So you’re ready to do some research in radiology, but there aren’t any opportunities in your program. What can you do?

1. Find an interest. 

You don’t have to choose your career now, but this is a great time to start exploring subspecialties in radiology. This will make the research project more enjoyable and you can start networking!

2. Pick your institutions. 

Starting out, it’s easier to focus on a few institutions. You can choose these based on region, research interest, or institution prestige. Whatever you prioritize, pick 5-10 programs and find their faculty.  

3. Contact faculty.  

Introduce yourself and why you are interested in doing research with them - INCLUDE DETAILS! You do not have to be an expert in their research, but at least show that you made an effort to understand their research focus. Don’t forget to attach your CV. Plan to e-mail a lot of contacts and do not be disappointed if you only get a few responses. Allow ample time to respond, but also make sure to send follow-up e-mails after a week or so with no response. 

4. Find a research scholarship/grant. 

There are a ton of these opportunities and it’s an amazing way to fund yourself through a project. Some programs even set you up with a PI. These also look great on your CV, so 2 birds with 1 stone.  

Still no luck with projects? Let's get creative!

1. Case reports! 

These are a great way to get involved with research. Whether you’re on rotations or shadowing, keep an eye out for interesting cases. And if you can’t find a case on your own, do not be afraid to ask radiology residents you meet on your path if they have any good cases. Think outside the box: most interesting cases have a radiology component, which offers an opportunity to meet radiologists. 

Radiopaedia, ACR Case In Point, RSNA Case Collections accept short, concise case reports which are great for getting started. Radiopaedia and RSNA Case Collections also accept "normal" examples - so not all cases have to be zebra findings!

Find more places to submit case reports on our research tab. 

2. ACR Radiology-Teaches. 

This program is an amazing opportunity for any medical student interested in radiology. You will be paired up with a mentor in a field that you are interested in and work on case modules and possibly case reports. It’s also a great way to find a mentor to guide you on your path to radiology. 

3. Give a lecture or presentation. 

Find a topic you’re interested in and want to learn more about and put together a presentation. You can e-mail the didactics coordinator or ask your attending for a way to participate. Not only is this a great way to contribute to medical education, but it counts as an oral presentation on your CV!  

4. HumanDx. 

This is not a radiology specific option, but definitely a cool way to get published. You can try and submit an interesting case you had and create a module for other students and physicians to reason through. It’s a great way to create an interactive learning experience. A case also counts as a publication!

Additional research resources are on the Research Page

Erina Quinn, DO

Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion