Radiology Residency Program

Department of Radiology residents emerge from their four years of graduate medical education as highly qualified radiologists. Our residents succeed by balancing three important processes: strong clinical education during the workday; dedicated organized study time outside of work; and focused personal time to experience life apart from work.

Clinical experience covers all imaging modalities, including plain radiography, fluoroscopy, CT (including high resolution CT and 64 slice cardiac imaging as well as CTA), MR (including perfusion and diffusion imaging as well as MRA), PET, PET/CT, angiography, radionuclide imaging and treatment, ultrasound, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, mammography, image guided intervention including all imaging modalities as guidance systems. Curriculum also includes physics, non-interpretive topics, and is in full compliance with ACGME program requirements.


  1. Train physicians to become diagnostic radiologists according the requirements of the ACGME for Graduate Medical Education in Diagnostic Radiology
  2. Achieve and maintain a 100% first time pass rate for residents on the American Board of Radiology Core and Certification examinations in Diagnostic Radiology
  3. Ensure that all graduates are life-long learners prepared to participate in the American Board of Radiology Maintenance of Certification process for the entirety of their careers
  4. Inspire resident graduates to pursue careers in academic medicine concentrating on teaching future radiologists and/or radiology research
  5. Allow and assist each resident to develop into a mature professional who puts the needs of others first in the workplace.  Aspects of professionalism to be developed include cultural sensitivity, communication skills, compassion, accountability, and commitment to career-long quality improvement.


Applications to our training program are made through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System). Candidates for residencies are considered during their fourth year of medical school. Our positions are filled through the National Residency Matching Program.

Requirements for admission include:

  • Immigration Status: Residents must be US citizens, permanent residents or have a J-1 Visa. The institution does not sponsor H-1 Visas.
  • Medical Education: Resident must be a graduate of an LCME accredited US or Canadian medical school or – for graduates of international medical schools – be in compliance with ECFMG requirements for post-graduate training in the US.
  • Clinical Year (Internship):  Because this residency is an advanced residency (PGY 2 – PGY5), it must be preceded by satisfactory completion of an ACGME-approved clinical year.  This clinical year must be in compliance with ACGME program requirements for Diagnostic Radiology.
  • BLS/ACLS Certification:  All residents must maintain BLS and ACLS certification.  The institution provides support for this process.

Schedule Overview

Rotation PGY2 PGY3 PGY4 PGY5 Total Blocks
Chest 1 1 2
Advanced Cardiothoracic 1 1
Musculoskeletal 1 1 1 3
Pediatric 1 1 1 3
Emergency 1 1
Neuroradiology 2 1 1 1 5
Interventional 2 1 3
Mammography 1 1 1 3
GI Fluoroscopy 2 2
Ultrasound 1 1 1 3
Women’s US/HSG 1 1 2
Body CT 2 2 2 6
Nuclear Med 1 1 1 1 4
AIRP 1 1
Elective 7 7
Research 1
General Radiology 3
TOTAL 13 13 13 13 48

PGY5 YEAR Options

  • The final year of residency is divided into 4 blocks.  Each resident will complete two required blocks, one in general radiology, structured as a transition to practice rotation that will include all imaging modalities in body imaging; and one that will include one month each of nuclear medicine, neuroradiology, and mammography in order to meet ACGME requirements.  The other two blocks will be elective “mini-fellowships” in two areas of specific interest to each resident.


  • This department has an ACGME accredited training program in Nuclear Medicine.  Because of this, it is possible for graduates of the Diagnostic Radiology residency program to qualify for the American Board of Nuclear Medicine certifying examination.  Selected residents (up to 2 per year), can structure their residency to meet this qualification and have the opportunity to be double boarded.


