Educational Experience

Resident education is a dominant priority of the Radiology Department, which includes 90+ faculty attending radiologists and scientists that are dedicated to resident teaching.

Five centers of clinical excellence:

  1. The University of Washington Medical Center, which specializes in tertiary care (including organ transplantation, oncology, and cardiac disease) is consistently ranked among the leading hospitals nationally and was named the No. 1 hospital in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound region by the US News and World Report in its first-ever Best Hospitals Metro Area rankings.  Residents spend approximately 35% of their time at this site.
  2. Harborview Medical Center (30% of residents’ time) is a public hospital for King County and serves as the only Level 1 trauma center for five states (Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) accounting for 25% of the U.S. land mass.
  3. Seattle Children’s Hospital (15% of the residents’ time) is ranked among the top 10 pediatric hospitals by the US News and World Report and is the only pediatric specialty hospital for our five-state region.
  4. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (10% of residents’ time), a cooperative venture of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and Seatle Children’s Hospital, pioneered the development of bone marrow transplantation in the United States.  Fred Hutchinson receives more federal research funding than any other cancer center in the country and is the home to three Nobel prize winners in Physiology or Medicine since 1990.  All breast imaging and most outpatient cancer imaging in our department is performed here.
  5. Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center (10% of residents’ time) has the second largest funded research program in the VA Health System and cares for veterans from throughout the Northwest.


As a UW Radiology Resident you will rotate through all 5 Centers of Excellence along with several outpatient facilities.


Dr. SternOur faculty includes some of the most prominent leaders in radiology education.  Several faculty members are on the current RSNA, ARRS, and AUR education committees.  In addition, we have faculty members who are serving or have served as the course director of the ARRS Clinician-Educator Development Program and the Senior Faculty Advisor of the American Alliance of Academic Chief Residents in Radiology.  Many members of the department are sought after as speakers at national and international meetings and several have written widely-read texts.  In addition to experts in the various subfields of radiology, the faculty includes authorities in outcomes and health services research, basic and translational science, and the business, law, and ethics of radiology.

Within the program our faculty members take great pride and interest in both day-to-day teaching on clinical services and organized formal lectures of our residents.  Morning and noon conferences are offered daily at UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Daily conferences are also given at Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center.  Conferences are led by faculty with clinical expertise in their respective subspecialties and held in alternate formats of case discussions and didactics.


Just some of the dozens of textbooks written by our outstanding faculty.

PGY2 (R2)

Learning radiology as a new R2 is a daunting task. There is no overnight or weekend call during this year to allow for ample study time.  All R2s rotate through the basics of radiology, including Body CT, Neuroradiology, GI/GU Fluroscopy, ER Imaging, Thoracic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Musculoskeletal Radiology. At the start of the year, all R2s attend a dedicated "R2 Introduction to Radiology" course to help them prepare for their new role as radiologists.  At the end of the year a dynamic PACS driven exam is administered to help R2s transition into their role as R3s (when they begin taking call at the UWMC).

PGY3 (R3)

The R3 year is composed of additional rotations in the core radiology disciplines along with rotations in Pediatric Imaging, Breast imaging, and Interventional Radiology. R3s take overnight weekday and weekend call at the main UWMC teaching hospital. During the R3 year a 2 month QA/QI project is completed at HMC where two residents work together to improve the quality of care at HMC.

PGY4 (R4)

The R4 year is similar to the R3 year, with multiple core rotations along with overnight call and weekend call at Harborview Medical Center (HMC).  HMC is a busy Level 1 trauma center that cares for people from 5 states.  The residents often state their call months at HMC are their favorite months of training.  During this year the R4 residents attend the AIRP course in Washington DC.  At the end of the R4 year, the ABR CORE exam is taken.

PGY5 (R5)

The R5 year is a flexible year with ample time for electives.  The R5 residents gets approximately 6-9 months of elective time that can be used for mini fellowships or research.  There is no weekday call and weekend calls are sparse.

Group Pic

Showing off our new UW Radiology Fleece Jackets!

Call Responsibilities

Residents start taking call at the beginning of their second year of radiology training and most call is completed during the second (PGY3) and third (PGY4) years of radiology training.  Residents cover UW Medical Center (including VA) and Harborview Medical Center; both sites use a night float system.  Weekends are also divided into day and night shifts.  Residents have approximately 8 weeks of night float rotations during their entire residency, in addition to approximately 10 weekend shifts per year.  Residents rotating through Children’s Hospital take call at that site, typically 2-3 shifts per four week rotation block.

On-call residents always have fellow and attending back-up available but we believe solo-call is an important and valuable aspect of our training.  The residents on call at the UW and HMC act as the primary radiologist for the hospital and are integral members of the care team.

UW CT Scanner in new Montelake Towers

UW Radiology CT Scanner in the new Montlake Tower at UWMC


On average, there are two conference/lectures per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The lectures are primarily given by faculty but are occasionally led by fellows and residents.

On Thursday at noon, a resident-run club combines radiology learning and teaching opportunities with a social setting that fosters mentorship and camaraderie among classes.

On Thursday afternoons, all residents are excused from service and meet at the UWMC for our weekly CORE curriculum.  These lectures take place from 3pm - 6pm.  The well-organized core curriculum is composed of four-week long blocks of high-quality lectures covering each subspecialty of radiology, in addition to sessions for teaching of non-interpretative skills such as business of radiology, health care policy, and ethics.

Physics is taught by our medical physics department and consists of a two year curriculum starting in the middle of the R3 year. Physics lectures presented by our diagnostic physics faculty have been modified to accommodate the revised timeline of the American Board of Radiology.

For the PGY-2 residents, introductory lectures are given during the summer months, as well as a month of weekly conferences in the spring in preparation for night call.

All PGY-4 and PGY-5 residents are given allotted time away from clinical duties to attend UW continuing medical education (CME) courses:  Emergency Radiology in the summer and the UW Radiology Review course in the spring.  Resident registration is complimentary.


Additional educational resources include a large collection of journals and textbooks within the department libraries at UW and Harborview Medical Centers, radiology-pathology correlation and multidisciplinary conferences, and radiology grant writing courses. More information can be found under the "Benefits" section.

Seattle Sunset - Photo by Dr. Mahesh Thapa, faculty at Seattle Children's Radiology.

Seattle, Space Needle and Mt. Rainier Sunset
Photo by Mahesh Thapa, Peaditric Radiology Faculty at Seattle Children's