CONTACT

For more information about the radiology training program, please contact Dr. Martha Larson at moonm@vt.edu or 540-231-4815.
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Small Animal Clinical Sciences
215 Duck Pond Drive
VA-MD Vet Med (0442)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Program overview

Veterinary radiology is a well-developed sub-specialty in veterinary medicine and, as such, is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary radiologists have a high level of expertise in not only conventional radiography, but also special diagnostic procedures, nuclear medicine, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound.

VA-MD Vet Med offers a combined residency-master's program in veterinary radiology. The purpose of the program is to train residents to become future teachers, investigators, and clinicians in veterinary radiological sciences. The four-year program is fully accredited by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) and is designed to meet all eligibility requirements for board certification and all requirements for completion of a Master of Science. An individual successfully progressing through the program will be eligible to sit for the written part of the ACVR's qualifying examination during the third year of the program.

Individuals applying for admission to the program must have completed an internship program or at least one year of veterinary practice and must be eligible for admission to the graduate school programs of VA-MD Vet Med and Virginia Tech. Successful applicants must take and pass the campus radiation safety examination within 30 days of starting the program.

Objectives

  • To help the resident learn the basics of radiobiology, radiation physics, radiation protection, radiation dosimetry, and radiation safety.
  • To help the resident develop clinical skills in diagnostic radiology in both large and small animal patients, utilizing both conventional radiographic examinations and special procedures.
  • To help the resident learn the basic principles of and clinical applications for ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine.
  • To provide guidance in the design, data collection, data analysis, and publication of a research project.
  • To provide training that will serve as a basis for future research endeavors.
  • To provide experience in teaching radiological sciences to veterinary students and veterinary practitioners.
  • To reinforce professional and ethical behavioral characteristics, and appropriate work ethic standards.

Training and supervision

Forty-eight months of supervised post-doctoral training in veterinary radiology is required. Continuation into the second, third, and fourth years of the program will be dependent on the resident's performance evaluations.

Actively involved in the training and instruction of residents, Dr. Martha Larson, Diplomate ACVR, directs the residency program.  


Radiology faculty and residents


Facilities

  • Siemens Multix Pro/Top w/ AXIOM Multix M - Upgrade Digital Radiographic System; Flat Panel Detector 35x43 cm: Canon CXDI-50G; Transparent removable grid: Pb12/80; Polydoros SX 65 generator; 0.5-800 mAs; 40-150 kV. DICOM Interface with Eklin Rapidstore PACS and Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager
  • Shimadzu YSF - 120 Digital R/F System: 80 kW R/F High Frequency Invertor Generator; Radiographic kV 40-150 Continuous; Radiographic mA 10-1000; Fluoroscopic kV 50-125 Continuous; Fluoroscopic mA 0.2-4 mA; Platinum One DSA Premium High Throughput Digital R/F and DSA System; Infimed Innovision 1024 x 1024 x 12-bit digital CCD Camera System w/ grid. Eklin EDR6 Digital Radiographic System Upgrade. No radiographic grid. DICOM Interface with Eklin Rapidstore PACS and Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager.
  • Large Animal Diagnostic Room - SMI EDEC 80 generator with 100 kW option. kV range 40-150; 1000 mA @100kV: 800mA @ 125 kV: 600mA @ 150 kV; 2 X-ray Tubes; Interfaces with Eklin EDR5 Digital Radiographic System Upgrade with Digital Upright bucky w/grid and Eklin EDR3 Digital Radiographic System. DICOM Interface with Eklin Rapidstore PACS and Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager
  • MinXray HF 100/30: 100 kV; 30 mA Ultralight interfaces with Eklin EDR5 and EDR3 Digital radiographic systems.
  • Siemens Mobilett XP Hybrid interfaces with Eklin EDR5 and EDR3 Digital radiographic systems.
  • Siemens Siremobil Compact Imaging System (C-Arm): 9 inch Image Intensifier; High Frequency generator. Fluoroscopy 40 - 110 kV; 0.2 - 8.9 mA; Continuous or Pulsed. Digital Radiography 40 - 110 kV; 0.2 - 12.2 mA. Sony page printer.
  • Philips iU22 Ultrasound System: DICOM Interface with Eklin Rapidstore PACS and Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager
  • Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice CT scanner with Image Analysis Workstation
  • Medrad Stellant SX Contrast Injector System
  • Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager
  • DICOM Interface with Eklin Rapidstore PACS and Kodak PacsLink Dryview Model 8700 Laser Imager
  • NuCam II Gamma Camera
  • Mirage Imaging Computer with Camera Interface: Static Imaging and Dynamic Imaging with motion correction. DICOM interface with Eklin RapidStore PACS.
  • NucLear MAC, Scientific Imaging, Inc.
  • Philips Intera 1.5T MRI
  • No external radiation therapy facilities are currently available on-site. Referral capabilities to North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee.
  • Iodine 131 radiotherapy services
  • Eklin RapidStore; DICOM
  • Eklin Vault (E Vault Backup)
  • Eklin Remote Access