  • The County of Los Angeles provides very limited opportunities for an international educational experience during residency.  These include:

    • Elective with credit towards residency must be approved by the program director; must have Goals and Objectives with a qualified supervising faculty at the receiving institution; must be at an institution with an Affiliation Agreement with the County of Los Angeles that will reimburse resident salary and benefits; must be approved by the RRC of ACGME and the ABR
    • Elective without credit towards residency may be taken during vacation time or during an unpaid leave of absence
    • Note that the American College of Radiology does sponsor the Goldberg-Reeder Resident Travel Grant program which is a potential source of funding for international elective  (


  • Graduated call responsibilities are fully implemented in compliance with ACGME requirements. Beginning on Dec 31 of the PGY2 year, residents take in house evening call Monday –Friday and day time in house call Saturday and Sunday – with direct faculty supervision. Overnight call responsibilities begin later in residency and continue through the PGY5 year. Primary responsibility of the overnight call is to review and report on Emergency Department imaging studies. Pager call exists in the PGY3-5 years for specific services, including Interventional Radiology. Residents have no call responsibilities during the three months prior to the ABR Core Exam. Faculty backup exists for all call duties. According to current ACGME resident survey data, this program has no violations of duty hour requirements.

  • Formative evaluations of resident performance are submitted by faculty at completion of each clinical rotation, The program’s Clinical Competency Committee reviews resident Milestone status semi-annually, and advises the program director regarding resident progress, including promotion.

    Objective measures of resident performance in comparison with national performance include the ACR In-Training examination (PGY2, PGY3, PGY4, PGY5), the ABR Core examination (PGY4), and the ABR Certifying Examination (15 months after completion of residency. Current programmatic pass rate for the Core Exam is 97% and for the Certifying Exam is 100%.

    Most USC radiology residents go on to do subspecialty fellowships. Our residents have been very successful in being accepted to fellowship positions of their choice at excellent institutions including USC, UCLA, UCSD, Stanford, UCSF, Oregon Health Sciences University, University of Washington, Emory, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Yale. Graduates most frequently choose a private practice career path, with many remaining in Southern California where an extensive network of USC Radiology graduates exists. However, several recent graduates opting for academic careers have obtained positions at a variety of institutions, including USC, UCSF, Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, University of Washington, and University of Pennsylvania.

Rotation Facilities

Residents rotate through the Los Angeles General Medical Center, Keck Hospital of USC and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. All 3 facilities are located on the 79-acre USC Medical Campus 3 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Each site offers different facets of clinical practice, and together the three hospitals provide residents with well-rounded, comprehensive training.

Los Angeles General Medical Center

The 600-bed medical center is one of the largest public hospitals in the country and recently relocated to a brand new facility on the medical campus in 2008. USC’s relationship with the County Hospital dates back to 1885. The hospital is an extremely busy Level-One Trauma Center and the hub of the County wide healthcare system serving 10 million residents of Los Angeles County with a mission to provide accessible, affordable, and culturally sensitive healthcare to the poor and underserved. Residents spend the majority of their time in their PGY-II to PGY-IV years at the Los Angeles General Medical Center. The hospital houses three 1.5T magnets, four CT scanners and 16 ultrasound units. Three angiography suites and three fluoroscopy suites are available for interventional and GI procedures.

LA General Medical Center exterior building and signage

Keck Hospital of USC

The 401 bed hospital is a tertiary and quaternary referral center for Central and Southern California. A total of 18 clinical departments provide specialized patient care and direct clinical studies and trials. The Radiology department houses 2 CT scanners, 3 fluoroscopy suites, 3 angiography suites, 5 ultrasound units, one 1.5T magnet and two 3T magnets. Next door to the Keck Hospital, HCC1 and HCC2 serve as two outpatient centers housing the PET center and an outpatient radiology site respectively. Residents rotate through Keck Hospital in their PGY-II and PGY-III years and again in their PGY-V year on the Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal Radiology, and Body Imaging mini-fellowships.

Keck Hospital of USC

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

One of the original eight National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, Norris was established in 1973. Residents spend a dedicated 4-week rotation in their PGY-IV year focused on Oncologic Imaging. Rotating through Norris exposes residents to pathology seen only at a dedicated cancer center. In their PGY-V year, residents may spend additional time at Norris on several of the mini-fellowships. In particular, the Norris Breast Center provides comprehensive breast imaging and intervention training, including tomography, for residents on the Women’s Imaging mini-fellowship. Two CT scanners, 2 ultrasound units, 2 fluoroscopy suites and an angiography suite are housed at Norris with plans to install a third CT scanner.

