5 Best Radiology Residency Programs (Key Info & Data) – willpeachMD (2024)

Radiology is a medium-level competitive specialty in the US with a match probability of 93% with a STEP 1 score above 240.

At an average of 5 years in residency length, it’s similar to specialities like general surgery (5 years), otolaryngology (5 years), plastic surgery (6 years), and others.

Doctors choosing radiology as a career can look forward to image diagnostics, using cutting-edge tech and playing a critical role in the care process.

But with an average US base salary of $430,000 for qualified radiologists, the lengthy (and expensive) training could be worth it.

The best radiology residency programs offer those interested in the field the greatest training possible.

This article takes a look at the top programs in the country, taking a deep dive into what’s offered by each and what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to match.

We’ve also included key info on facts/stats for each program (where publicized) too.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Contents show

Before you dive into our article on the best radiology residency programs, make sure you take a look at our Best Residency Programs page to get all the critical info on other medical specialties.

1. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore)

Length of Accredited Training:4 years
Positions by Year:12
PGY1 Annual Salary:$65,000 (approx)

The highest-ranked clinical facility in the US and the winner of the 2015 Minnie Award for Best Radiology Training Program; Johns Hopkins University is no stranger to outstanding titles.

The Radiology Residency Program lasts 4 years and aims to ease residents into taking responsibility and decision making.

Residents are actively involved in program organization, from making their own schedule to having deciding votes in the resident selection process. They meet regularly with the chair and have monthly meetings with program directors to discuss methods to improve the program.

Every morning, 7:30-9:00 am is free and the faculty organizes regular lectures and case conferences. These are in line with exam requirements of the ABR CORE, done at the end of PGY-4.

All residents have full access to a large variety of online educational resources like STATdx and RADPrimer.

Check out the video below for an inside look into their program…


2. University of Pennsylvania

Length of Accredited Training:4 years
Positions by Year:17
PGY1 Annual Salary:$75,353

Penn provides a variety of clinical settings including a quaternary care center, community hospital, and Level 1 Trauma Centre providing a well-rounded education for residents.

The traditional clinical track is a 4-year program consisting of a 3-year core curriculum with a focused 4th-year 10-month concentration in all subspecialty areas. The core curriculum includes basic/advanced procedures and image interpretation.

Residents are trained to master general radiology and the Core Exam. This includes rotations in CT, US, MSK, and many more.

Every morning begins with 90 minutes of dedicated teaching time for residents to address any queries/questions they may have.

Related: Interested in radiology? Check out this list of the best free radiology learning websites

There are “Personalized Teaching” sessions twice monthly, where subspecialties host residents for small group case-based teaching. There are also annual mini-courses that highlight the needs of each year of residency so you can feel well prepared in advance.

PGY-1 residents interpret radiographs under the supervision of staff attending radiologists. Penn maintains an independent call for PGY2-4. Residents evaluate acutely ill patients, including patients presenting after trauma.

Interestingly, all trainees are provided feedback on their interpretations by attendings within 24 hours through an electronic system.

The video below provides really useful insight into what life is like as a Penn Radiology Resident…


3. University of California (San Francisco)

Length of Accredited Training:4 years
Positions by Year:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,719

The Radiology Residency at UCSF spans 4 years.

The Department offers high ranking clinical training programs with patient centred research training. It is one of the most diverse in the US and provides many opportunities for postgraduate education.

The PGY-2 year is spent rotating through core imaging services like thoracic imaging, abdominal imaging and neuroradiology. It builds the foundation for resident on-call experience in the PGY-3 year. There is continuous expert backup at all hours. An additional backup call pool is available via pager for emergency interventional radiology.

Up to 12 months of elective time can be taken where residents choose a focused experience in a clinical field or area of research interest.

There are daily conferences in the morning/noon at UCSF Medical Centre. These range from lectures to case based conferences. They prepare residents for clinical practice and to pass the ABR (American Board of Radiology) CORE exam.

Check out the video below to find out whats makes radiology at UCSF unique…


4. Washington University

Length of Accredited Training:4-5 years
Positions by Year:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,719

The Diagnostic Radiology Program at Washington is rigorously reviewed to provide teaching and experience to residents.

Residents rotate through all subspecialties of Radiology and complete their core requirements in the first 3 years of Radiology training. In the PGY-5 year, there is the chance to do 4-6 months of electives for further in depth education.

Through the PGY-2 to PGY-4, there is a standardised curriculum with a few electives available each year. Standard rotations include but are not limited to:

  1. Thoracic radiology
  2. Abdominal radiology
  3. Ultrasound rotation
  4. Pediatric radiology at Seattle Children’s Hospital
  5. Nuclear medicine

See a sample schedule here.

