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 these two commitments can be fulfilled, we have restructured our training program into what has come to be called the “3/2 Program”. Essentially this program provides for three years of training in general diagnostic radiology and two years of subspecialty training.

Many programs have recently adopted a 3/2-type curriculum in response to changes in the ABR exam structure, in which radiology residents are now tested in general radiology competency after the 3rd year of training, and in chosen subspecialties two years later. We developed our 3/2 program back in 2001, not in response to any ABR changes, but at a time in which it was obvious to us that the future of radiology was in subspecialization. The commitment of additional time and effort to subspecialty training has allowed us to modify already strong fellowships to improve their scope and depth.

The 3/2 program also allows for 2-7 months of dedicated and protected research time during the 4th year, which the residents are encouraged to use for vigorous intellectual exploration. It is anticipated that results will be presented at national meetings and submitted to peer-review journals. (See Resident Research)

With the development of the 3/2 program, we added a series of “3/2 Enhancements” to our traditional didactic and case conference curriculum, in order to prepare our residents for their research experience. These begin in the 1st year, with classes to develop advanced academic-specific computer literacy. Instruction in statistics and research design is provided throughout the residency. The development of public speaking skills is a point of emphasis during the first two years of the program.

The overall thrust of these modifications is to create future radiologists strongly grounded in general diagnostic radiology, but with added subspecialty expertise. We believe this curriculum is far better suited to the practice of radiology during the coming years and that it will further strengthen and secure the field for future generations.