Hospital/Imaging Centre and City: Clinical fellowship in MSK Radiology at Ganga Medical Centre and Hospital, Coimbatore.
Duration: Previously it was for one year, but it is now a 2-year long fellowship
Accredited: Recognized by Dr MGR Health University, TN.
Diagnostic exposure: During the fellowship, we had exposure to almost all MSK related pathologies one goes through in text books, be it related to radiographs, USG, CT and MRI. As with many fellowships, learning is more related to everyday work rather than lecture-based. Most of the MRI and USG work during the fellowship is MSK related. Fellows would also be required to perform some non- MSK work related to CT and Dopplers for Vascular surgery.
Intervention and hands on exposure: As far as MSK interventions are concerned, there is exposure related to USG and CT guided interventions for – intra and extra-articular injections, collections drainage, pain management, facet joint injections and soft tissue biopsies. Fluoroscopy guided procedures (vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty and image guided osteoid osteoma management) are performed by the orthopedic team with only little involvement of the radiology team.
Academic activities and multidisciplinary meets: There is interaction with fellows of orthopedic subspecialty departments almost daily, with detailed discussions on various cases, patient management and follow ups. There are ortho-radiology reviews with regard to spine, scopy, plasty, trauma, hand and pediatric subspecialties of orthopedics for atleast 3 days a week.
Duty hours and emergencies/on call duties: Daily 8 am- 7 / 7.30 pm. Every alternate Sunday half day. One continuous weekly night duty per month to cover emergency CT / MRI cases by teleradiology, mostly trauma related CT brain or whole body studies; at least 2 -3 cases per night. Usually no emergency calls to come to the department at night for any ultrasounds.
Fees and salary: No fees to be paid during admission. Stipend salary of Rs 65,000 per month.
Leaves: 365 days on duty with two festival holidays in a year (Pongal and Dussehra), 20 leaves allowed during the year course.
Accommodation provided or not: Presently provided if required.
Tips on how to secure the fellowship: The fellowship application process includes emailing CV, following which selected candidates would be called for a written spotters exam and then an oral interview. Along with some previous experience in MSK radiology, what they prefer more is a keen interest in MSK radiology, willingness to work hard, dedication, and academic interest in research and publications. Attending prior MSK conferences and having presentations / publications related to MSK Radiology would be helpful.
When do the interviews/exams happen? Fellowship slots usually open in January and July, interviews usually happen 2 to 3 months prior. The hospital website would provide the details (usually around September and March).
Pros: You will learn a lot about MSK pathologies across all subspecialties, with lot of interaction with the country’s best orthopedic experts. You will understand management of patients and receive feedback and follow ups, learn MSK interventions (other than fluoroscopic), get a good exposure in post-operative and pediatric cases, and be able to indulge in research and academic activity.
Cons: Timings, leaves and everyday work is hectic along with night duties. There is limited exposure on fluoroscopy guided interventions & CT bone biopsies. Onco-orthopedics and rheumatology related MSK experience is relatively limited.
Personal experience at the fellowship: There is a lot of MSK exposure across all sub-specialties, which would be very good for beginners. Faculty are very helpful and guide well. Although the work seems hectic, I personally have learnt a lot from the fellowship and would regret had I missed this opportunity.
Does it add value over MD /DNB degree: It is an excellent fellowship course recognized by the university and definitely adds value.
– Dr Raghu Teja S
Former – Clinical Fellow in Musculoskeletal Radiology, 2017-2018 (Ganga Medical Centre & Hospitals, Coimbatore).
Present – Consultant MSK & MRI Radiologist, Pramodini Imaging and Diagnostics, Vijayawada.