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Vascular & Interventional Radiology Fellowship

The Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship, under the direction of Program Director Stephen E. McRae, MD, is offered through:

  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
  • Memorial Hermann Hospital
  • CHI St. Luke’s Medical Center

Overview

Our comprehensive training program offers physicians a one-year fellowship opportunity with experience and rotations through three diverse hospitals within the Texas Medical Center. The trainee is offered a varied experience in the sundry of interventional applications, including:

  • Standard vascular interventions (angioplasty/stent, arteriograms, drainages, uterine artery embolization)
  • Oncologic interventions (chemoembolization, radiofrequency ablation, biopsies, brachytherapy)
  • Routine non-vascular interventional procedures (tube placements, drainages)

The program seeks to provide a unique and intense focus on oncologic applications, allowing the trainee maximum exposure in applying techniques and therapies on a focused oncologic patient population. Although the program is primarily directed from MD Anderson Cancer Center, ranked as one of the top two hospitals in cancer care every year since U.S. News & World Report began its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey in 1990, fellows are encouraged to enhance their knowledge and skills development with a non-oncologic population as well through rotations at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship is a phenomenal opportunity for newer physicians who wish to become both future physician leaders and be a part of shaping the future of interventional radiology.

"Procedures performed by interventional radiologists are being increasingly used in the care of patients with cancer. These specially trained physicians use X-rays, ultrasound or other imaging techniques to guide small tubes called catheters and miniature tools directly to the site of the disease. Interventional radiology procedures for patients with cancer include new approaches for treatment, relieving symptoms and diagnosing cancer without surgical biopsy.” -- Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR)

Sponsoring Organizations in the Texas Medical Center

Four three-month rotations are offered throughout the fellow’s experience at MD Anderson Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The hospitals collectively offer:

  • Combined capacity of 2,100 inpatient beds
  • Combined total of 84,000 annual hospital admissions
  • Combined total of 7,100 interventional procedures performed annually
  • Combined total of 14 practicing interventional radiologists

The three institutions are located in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest comprehensive medical center in the world. The Texas Medical Center boasts a 675-acre complex of 41 not-for-profit healthcare institutions, including 14 hospitals dedicated to patient care, research and education.

The institutions of the TMC conduct more than $350 million in funded research and record more than 3.8 million annual patient visits. With more than 50,000 employees and rising, the Texas Medical Center is collectively the largest employer in the city of Houston, Texas.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the world’s largest comprehensive cancer center, is dedicated to the mission of eliminating cancer through promotion of mission patient care, research, education and prevention. The facility includes:

  • 437 inpatient beds
  • An 11-story outpatient clinic building
  • Numerous research laboratories and office complexes
  • An 11-story patient-family hotel
  • A satellite ambulatory treatment center

The hospital’s Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship is currently accommodated in the Alkek building, which opened in January 1999. The program has seven dedicated suites offering modalities in angiography, fluoroscopy, CT and ultrasound. The clinical area began renovations in spring 2003 to accommodate all-new, state-of-the-art equipment, including the addition of two 16-slice CT units.

The program expanded its clinical operations into MD Anderson’s Mays Clinic Building, completed in November 2004. This expansion project accommodated two angiography units, one 16-slice CT and ultrasound. A dedicated interventional MRI unit was added to the offered modalities.

The program also offers a dedicated pre-clinical research laboratory, the John S. Dunn Research Foundation Center for Radiological Sciences. It is equipped with two angiography suites, a CT scanner and veterinary and basic science laboratory services to fully accommodate the interventional research scientist.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital houses the Texas Heart Institute, one of the nation’s leading institutions devoted to cardiovascular medicine. St. Luke’s facilities include 959 inpatient beds as well as a 29-story outpatient medical office building. In addition, it is a leading center for liver transplantation.

Memorial Hermann Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for The University of Texas-Houston Medical School, is a Level 1 trauma center. Memorial Hermann Hospital operates more than 650 beds, 41% of which consist of monitored and critical care beds.

The three hospitals have a combined capacity of 2,100 beds and a total of 84,000 annual hospital admissions. Approximately 7,100 angiographic and interventional radiologic procedures are performed each year at all three institutions and staffed by 14 full-time interventional radiologists.

Accreditation

The University of Texas at Houston Fellowship is accredited by the Residency Review Committee for Radiology of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The one-year fellowship program provides direct staff supervision for all interventional radiology procedures. As the trainees achieve more experience with procedures, a lesser degree of supervision is applied. However, the responsible faculty member is always readily available.

This program provides a broad range of pertinent clinical experience and didactic instruction in essentially all areas needed to obtain a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) from the American Board of Radiology. An optional second year of fellowship training is offered primarily as a research year and involves clinical and/or laboratory research training.

