Duke’s 3/2 Program

Applicants electing to come to Duke for residency training in Diagnostic Radiology must make two fundamental commitments:

  • A commitment to personal excellence as a diagnostic radiologist.
  • A commitment to help advance the field of radiology through scientific investigation while at Duke.

In order to create an environment in which residents can successfully fulfill these two commitments, we have structured our training program into what has come to be called the “Duke 3/2 Program”. Duke Radiology was the first program to adopt such a curriculum, now nearly 20 years ago, and we have continued to evolve the program to meet the needs of our residents and ensure they are among the most competitive and strongest applicants entering the field of radiology following graduation. The Duke 3/2 Program provides three years of rigorous training in general diagnostic radiology and the option of two years of subspecialty training which includes a flexible fourth year (R4/PGY-5).

Our 3/2 program allows for nearly 10 months of dedicated and protected research time during the R4/PGY-5 year of training. Residents are encouraged to use this time for vigorous and novel intellectual exploration. There are many excellent research mentors among the Duke Radiology faculty and resident “3/2 projects” often involve collaboration across both clinical and basic science departments at Duke University. Many of our residents present their work at national meetings and publish results in peer-reviewed journals (see Resident Research).

With the development of the 3/2 program, we have been able to evolve the curriculum to meet the needs of our residents.  Each resident has nearly 10 months of time in the R4/PGY-5 year which can be allotted fully to research endeavors and/or to strengthen clinical skills.  The use of these 10 months is at the discretion of the individual radiology resident and may be used to complete our ESIR curriculum, our 16-month dual certification pathway in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, a global-health elective through the Duke Global Health Institute, or a mini-fellowship.  Each resident meets with the program director in their R2 and R3 years to discuss and plan their “3/2 time” in the R4 year so that each resident can achieve his/her training & career goals.

The overall purpose of the Duke 3/2 Program is to create future radiologists firmly grounded in general diagnostic radiology with added subspecialty expertise. We feel that by allowing each resident to customize their R4 year, they not only have the opportunity to take advantage of the many opportunities Duke has to offer but also prepares them to be among the strongest, most competitive radiologists following graduation. We believe this curriculum is far better suited to the practice of radiology during the coming years and will strengthen and secure our field for future generations.