Course: Fellowship in Neuro and Peripheral Vascular Interventional Radiology
Duration: 2 years till 2020. Note that 2 seats for DM intervention Radiology have been sanctioned starting from the 2020 batch.
No of seats: 2 per year
Eligibility: MD / DNB Radiology. Prior Interventional radiology experience is helpful but not a prerequisite. Keen interest in the field of intervention is definitely a must
Fellowship Application & Selection process: Call for application usually occurs in the month of Feb / March and exams are conducted in April. The exam model differs from year to year. When I appeared for exam, it was MCQ based but it was related to general diagnostic radiology. Now there is a separate paper / section for intervention radiology. Since different examiners set the question paper, difficulty level varies. But usually it is at an acceptable level. The selection process is overall extremely neutral and merit-based, so everyone interested and well-read stands a good chance.
After the recent sanctioning of the 2 DM seats, the decision on whether fellowship seats will be retained or not is not yet taken (we will update the blog as soon as its taken). Moreover, whether the DM candidates will be selected through NEET-SS or the same entrance exam as the fellowship is not clear as yet either (will be updated as well). There will be at least half a dozen candidates short listed for the interview process, if it continues like before. The interview is not oriented towards academics but they try to test your attitude, interest in the field of intervention, liking for research and publications, and the conferences attended in the recent past.
Exit exam: Yes; at the end of 2 years for fellowship candidates. Regular appraisal will be done by the professors.
University Recognition: The fellowship is recognized by Dr. MGR Tamil Nadu Medical University
Thesis: Though the fellowship doesn’t require a thesis / dissertation, you will be made to work on one or more projects in the field of intervention. Everyone will be more than supportive if you want to do more though.
Fees: Approximately INR 40000-45000 for the duration of fellowship
Stipend: Approximately 40000-45000 per month [SR scale fixed by the institution]. It may vary depending upon the housing and mess expenses.
Actual Work hours: The work starts at 7 30 Am. On an average, the duration of work per day goes upto 10 hours for regular elective cases.
Accommodation: Provided by the institution.
Leaves: 10 CL, 25 annual leaves and 7 deputation leaves plus sick leaves
Academic activities & Multi-disciplinary meets: Fellows are expected to present an intervention topic every week. Senior fellows / faculties do present too. There are multiple inter departmental meetings happen with Vascular surgery, Neurosurgery, Plastic surgery and the Hepatobiliary tumor board. In addition to this, fellows are free to attend morning academic sessions and MDT’s (multidisciplinary team meetings) along with the diagnostic team when they are posted outside the DSA lab.
Conferences: Fellows will be encouraged to attend IR conferences on rotational basis provided there is enough man power in the department. They will be expected to present a paper / poster and take part in quiz competitions. Institution will fund the expenses [according to guidelines] when they present a poster / paper. International conferences are funded too – guidelines apply
Postings: Fellows are expected to formulate a posting schedule mutually among them so that each and every fellow get adequate exposure in the Cath lab and a break in the form of postings outside the Cath lab. On an average, each fellow will be posted for around 8-9 months inside the Cath lab. When posted outside the Cath lab (for example in Doppler or USG / CT guided procedures or diagnostic reporting), fellows are expected to be available 24×7 on call if need arises.
Duties: Basically fellows are expected to reach the Cath lab first and leave last. They must scrub in for all procedures. Fellows must work up each and every case posted the next day. They must be familiar with history, indication for the procedure, consent for the procedure, lab parameters and technical aspects of the procedure. Post procedure, daily rounds must be done and updated in the group. Any complication must be attended to immediately. You must be available 24×7 if you are posted in Cath lab.
Scope of IR: The range of procedures done in CMC is extensive. In short we can put it as Calvarium to Calcaneum. Neuro interventions, body interventions, peripheral vascular interventions, venous access, biliary drainage, sclerotherapy, pre op embolization and non vascular interventions are all performed here. The exception is cardiac procedures and aortic work.
Observership: You will get a 15 day posting in an institute of national importance (ANI) – SCTIMSR, NIMHANS or AIIMS. You will be given a special leave and we are free to choose where we want to go. If you want to visit a different institute in India / abroad you must avail your personal leave.
My experience in CMC:
To be crisp, I would say that it was a life changing moment for me. I was lucky and blessed to get the interventional radiology fellowship in CMC. I joined CMC immediately after my MD elsewhere. I worked as an SR in the diagnostic side for two years before gaining interest in intervention. As it goes without saying, you cannot be a good interventional radiologist unless you are good in diagnostics. I did rotation in various systems like chest & cardiac, neuro, abdomen etc which gave me confidence in cross-sectional imaging. I was never exposed to vascular interventions before, but I slowly started to get attracted towards it while working at CMC. I worked really hard for the exam and was rewarded with the fellowship. Since people in the department knew me for two years, they had no hesitancy in selecting me for the position.
During the two years training, I got exposed to all interventions from head to toe. I don’t have any hesitancy in saying that you will get maximum hands-on experience in CMC, more than anywhere else in the world. Since I was interested in intervention, it was really a fruitful experience working there even though it can be physically taxing. Never ever though did I experience mental stress. I felt that I was given more responsibilities as time went by and they started to have confidence in me. You will become confident and right in saying NO to a procedure if it is not indicated.
The department is like a big family. They make you comfortable in every possible way. Right from attenders, office staff, and junior & senior colleagues, they respect you and mould you in a similar way. The professors and seniors make you feel really comfortable. Even the radiographers and staff nurses are well trained and know their duties well. When I came out of CMC, I felt I have changed for good in many ways. It is in their ethos and training that you put the patient first and everything else next. You also become more and more patient and academically oriented.
- Peaceful place to work; No mental stress
- Maximum hands on during training
- Exposure to a wide spectrum of cases
- Flexible department in terms of department and postings
- Tag of CMC
Cons: Not much except for the hectic nature of the fellowship. If you are not willing to break your back, please don’t enrol yourself
Verdict: Just go for it. You won’t regret it
– Dr. Sathya Narayanan R, Consultant Intervention Radiologist, Chennai.
Feel free to contact with more questions at: 9952269577