Norris Cancer Center

Resident Benefits and Salary


Departmental Conferences

A departmental conference schedule with a 2 year curriculum exists in compliance with ACGME requirements. Nine educational conferences are held each week for residents. Most conferences take place at 11:45am and 12:30pm. Format varies and includes didactic lectures, unknown case conferences, and a combination of the two. Residents are given protected time to attend the conferences and are expected to attend. Attendance records are maintained and reviewed semiannually. A typical conference schedule includes:

Day Time Topic
Monday 11:45 MSK
Monday 12:30 Chest
Tuesday 11:45 Abdomen
Tuesday 12:30 Neuro
Wednesday Noon ER or Women’s
Wednesday 4pm IR
Thursday 11:45 Peds
Thursday  IR or US
Friday Noon Nuclear Med

Other conferences included Missed Case Conference (bi-monthly), Journal Club and Grand Rounds (monthly). Residents lead conferences, particularly in preparation for presentations at national meetings, and as a part of their mini-fellowships and the Cardiothoracic and Body MRI rotations. Guest speakers provide resident educational conferences on occasion. A specific short series of call-preparation conferences is held yearly in December.

For the PGY2 class, a weekly conference ,“Radiology Club”, is held throughout the year. This conference provides junior residents with a structured approach, using the Core Radiology textbook as a scaffold, to learning the fundamentals of radiology.

Divisional Conferences

Each division holds conferences (some interdisciplinary). Details of these conferences are included in the clinical rotation Goals and Objectives documents available on the departmental intranet.

Resident Benefits and Salary

General work benefits are provided by the County of Los Angeles and are negotiated for residents by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR). The Memorandum of Understanding is available for review at

Physician, Post Graduate Salaries:

  • Residents will be provided Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, Jury Duty Leave, Sick Leave, Bereavement Leave, Witness Leave, Military Leave, and Civil Service Examination Leave at the level agreed to by the County and the Coalition of County Employee Unions in the Memorandum of Understanding entered into on December 16, 2003 regarding the Fringe Benefits. Via the CIR, residents pay a yearly amount into a fund for disability insurance and may purchase additional outside disability insurance.

  • Residents receive 24 paid leave days per academic year. These vacations must be approved by the program coordinator and prescheduled. At the time of residency completion, unused vacation time may be paid out at a standard rate. Residents receive 8 sick days per year, up to 5 of which may be used as personal days. Unused sick days may be paid out at six-month intervals per LA County policy and procedure. NOTE: The American Board of Radiology allows a maximum of 30 days per year away from training to maintain eligibility for graduation. Taking over 30 days per year in vacation/sick/personal days may result in extension of residency beyond the expected date of graduation.

  • Residents are provided with a daily stipend for meals that totals $25 per day. Each meal has a set price limit.

  • Free proximity parking is provided to residents at both the Los Angeles General Medical Center and Keck Hospital of USC.

  • The County of Los Angeles provides residents with white lab coats and scrubs. Each resident is also provided with a pager; a name badge with electronic access pass to the facilities; access to and training on HIS, EMR, PACS, and dictation systems; and radiation dosimetry badges.

  • The County of Los Angeles pays for the testing fee for each Diagnostic Radiology resident to take the California radiography/fluoroscopy licensing examination.

  • The Department of Radiology provides each resident with tuition to attend the four-week AIRP Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation course as well as a cost of living stipend of $1000. Residents receive a total stipend of $800 over the residency to attend up to 2 review courses.. The department also provides each resident with tuition for a physics review course which includes on-line modules, a textbook, and a live review course during the R3 year.

  • The Department of Radiology provides residents with financially supported academic time to present educational exhibits and scientific abstracts at local/regional/national medical meetings. Details of this support are outlined in a departmental policy available on the intranet.

  • The Department of Radiology provides each entering resident with a comprehensive radiology text. The department owns a library of subspecialty texts that may be checked out by residents. The department also subscribes to online radiology educational materials including StatDx and RadPrimer. All residents have physical access to the Norris Medical Library on campus, as well as its on-line database materials.

Need Help Applying?



Contact Details

Gabriel Ramos

Diagnostic Radiology, Program Coordinator
Department of Radiology

Heidi Wassef, MD

Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director
Radiology Department

Michael Katz, M.D.

Interventional Radiology Residency Program Director
Radiology Department