Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Chair's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Since many of you reading this column are former residents of our department, I thought I would review some of the updates we’ve made in recent years to our training program. The program has, for many years, ranked at or very near the top of all radiology residencies nationally, and all of us on the faculty are proud of that and are working hard to keep it that way.

Since 2013, each first-year resident is expected to conduct a research project under the tutelage of either Ethan Halpern, MD or Larry Parker, PhD. These projects are presented to the entire department and submitted to national meetings, as well as academic journals. As of this writing, 15 of our residents have also elected to participate in health services research projects, working with Drs. David Levin, Larry Parker and myself in our Center for Research on Utilization of Imaging Services (CRUISE).

As a part of this new research expectation, residents participate in a research methods course taught by Dr. Halpern, who received his master’s in epidemiology while working as a full time faculty member. This background, combined with his medical expertise, makes him the ideal bridge between statistical analysis and the demands of clinical research.

Just as our research and statistics curricula prepare trainees for the rise of Big Data approaches to research and care, so too does Chairman’s Series in Non-interpretive Skills prepare our residents for the future of the profession. In our shifting healthcare environment, it’s becoming increasingly important that physicians learn about the business and management side of running a practice.

As part of our efforts to stay at the forefront of medical pedagogy, we have incorporated Diagnosis Live, a learning tool developed by the RSNA and piloted by our department under the leadership of Adam Flanders, MD. This new teaching tool is an interactive way of diagnosing cases in real time with touch technology during case conferences, providing immediate feedback on accuracy and how participants’ results compared to one another.

These are just some of our residency program’s new features. We expect plenty more in the future. If you’d like to learn more about our expanded educational programs or about any other facet of our department, please contact our communications coordinator, Zach Nichols at


Vijay M. Rao, MD, FACR
David C Levin Professor and Chair
Department of Radiology