Clinical resources and teaching file

Case material is available from animals referred to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and currently consists of the following number of cases per year:

  • Small animal diagnostic radiology: 6,000
  • Small animal ultrasound: 2,000
  • Small animal computed tomography: 290
  • Small animal magnetic resonance imaging: 350
  • Large animal diagnostic radiology: 270
  • Large animal ultrasound: 15
  • Large animal magnetic resonance imaging: 20

A teaching file of interesting cases — both hard copy and electronically — is maintained in the radiology area. This file is coded and organized by organ system and diagnosis. A searchable database is available on a central hospital server. A student study file is also provided.


Training Content

The resident's responsibilities include the following:

  • Participation in the operation of the clinical radiology section in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • Assisting in instruction of fourth-year veterinary students
  • Attending lectures in didactic courses offered to first-, second-, and third-year students

The resident also participates in rounds and lectures given by the radiology faculty that cover the basic physical and applied aspects of diagnostic radiology, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear scintigraphy, radiation safety, and radiation biology. The resident will

  • Deliver assigned lecture and rounds instruction;
  • Progress in confidence until able to take charge of the radiology service with minimal supervision on a day-to-day basis;
  • Assist in the instruction of fourth-year veterinary students and house officers in interpretation of routine and contrast radiographic examinations, CT and MRI evaluations, ultrasound examinations, and nuclear medicine procedures; and
  • Be required to assist in presentation of seminars within both the radiology section and the department.

The bulk of the training comes through seminars, daily rounds with radiology faculty, chapter and article reviews, and formal courses. The resident is encouraged to participate in continuing education short courses and to give seminars at local, state, and national meetings during the period of residency. Presentation of at least one paper at an ACVR meeting is expected.


Research and teaching

A grant proposal, completed research project, and oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Radiology, and at least one major manuscript submitted to a refereed journal and completion of a master's thesis is required. Guidance in these endeavors is provided by the resident advisor, major professor, and graduate committee. In addition, the resident presents a seminar each year to the faculty and house officers of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences as part of the department's Resident Seminar Program. A presentation at the college's Annual Research Symposium is encouraged.

The resident assists in instruction of fourth-year veterinary students and participates in didactic courses offered to first-, second-, and third-year veterinary students. This includes lecture and laboratory preparation and presentation of material in gross anatomy (radiographic anatomy) and in the diagnostic radiology courses. The resident presents one seminar each year as part of the department's resident seminar series. The resident attends pathology rounds each week and is responsible for the presentation of related radiographic material.


Conferences

The resident participates in the daily clinical schedule in conjunction with one of the radiology faculty and is expected to attend and participate in resident seminars and radiology resident rounds. Attendance by the resident at regional and national meetings is encouraged. Extramural radiology training at other institutions is encouraged.


Evaluation

Each resident is reviewed semi-annually by the radiology faculty and is provided with a written analysis of the resident's abilities and productivity. Input is sought from staff, faculty, and house officers from other sections. The review is discussed with the resident at a formal meeting with the resident advisor.


Additional program faculty

  • Diplomates, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM):
    Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, Nick Dervisis, Rebecca Funk, David Grant, Shawna Klahn, David L. Panciera, John Rossmeisl, Sharon Witonsky
  • Diplomates, American College of Veterinary Surgery (ACVS):
    Linda Dahlgren, Otto I. Lanz
  • Diplomates, American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP):
    Katie Boes, Tanya LeRoith, Kurt Zimmerman