Neuroradiology Fellowship

The Division of Neuroradiology offers a one year ACGME accredited fellowship training program in Neuroradiology leading to eligibility for examination for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) subspecialty certification in Neuroradiology. Completion of this fellowship and of one subsequent year of further Neuroradiology fellowship training and/or clinical practice experience in the field of Neuroradiology qualifies the individual for senior membership in the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR). 

The body of knowledge and practice of Neuroradiology comprises both imaging interpretation (plain films, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography, nuclear radiology) and invasive procedures related to the brain, spine and spinal cord, head, neck and organs of special sense (eyes, ears, nose) in adults and children.

This program was initiated in 1965 as one of the first 11 Neuroradiology training programs in North America to be recognized and funded by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness. It was accredited by the ACGME in 1993.

Goals

Special training and skills, beyond those provided by residency training in diagnostic radiology, are required to enable the Neuroradiologist to function as an expert diagnostic and therapeutic consultant and practitioner. This program provides the fellow with the opportunity to develop under gradated supervision progressively independent skills in the evaluation of the clinical diagnostic problem and in the selection, design, performance and interpretation of neuroradiologic imaging studies and invasive procedures.

Candidates for fellowship must have satisfactorily completed an accredited residency training program in diagnostic radiology in North America or in a program of comparable quality and duration within their home country and must be eligible for examination in diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology (ABR).

The fundamental purpose of the one year fellowship program is to provide in depth experience and training in all facets of modern clinical diagnostic neuroradiology. Specifically, fellows are trained in the design, supervision and interpretation of diagnostic MR and CT imaging studies of the brain, head and neck, and spine, including MR and CT angiography, MR spectroscopy and functional MR imaging studies. Extensive experience is also provided in the performance and interpretation of diagnostic and interventional neuroradiological procedures including cervicocerebral angiography, percutaneous image guided biopsy and drainage of head, neck and spine masses and myelography, epidural nerve blocks and related spine procedures.

Faculty

The Division of Neuroradiology teaching staff is currently headed by Frederick W. Ott, M.D. and includes 12 board eligible or ABR certified neuroradiologists. We provide complete neuroradiological coverage for the three major teaching hospital systems of the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center: University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC), Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MVAMC). Six faculty are based principally at UMMC (Frederick W. Ott, David R. Nascene, Stephen A. Kieffer, Bharathi D. Jagadeesan, Zuzan Cayci, Jeffrey Rykken), four faculty are based primarily at HCMC (Charles L. Truwit, Alexander M. McKinney,IV, Christopher Palmer, Barbara Knoll) and two faculty are based at MVAMC (Charles Krenzel, Michael Willson).

Participating Sites and Facilities

The Neuroradiology fellowship program is based at University of Minnesota Health, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, and Hennepin County Medical Center, all located in Minneapolis. Additional experience in spine procedures is obtained at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.  One month rotations in Pediatric Neuroradiology (under the direction of David Nascene, M.D.) and in Interventional Neuroradiology (under the direction of Bharathi Jagadeesan, M.D.) are important facets of the fellowship.

All institutions are well equipped with multiple 1.5T and 3.0T clinical MR scanners, multidetector multichannel CT scanners and state of the art equipment for angiography and image guided diagnostic and interventional procedures. Particular emphasis is placed on image guided surgical treatment of neurological disorders; both UMMC and HCMC have well utilized intraoperative MR units.

MHealth is the major tertiary care center for a wide geographic area extending throughout the Upper Midwest and is particularly strong in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors and head and neck tumors, diseases and therapies involving the immune system and the complications of such treatment and heritable disorders of the central nervous system. The Masonic Children’s Hospital, built in 2011, is a fully equipped pediatric hospital facility which is located across the Mississippi river from MHealth.

HCMC is the primary level one trauma care center in the state of Minnesota and is the site of choice within the Twin City metropolitan area for the diagnosis and management of injuries to the head, brain, neck and spine; additionally, HCMC also possesses strengths in tropical communicable disease and high risk pregnancy care.