Education Objectives

Fellowship candidates are required to demonstrate a general fund of knowledge about disorders amenable to diagnosis and/or treatment by percutaneous image-guided techniques.

Candidates must have an understanding of signs/symptoms, pathophysiology and natural history of pertinent diseases and be able to apply this knowledge to explain indications, contraindications and risks of a procedure as well as medical and/or surgical alternative/ adjunctive therapies.

Approval Policies

A fellowship appointment is contingent upon obtaining a Postgraduate Resident Permit or license, required by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, and appropriate visa status and any additional documentation necessary.

Appointees must provide suitable documentation of immunization or immunity for various communicable diseases prior to starting a clinical program.

Duties and Responsibilities of Trainees

In addition to performing procedures, trainees are responsible for pre- and post-procedure assessment and care. At daily morning planning conferences, the scheduled procedures are discussed with review of pertinent imaging and electronic chart.

The trainees discuss the procedure with the patient and obtain informed consent. The fellows are responsible for conducting daily hospital rounds for inpatients; these cases are discussed in morning case reviews.

Conferences

Multidisciplinary conferences include:

  • MD Anderson Hepatobiliary Conference
  • MD Anderson Morbidity and Mortality Conferences
  • MD Anderson IR Visiting Lecturer Seminars
  • Didactic Fellowship Lecture Series
  • Memorial Hermann Hospital Vascular Disease Conference
  • St. Luke’s Vascular Disease Conference

Other institutional conferences are available.

An annual radiology boards review course is open to all residents and fellow trainees.

Evaluations

Trainees

Evaluations are based on the experiences of each of the staff radiologists who have supervised the fellow. Strengths, weaknesses and goal development/fulfillment will be assessed and discussed.

The trainee’s knowledge, technical skills and interaction with technical staff, patients and other physicians will also be assessed; the fellowship seeks to encourage successful interpersonal working relationships as a measure and indicator of quality patient care. Deficiencies will be discussed with the program director at three- or four-month intervals.

Training Program

Anonymous evaluations of the program are returned to the Division of Diagnostic Imaging Education Office at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The program director reviews the results, and deficiencies are addressed either by intra- or inter-institutional discussion. Trainees are encouraged to speak to the program director regarding any issues.

Testimonials

"I really enjoyed my fellowship experience at MDACC. Rotating through three hospitals gave me a broad experience in IR. It also let me see the way private and academic practices are organized. For those interested in research, MDACC also has top-notch research facilities for IR." -- Aalpen Patel, MD, 2000-2001, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

"Rotating through three different institutions not only provided me with exposure to a wide spectrum of pathology, I also learned different points of view on how to approach difficult cases." -- Alberto Mansilla, MD, 2000-2001, Private Practice, Orlando, FL

"A few lines cannot possibly describe the wealth of experience I had at MD Anderson and a great time on top of that. Truly a wonderful and well-rounded fellowship I will always take great pride in." -- Nasir Siddiqi, MD, 2001-2002, The University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX

"The complexity and diversity of cases at three hospitals dominant in cancer care (MD Anderson), cardiovascular disease (Texas Heart Institute) and trauma/transplant services (Memorial Hermann), combined with respectable research time and resources of the Dunn lab, make the MD Anderson Interventional Radiology Fellowship one of the very few great programs. Networking from the Texas Medical Center is a plus." -- Michael L. Censullo, MD, 2002-2003, Private Practice, New Jersey

Faculty

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 

  • Kamran Ahrar, MD
  • Judy Ahrar, MD
  • Rony Avritscher, MD
  • Erik N. Cressman, PhD, MD
  • Sanjay Gupta, MD
  • Marshall E. Hicks, MD
  • Steven Huang, MD
  • Armeen Mahvash, MD
  • Stephen E. McRae, MD
  • Ravi Murthy, MD
  • Sharjeel H. Sabir, MD
  • Joseph R. Steele, MD
  • Alda Tam, MD
  • Michael J. Wallace, MD

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston & Memorial Hermann Hospital

  • Aaron J. Baxter, MD, FRCPC
  • Alan M. Cohen, MD
  • Polina N. Kyriakides, MD
  • Ravi N. Srinivasa, MD
  • Rodrick C. Zvavanjanja, MD

CHI St. Luke’s Medical Center

  • Daniel Fang, MD
  • John H. Fischer, II, MD
  • Mary E. Round, MD
  • Sagar A. Naik, MD
  • Mark D. Skolkin, MD
  • Barry D. Toombs, MD
  • Charles Trinh, MD
  • Derek L. West, MD

Contact Information

Program Director: Stephen E. McRae, MD, smcrae@mdanderson,org
Program Coordinator: Jennifer J. Johnson, 713.563.1064, JJJohnson2@mdanderson.org

Department of Interventional Radiology, Unit 1471
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030-4009
Phone: 713.563.7854


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center