best person to answer this question, but I will tell you what I do know. There is a lot of overlap between Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine because many Radiologists do Nuclear Medicine as well. In fact, there are combined programs and fellowships (1 year in length) that you can do AFTER a Radiology residency. By itself, Nuclear Medicine is a two year residency after a prelim year.

    Instead of focusing on learning to read CT Scans, X-Rays, doing interventional procedures, etc.) you focus more on things such as V/Q Scans, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Radioimmunoassay (RIA), Radionuclide Therapy, etc. Basically, you learn much more about different imaging and therapeutic modalities that Radiologists probably had little exposure to during residency.

    My experience has been that Radiologists who also do a Nuc Med. Residency/Fellowship can do and read a greater variety of imaging studies. In my opinion, it would be best to do a combined program in Rads/Nuc Med. rather than to do Nuc Med. by itself.
  4. Magree

    Magree Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2001
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    I met a pathologist who was board certified in Nuc Medicine and read scans for his hospital along with anatomical and clinical path duties. I posted on the pathology board of but never got a response. Guess I should have posted on the Rads board ;). I think its a pretty interesting field myself.



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