Overview of rotation at Mercy Hospital: The field of diagnostic radiology has changed significantly in the past 15 years with particular acceleration in CT, MRI, and interventional applications. Unfortunately, this change has coincided with a rapid increase in the volume of imaging, further sub specialization of radiologists, and resultant decrease in availability of all encompassing education for medical students and non-radiology residents. This void of radiology education has been replaced by misinformation from non- radiology sources, however well- intentioned, resulting in incorrect and redundant testing as well as excessive use of ionizing radiation, all of which results in inflated medical cost to the system and inefficient, and sometimes even dangerous, patient care.

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center is an integral part of the University of Illinois Diagnostic Radiology residency, through which over one-third of radiology residents rotate at any given time ( presently 11 residents per month). Members of the faculty serve on the curriculum committee of the UIC residency. The resident and medical student teaching tradition in the department extends back over 30 years in various manifestations. This elective rotation for UIC medical students is targeted to both those pursuing a career in radiology as well as those wishing to be exposed to a wide array of imaging applications by which to lay a foundation for improved patient care. Students may design their daily rotation schedule, with approval from the site director, to an extent to allow rotation on particular modalities of interest, including procedural (interventional) radiology.

The field of radiology is expansive- encompassing plain film, fluoroscopic, CT, MRI, mammographic, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and interventional applications- and even a 5 year residency often only achieves introductory competence. It is therefore presumptuous to expect measurable interpretive achievement for a medical student following a single rotation. While identification of emergency and obvious abnormalities is certainly achievable and expected, student progress is rather primarily evaluated by interest and participation. This includes daily attendance of the ER readout, attendance of daily morning and/ or noon conference and a case presentation for the radiology noon conference. At the end of the rotation, the student should feel comfortable understanding appropriateness and optimization of diagnostic imaging, and will also be competent in identifying emergency and obvious abnormalities.

Pre-requisites : None.

Required prior reading: None

Purpose of rotation: Please see overview above. Knowledge of medical imaging applications is critical to essentially all facets of medicine and surgery and the medical student education of medical imaging is relatively woeful across the nation. This rotation serves to remedy that deficit.

Learning Objectives: Please see overview above. Students will learn how and what diagnostic imaging tests are optimal for various clinical presentations. They will learn how to interpret studies for obvious emergencies and obvious findings. They will hone professionalism in dealing with referring physicians who order procedures.

With regard to relation to graduation core competencies: Patient care, medical knowledge, practice based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and professionalism are all addresses in great depth during this month long experience in a major teaching hospital. The student will interact directly with patients in numerous settings including interviewing prior to medical imaging tests and basic interventions radiology exposure a dressing essentially all bullet points associated with the patient care core competency. Medical knowledge and practice based learning and improvement of competencies will invariably also be fully covered in daily image interpretation. Interpersonal and communication skills are critical and working with staff and referring physicians and will be also be taught and evaluated. Professionalism is always mandated and further taught through close supervision and example. Finally, systems based practice is readily and inherently addressed in this consultant field which at this particular institution serves a wide range of patient populations in various matters. Medico legal education is a prominent focus as well.

INSTRUCTIONAL METHOD: The course is 4 weeks long and offered throughout the year. Bulk of learning will be through personalized predominantly one on one learning at the workstation with a radiology attending with additional input from the rotating radiology resident. Learning activities are supplemented with textbooks (provided), daily morning and / or noon conference, extensive teaching files and learning case logs. There are no weekend duties unless desired by the student. 80% of instruction is to be supervised by the attending with 20% supervision by the resident.

ASSESSMENT: Please see overview above. Assessment is predominantly based on participation, expected to be complete without unexcused absence. A noon time case presentation inter-departmental conference is also expected before the end of the rotation. Students will be given midpoint feedback evaluations as required by the medical school.

Weekly schedule: The student is expected to attend ER readout 5 days a week. He/she will also attend daily 12:30-1:30 radiology conference given by a rotating attending. Between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., the student will shadow a teaching attending on 1 of 6 rotations to be assigned by the site director. Rotations include: Plain film imaging, body CT imaging, body MRI imaging, neuroradiology, ultrasound imaging, mammography, basic interventional radiology. Input in rotation emphasis can be given by the medical student though search and core requirements are expected (for example, the student cannot rotate on 4 weeks of interventional radiology without ever rotating a body imaging). Education will also be supplemented by teaching files and provided text books.


Program Number: ELEC 239

Location: MHMC

Program Director:

E-mail Address:


Faculty Coordinator: Amir K Sepahdari, MD

E-mail Address: xraysec@mercy-chicago.org



Duration: 4 weeks

Lectures/Conference/Faculty Contact: 5

Night Call: No

Laboratory: No

Weekends: No (optional)

Outpatient: 15

Students accepted: Min/Max 1/2

Inpatient: 15

Independent Study: 5

House staff used as Faculty: Not primarily

Total hours/week: 40