Residency Program

Radiology Residency at Penn State Hershey

Christine Peterson, M.D., Program Director

Greetings from the Sweetest Place on Earth!

First, thank you for your interest in our program.  I believe this is a fantastic place to train and am proud of each one of the residents who have graduated from our program.

Although our residents are primarily from the Northeast, our residents come from all over the country and have very diverse backgrounds.  About half are married. One thing I think is unique about our residency is the non-traditional route that some of our residents have taken to get here.  We have former military members, engineers, residents from other specialties, among others, who have bravely decided to change paths and pursue a Radiology residency.  The Department as a whole tries to foster a feeling of family.  We are a close-knit group, including our residents, fellows, faculty, and staff.  We also endeavor to propagate a sense of respect for health care professionals in other departments.  In that vein, the Radiology department at Penn State Hershey is very well regarded and our faculty, fellows, and residents are very well respected by members of other departments.  That is to say, if a Radiology resident thinks a person needs to go to the Operating Room in the middle of the night, it is extremely unusual for the surgeon to ask for an "attending read" on the case.  They usually believe the resident.

One thing I am asked about with some frequency is the impact that fellows have on Resident education.  We currently have 7 fellows (1 Nuclear Medicine, 1 Neuroradiology, 2 Interventional Radiology, 1 Abdominal Imaging, 1 Breast Imaging, and 1 Musculoskeletal Radiology).  The fellows do not in any way hinder a resident's education.  Radiology fellows at Penn State Hershey interpret examinations and perform procedures under attending supervision.  A resident is often not involved in those cases.  There are not "fellow only" types of cases – everyone participates in the cases equally.  I personally think fellows are a great resource for residents.  They may have trained in our residency program, are closer to examinations than faculty are, and can provide tips and advice to residents that faculty may not be able to offer or that residents may feel bashful about asking an attending for.

I am also asked about 24 hour Radiology attending coverage.  Although I cannot predict the future, there is no such coverage now, nor will this occur soon. Without getting into all the details of attending coverage, a Radiology attending is immediately available into the late evening. These attendings interpret examinations themselves and/or guide resident interpretations. Between the hours of approximately 10 PM and 8 AM, Radiology resident(s) interpret examinations, with attendings available by pager.

Once again, thank you for your interest in this program.  I hope the information provided on this website answers some of your questions.


Christine Peterson, MD
Program Director