Fellowship in Body Imaging, Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hospital, Mumbai

Duration: One-year fellowship programme

Degree Certification: Degree certificate awarded by the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences, Nashik

No. of Seats: 2

Eligibility: MD/DNB Radiodiagnosis. Experience as a Senior Resident post MD/ DNB is helpful but not a pre-requisite.

Fellowship Application Process: Admission involves a common centralized online process, conducted by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik for all the colleges and hospitals affiliated to the University. No specific exam is conducted. They consider a few criteria like undergraduate & postgraduate qualifications and work experience along with other criteria to create the rank wise merit list. It is according to this list that admissions are given.  Applications are usually out by September / October every year and the fellowship programme commences by January or February. Detailed information regarding the same is available on https://www.muhs.ac.in.

Thesis: The candidate is required to write a thesis approved by his/her guide, which has to completed and submitted prior to the final exam.

Exams: The final exam is in the form of a Practical Examination which is conducted by one Internal examiner (usually your guide) and an External examiner (appointed by MUHS, Nashik). The exam pattern includes one long case, one short case, a discussion on your thesis/ research and skill evaluation.

Working Hours and Night Duties: 0900 to 1700 hours; night duty 3-5 times per month and duty on 1 Sunday every 2 months.

Hostel Accommodation: Provided

Postings: The Body Imaging Fellow is posted in the CT department for 8 months and in the MRI department for 4 months on a rotation basis

Academic Activities and Multidisciplinary Meets: Fellow is supposed to attend once weekly inter-departmental and intra-departmental meets which involves active participation and discussions on various good cases. There are tumour board meets that happen every week where the fellow is supposed to accompany the faculty and participate actively.

There are about intradepartmental resident activities which are about two to three times a week in which a fellow may participate and give inputs.

Fees and Salary: As of now, the fees is INR 1,25,000 for the 1-year course. The salary is currently 50–60k per month.

Details of this Fellowship: I am sure everyone agrees with the fact that we have a very clear vision and a defined path until we reach our post graduate degree/ diploma. However, we then tend to face a dilemma regarding our next step. This fellowship allows you to perfectly transition from a ‘residency life’ to a ‘consultancy life’, where you are given the opportunity to experience certain aspects of both. There is a wide imaging paradigm ranging at TNMC from the most common to the most rare variety of diagnosis. During my fellowship I was rotated in the department of CT and MR. A Body Fellow is expected to primarily report abdominal and chest cases, however, he/she may also report neuro and other variety of cases. Body cases account for majority of his/ her share of reporting (about 70-75%). S/He may dispatch the report if confident or may forward it to senior faculty for re-reporting. This helps a lot in gaining confidence in one’s individual reporting. A very encouraging staff and enthusiastic residents make the working environment extremely comfortable.

I would further like to highlight a few salient features of this programme:

  • Feedback: TNMC is an institution with integrity and sound morals. The reports you prepare get assessed and from time-to-time, you receive feedback regarding the same from other departments. Both the junior and the senior faculty from other departments are welcomed to discuss cases and debate freely. This helps to not only increase one’s knowledge but to also hone one’s reporting skills in a manner suitable to other clinicians and surgeons. The one-on-one discussions that take place daily help build confidence and ensures that you grow as a radiologist.
  • Staff: The Head of the Department and the other senior and junior faculty are extremely supportive, helpful and knowledgeable. This creates a very healthy atmosphere conducive to professional development.
  • Junior Residents: There are around 30 postgraduate candidates in the Department of Radiology. As you work along with them, you realise that it is a give and take relationship- the more you give, the more you learn. Most of the learning occurs during the discussions about the interesting cases that you encounter in your day-to-day practice. In my experience, all the residents were well connected, eager to learn and genuinely interested in learning. The weekly seminars and regular lectures help to stay in touch with all the aspects of Radiology, right from the most basic to the most important.
  • CT Guided Procedures: Presently, there are no Interventional department fellows in TNMC, unlike in a few other institutes. This is actually beneficial for a Body Imaging Fellow as he/she gets a free hand to perform various CT-guided procedures which usually take place once a week along with other residents. The number varies from 8 to 12.
  • Workload: The workload at TNMC is more than adequate, with about 120-140 CTs and 25-30 MRs performed per day. This not only exposes you to a variety of cases but also helps you build confidence as you do ‘volume reporting’. You also get to discuss your reports with senior faculty members. All this gives you an edge as you build your career.
  • Across The Street: On a less serious note, should things ever get a “bit too much”, you can just hop across the road and watch the eternal DDLJ at the Maratha Mandir theatre.

Positives: As rightly said, ‘continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection’; this fellowship programme gives you exactly that. I would really recommend this fellowship to people who like to work in an academic environment with good exposure to work. It provides you with an excellent learning opportunity and recognized certification from the MUHS.

Negatives: I do not see in negatives as far as cross-sectional imaging is concerned. You don’t get to do too many ultrasounds; so you need to take extra efforts to stay in touch with it. You get to do ultrasounds on calls, so that helps to cover that drawback.

I would just like to wish you all the best. I hope this short narration of my experience in the fellowship will help you take the right decision. I would just like to end this by saying ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow and learn as if you were to live forever’.

– Parth Vaishnav

MD DNB Radiology, ex-Fellow in Body Imaging (TNMC), 2019-20

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4 thoughts on “Fellowship in Body Imaging, Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hospital, Mumbai

  1. Pingback: Radiology Fellowships, DMs and Super-Speciality DNBs in India – Cafe Roentgen

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