From PGY-3 onwards, residents are responsible for on-call coverage.

Every resident participates in a “Competencies Rotation” at Harborview Medical Centre. This is a quality improvement project over 2 months. Each resident is in a team with a co-resident and mentor to guide them.

Residents have access to daily noon conferences at all sites. The conference curriculum includes a “Core Series” once a week which is taught by PGY-3 residents, geared towards PGY-2 residents. PGY-5 residents have a separate lecture series dedicated to real world radiology practice.

A typical day at Washington is busy- interpreting cases, performing procedures, seeing patients, studying and more.

A typical day could be:

  • 7:30-8:30: Morning conference or case conference
  • 8:30-12:00: Assigned clinical service
  • 12:00-13:00: Noon conference or case conference
  • 13:00-15:00: Assigned clinical service
  • 15:00-15:30: Teaching on service sharing interesting cases
  • 15:30-17:00: Wrapping up clinical service


5. Duke University

Length of Accredited Training:5 years
Positions by Year:10 Diagnostic and 3 Interventional Radiology
PGY1 Annual Salary:$66,193

Duke Radiology is a pioneer in residency education. It is a 5 year combined residency and fellowship program. A one year preliminary or rotating internship is a prerequisite.

Exposure to a wide breadth of pathology is offered, ranging from complex transplant patients to common problems like pneumonia.

The “Duke 3/2 Program” provides 3 years of rigorous training in general diagnostic radiology and the option of 2 years of subspecialty training in general diagnostic radiology with a flexible fourth year.

Residents are offered up to 10 months in PGY-4 to 5 for research investigation.

Residents rotate through 13 clinical rotations. The curriculum covers topics such as Cardiothoracic, Abdominal CT and GI (Fluoroscopy). See the full list here.

Autonomous independent resident call is a core component of Duke’s curriculum to allow residents to mature into independent radiologists.

For those committed to a career as physician scientists, there is a tailored Duke R38 Research Pathway. It provides 18 months of sponsored research time. Once finishing residency training, residents are guaranteed a 1 year subspecialty fellowship of their choice. They can also stay at Duke afterwards for a mentored instructorship in Radiology.

Check out the video below for more on radiology residency experiences at Duke…


How Do Radiology Residency Programs Work?

Training in rads involves completing four years of graduate medical education first before moving on to dedicated residency programs.

Radiology programs are medium in training length, averaging 4 years.

After residency common subspecialties (fellowships) pursued include breast imaging, chest, nuclear and pediatric radiology, pain medicine, and emergency radiology.

How Many Radiology Residency Programs Are There?

There are over 197 radiology residency training programs according to the AMA.

The examples provided in the programs above are considered the finest offered and are ranked on criteria via peer assessment, residency director assessment, student selectivity, the mean MCAT score for the institution, the mean GPA of its matriculants, faculty resources, research activity and more.

The exact methodology is detailed in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools Rankings pages

How to Get Accepted Into a Top Radiology Residency Program

Gaining admission into the top residency programs involves submitting a competitive application via ERAS, The Electronic Residency Application Service.

This is a centralized online application service that you’ll need to use in order to “match” into the programs above.

Most programs begin reading applications over the first couple of weeks of autumn/fall and invite applicants to interview in the weeks following.

Generally, radiology residency program applications include the following:

  • A completed ERAS application
  • Personal statement/s
  • Supplemental statement/s (where requested)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A full, official medical school transcript
  • Your USMLE Step 1/COMLEX transcripts
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Selection criteria are specific for each program but commonly applicants are scored on a combination of grades, clinical and research experiences, special interests, and anything else surgical departments/programs find relevant.

To be competitive, and stand a chance at matching into the best programs, you’re going to need great Step 1 and Step 2 scores, research experience, impressive extracurriculars, and a solid letter of recommendation.


  • https://www.salary.com/research/salary/alternate/radiologist-salary
  • https://www.prospectivedoctor.com/how-competitive-is-a-diagnostic-radiology-residency/

5 Best Radiology Residency Programs(Key Info & Data) – willpeachMD (1)

Sumran Imtiaz

Hey guys, I’m Sumran. I’m a British 5th-year international medical student at the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria. I transitioned straight from completing my A-Levels into university. Currently, I have interests in Psychiatry and Gastroenterology. Outside of medicine, I enjoy reading crime novels and visiting art exhibitions.

