Volume of neuroradiology studies read by neurologists: Implications for fellowship training

Lukasz S. Babiarz, David M. Yousem, Laurence Parker, Vijay M. Rao, David C. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The ACGME recognizes radiology's neuroradiology fellowship programs as the pathway to neuroradiology expertise. Members of the American Society of Neuroimaging have called for the expansion of neuroradiology fellowships for neurologists with informal accreditation through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. The aim of this study was to investigate the number of neuroradiologic studies read by neurologists to assess their capacity to support fellowship positions at ACGME training criteria. Methods: The numbers of neuroradiologic studies interpreted by radiologists and neurologists in the inpatient and hospital outpatient settings were determined from the CMS Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files for 1996 to 2008. The ACGME requirements of 1,500 neuroradiologic CT and 1,500 neuroradiologic MR scans per fellow per year were used to calculate the number of fellowship positions that could be supported by each specialty. Results: In 2008, in the inpatient and hospital outpatient setting, radiologists interpreted 9,287,768 (98.3% of the total) and neurologists interpreted 43,107 (0.5% of the total) neuroradiologic examinations on Medicare patients. Per ACGME requirements, on the basis of CT volumes, radiologists could potentially train 4,256 neuroradiology fellows, compared with neurologists' 12 fellows, assuming a single fellow was exposed to every Medicare case. On the basis of MR volumes, radiologists and neurologists could train 1,935 and 16 fellows, respectively. Conclusions: Radiologists are responsible for interpreting the vast majority (98.3%) of neuroradiologic studies. Neurologists have a limited exposure to neuroradiologic CT and MR and could support only 12 fellowship positions by ACGME criteria on the basis of reading available 1996 to 2008 Medicare cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Neuroradiology
  • fellowship training
  • imaging volumes
  • neurology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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