The rotation to the VAMC provides the opportunity for fellows to gain experience in percutaneous image guided procedures for the amelioration of back pain. The presence of a large population of elderly individuals with low back pain and sciatica at MVAH occasioned an increasing demand from the clinical services for image guided epidural steroid/local anesthetic injections. This demand parallels the needs of the community, and it was with the responsibility for training in these procedures in mind that we created the additional rotation at MVAH, which has worked well and met our goal.

Teaching Program

Teaching throughout the entire Neuroradiology fellowship program is designed to encourage the curiosity and innovative thinking of the trainee and the development of sound clinical judgment as well as to motivate a strong interest in clinical and basic research. Supervision in hands-on performance of invasive procedures is tailored to the needs and abilities of the fellow.

The Neuroradiology division’s major didactic activities include presentation of weekly interdisciplinary Brain Tumor, Clinical Neuroscience, Pediatric Brain Tumor and Head and Neck Tumor conferences. The fellow participates actively in all interdisciplinary conferences. A monthly Clinical Science conference with responsibility for topic presentation by both clinical staff and neuroradiology fellows is a major highlight of our academic program. Other group learning opportunities include a biweekly Neuroradiology review conference and annual “core curriculum” presentations for the residents in diagnostic radiology with primary responsibility for presentation shared by both clinical teaching staff and neuroradiology fellows.

Fellows are evaluated using ACGME guidelines found here: PDF icon neuroradiologymilestones.pdf

Research and Scholarship

Each fellow is provided one half day per week for academic pursuits, including preparation of clinical Neuroscience presentations and clinical and basic science research projects.

Several clinical research protocols are underway at all times under the supervision of the Neuroradiology faculty and with the assistance of the departmental clinical research coordinator.

Fellows are expected to participate in at least one clinical or basic science research project per year. Members of the Neuroradiology faculty work with the fellow in the selection of a clinical research topic and assist in the generation and analysis of project data as well as in the organization and writing of the paper.

Basic research can utilize the assistance and support of twenty plus physicists and computer scientists in the department’s unique Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) which is located on the nearby University of Minnesota biomedical research campus. 

Whether the research project is clinical or basic science in nature, the objective is to generate a contribution worthy of acceptance by a peer reviewed Radiology or Neuroradiology journal or a similarly qualified clinical journal in an affiliated field (e.g., Neurology). Submission of this work to a national or international society meeting, notably the American Society of Neuroradiology or the Radiological Society of North America, is also strongly encouraged. 

Second Fellowship Year

The Neuroradiology Fellowship Program offers the option of a second fellowship training year for interested fellows. There are several possible pathways for the individual who elects a second year of fellowship training. These include dedicated emphasis in basic MR imaging research, imaging in ischemic cerebrovascular disease, neuro-oncology, pediatric neuroradiology, and head and neck radiology.

Collaborative research opportunities are available to both first and second year Neuroradiology fellows, pending availability of funds. Cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases are major areas of interest in the University of Minnesota’s Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology. As well, neuro-oncology is a major focus of Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology. Head and neck cancer is a major program in the Department of Otolaryngology, with the Departments of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery combining to form the Skull Base Center; the divisions of Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine play a major role in head and neck cancer management. University of Minnesota Medical Center also houses a widely recognized bone marrow transplant center which has achieved worldwide recognition; the large number of patients with neoplastic, metabolic and genetic disorders provides a most interesting additional clinical and research imaging opportunity.

Advanced clinical MR research studies, including functional MR imaging, are performed on the whole body human 3.0T, 4.0T and 7.0T magnets at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), a unique and world renowned high field MR basic research center. In addition, the CMRR houses three animal-size dedicated research magnets at 4.7T, 5.0T and 9.4T.

Apply

Submit the following materials to: 

Attn: Shari Johnston
University of Minnesota
MMC 292, 420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

  1. Completed Application
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Transcript
  4. USMLE
  5. ECFMG
  6. Three letters of recommendation (one of which must come from your program director)
  7. Personal Statement