5 Best Radiology Residency Programs (Key Info & Data) – willpeachMD (2024)


Where is the best radiology residency? ›

Here are the Best Radiology Programs
  • New York University (Grossman)
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • University of California--San Francisco.
  • Duke University.
  • Stanford University.
  • University of Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Alix)
  • Washington University in St. Louis.

How hard is it to get into radiology residency? ›

Competitiveness. Compared to other residencies, radiology is slightly higher than averagely competitive. If we use fill rates to measure how competitive residencies are, radiology has a 100% fill rate. Radiology is considered especially competitive for first-choice applicants.

What is the best college to become a radiologist? ›

Harvard University's radiology program is regarded as the leading one in the United States. It should be your initial consideration. Renowned for its various graduate courses, Harvard Medical School was recognized as the top institution for research in the United States in the year 2023.

Which institute is best for radiology? ›

8 Top Radiology Colleges in India 2024
  • Shri Guru Ram Rai University (SGRRU), Dehradun. ...
  • Era University, Lucknow. ...
  • Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot. ...
  • Combined PG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Dehradun.

What is the highest paying radiology specialty? ›

7 highest-paying radiology jobs
  • MRI technologist. ...
  • Radiologic technologist. ...
  • Cardiovascular technologist. ...
  • Sonographer. ...
  • Radiation therapist. ...
  • Nuclear medicine technologist. ...
  • Ultrasonographer.
Apr 18, 2024

Which state pays the most radiology? ›

California, CA

Is radiology harder than nursing? ›

Nursing School may be considered more academically rigorous, given the extensive curriculum and higher clinical hour requirements. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that Radiology Tech School is easier, as it also requires mastery of complex imaging technologies and related medical knowledge.

What is the hardest part of being a radiologist? ›

Radiologists generally work more than the normal 40-hour workweek. Their hours can range from 40 to 60 hours per week or more, depending on where they work. The long hours can make it more challenging to spend time with family or to feel fully rested.

What is the most competitive residency? ›

The top 10 most competitive residency programs in 2023 are:
  • Neurosurgery.
  • Orthopedic Surgery.
  • Otolaryngology.
  • Interventional Radiology.
  • Vascular Surgery.
  • Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery.
  • Radiation Oncology.
  • Internal Medicine — Pediatrics.

Which state is best for radiology? ›

Top 10 Places for a Radiologist to LiveCrystal Carter
  • Minnesota. Average Salary: $210,289. ...
  • Wisconsin. Average Salary: $193,871. ...
  • North Dakota. Average Salary: $209,740. ...
  • Wyoming. Average Salary: $199,180. ...
  • North Carolina. Average Salary: $188,619. ...
  • South Dakota. Average Salary: $205,950. ...
  • New Hampshire. Average Salary: $198,933. ...
  • Alaska.

What is the MCAT score for radiology? ›

Diagnostic Radiology Step 1 Scores (Matched Applicants in 2022 Match): 25%ile: 237. Median: 246. 75%ile: 253.

Is radiology a difficult major? ›

The path to becoming a radiologist is lengthy and challenging. You should only take on this challenge if you have a true passion and interest in the field. Having a personal connection to radiology keeps you motivated during the more labor-intensive parts of your training.

What is the highest salary of a radiologist? ›

Radiologist salary in India ranges between ₹ 1.0 Lakhs to ₹ 48.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 25.0 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 561 latest salaries received from Radiologists.

Which college is best for MD radiodiagnosis? ›

We will now explore and introduce all these Top Colleges for MD Radiology in India, discussing their various features and offerings.
  • Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. ...
  • Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar. ...
  • Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. ...
  • Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore.

Which hospital has the best radiology department? ›

2021 Radiology Department Research Rankings:
  • Washington University in St. ...
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 2.95578552.
  • Johns Hopkins. 2.86157359.
  • Mayo Clinic. 2.35295792.
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital. 2.16165543.
  • New York University. 1.95114128.
  • Yale University. 1.91902751.
  • University of Michigan.

Which country is best for radiology residency? ›

United States: The US boasts some of the world's top radiology departments, with state-of-the-art facilities and a focus on comprehensive patient care. The country's diverse range of imaging services includes advanced MRI techniques, nuclear medicine, and interventional radiology.

Which country is best for radiology job? ›

The UK is one of the top countries that offer high-paying jobs to radiologists. You can earn £75,949 on average salary per year. To earn a higher paying package, you can acquire several new skills and pursue a career in radiologic technology.

Where is the best place to practice radiology? ›

The best states for Radiologists are Washington, Arkansas, Arizona, and New York. Based on several factors, the job market can be competitive and still pay average wages based on the living costs of the state.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated:

Views: 5867

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.