Top 10 Q&A with Residents Maiqui and Terrence!
We know just how hard it is to choose your radiology program. Trust us, we were in your shoes not too long ago! Here are some things we wish we had known about Loma Linda Radiology prior to applying/ranking. We hope you will find our FAQs helpful!
What’s the deal with coffee and meat?
Loma Linda University Health is a private organization with Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) affiliations. The hospital promotes SDA healthy living beliefs by not selling coffee and meat in their cafeteria. That is the full extent of their dietary restriction. They make NO limitations or comments on what food or drink you can bring or what type of food programs are allowed to cater during conferences.
Most of the residents make their own coffee in the morning and pack their own lunch. The cafeteria is also a popular choice with a 20% employee discount, which come with a variety of options and is frankly a rare haven for those seeking to spice up their vegetarian or vegan diet. The chefs here certainly have been creative with their dishes (special mention to the Filipino food specials they have on Thursdays). There are also Cafe Society and a coffee truck called LoMelinda’s Buzz & Bloom close by, both of which are about a 5-minute walk from the hospital.
What’s the call like?
You know? When we were applying for radiology, we never got a good grasp of how calls work. It’s definitely something you will understand when you actually do it, but we will try to explain!
Demands for medical imaging have skyrocketed over the years and radiology has become a consulting service requiring 24/7 coverage. A “typical” day shift is from 8:15 AM to about 4 PM. However, outside of that time, somebody must cover the urgent studies (Emergency department, urgent care, and inpatients).
This is where call shifts come in. The key thing to remember is that during the day, there could be 2-3 residents per service (like Neuro, Body, Chest, Peds, etc.). However, during call, 3-4 residents will have to cover all the radiology departments! So, regardless of which program you go to, call will be busier and faster pace compared to regular day shifts.
You’ll see a wide range of pathologies on call as we are a level one trauma center for a large portion of the Inland Region of Southern California. Our Children’s Hospital is also the largest Children’s hospital in the Inland Empire. We provide full resident reports on call and are responsible for almost all modalities/studies while on call.
How often are calls?
It may look like it’s a lot of call shifts. However, you have to remember that Loma Linda has a relatively larger class size of 10 per class (including IR residents) for the call pool. That is 40 people in total, minus those who are not in a call pool (IR, vacation, paid day off etc.). Calls might not be as frequent as you think.
- Weekday shifts tend to be about 1x/week when doing buddy calls and otherwise 2x/month.
- Weekend shifts tend to be about 1x/month
Does Loma Linda have an independent call system?
The short answer is yes! The longer answer is yes, mostly. But here is the actual answer.
While you are an R1, all of your studies will be reviewed by an attending and/or senior resident prior to a report being released.
For R2-R4s, you will provide preliminary reads that get sent to the EMR prior to an attending reviewing the case. Almost all studies done before 9 pm will be signed by an attending the same night and often very quickly after you complete the preliminary read. For studies done between 9 pm and 8 am, you will provide independent preliminary full reports that an attending will subsequently review. A radiology attending is always available to residents for direct or indirect supervision.
So will there be enough independent calls to go around? Yes, starts at R2, so be prepared!
How supportive is the program for CORE studying?
CORE preparation begins as early as R1 year with a tailored curriculum with regular assessments derived from ACR. The program provides free access to RadPrimer, StatDx, and eAnatomy. AIRP tuition is paid for by the program.
During R3 year, call is optimized for CORE exam studying/preparation in order to prepare for the exam.
For the most recent class of 2022, we are proud to declare a 100% board pass rate.
Is there moonlighting?
Yes! There are internal moonlighting opportunities such as neuro-interventional calls and multiple external moonlighting (contrast coverage at outside imaging centers, etc) starting at R2.
However, in order to be approved for moonlighting, you must be on track to complete all the graduation requirements and be in excellent academic and professional standing. So, radiology learning comes first!
Where are the residents from?
The residents are from all-over! We do have a number of residents who are more local to the Southern California but we have a larger number from out of state, with and without ties to the area.
I am interested in Women in Radiology. Is there adequate support here?
Yes! We have an active Women in Radiology group for all the Ladiologists out there. They provide formal mentorship and schedule informal meetings throughout the year. It is a very warm and welcoming group and we are proud of all the female faculty and residents in our group.
What is the NIR pathway and is it different from the ESIR pathway?
Loma Linda is one of the unique programs to offer the NIR pathway. It is separate from the ESIR program. As the name may suggest, it is a specialized IR pathway for those who show early inclination towards neuro-interventional sub-specialization, working closely with the both the IR and Neurosurgery departments in Loma Linda University. The pathway involves tailored rotations and experiences that begin starting in R1. Residents who have gone through this pathway have secured fellowships into Johns Hopkins, MIR, and most recently, MGH.
Alright, any other unique benefits?
Loma Linda University has 6 weeks paid time-off for all residents. Unused vacation days up to two weeks will result in paid reimbursement. Employee health insurance comes at a substantial discount and offers great coverage within our health system.
The Radiology department has traditionally gifted all incoming residents with a new iPad as well as a pair of scrubs and a white coat from Figs. GME provides an educational stipend of $1000 per year.
For the research-inclined, Loma Linda university awards various monetary amounts for publications. There is also funding for trips to certain conferences and presentations. Overall, our program is very supportive of research and there is a guided mentorship beginning in R1 available for all to help hone research prowess.