The new integrated nuclear medicine and radiology residency program in the Netherlands: Why do residents choose to subspecialize in nuclear medicine and why not?

Ton Velleman*, Walter Noordzij, Rudi Dierckx, Yfke Ongena, Thomas C Kwee

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: To explore reasons that influence a resident's choice for the nuclear medicine subspecialty in the integrated nuclear medicine and radiology residency program in the Netherlands. Methods: A web questionnaire was developed and distributed among residents in the Dutch integrated nuclear medicine and radiology training. Results: A total of 114 residents were included. The survey results revealed four categories of incentives to choose the nuclear medicine subspecialty: 1) Expertise of nuclear medicine physicians and their quality of supervision in the training hospital, 2) Opportunities to do scientific research during and after residency, 3) Diversity of pathology, radiotracers, examinations and therapies in the training hospital, and 4) The expectation that the role of hybrid imaging will increase in the future. They also revealed four groups of disincentives to choose the nuclear medicine subspecialty: 1) Lack of collaboration and integration between nuclear medicine and radiology in some training hospitals, 2) Imbalance between nuclear medicine and radiology during the first 2.5 years of basic training during residency at the expense of nuclear medicine, 3) Uncertainty regarding the international recognition of the nuclear medicine subspecialty training, and 4) Uncertain future of nuclear medicine regarding the chances of employment and the ratio of work activities of nuclear medicine to radiology. Conclusion: This study provided insight into residents' motives to pursue or refrain from nuclear medicine subspecialization in an integrated nuclear medicine and radiology residency program. Medical imaging specialists in training hospitals and developers of curricula for nuclear medicine and radiology training should take these motives into account to ensure a sufficient outflow of newly graduated nuclear medicine specialists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2021

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