Nuclear Medicine is both its own specialty and a subspecialty of radiology that uses unsealed radioactive materials for the purpose of diagnosis and therapy. Since the principles and technology differ significantly from much of radiology, it is important to understand the fundamentals of nuclear imaging to gain an understanding of the capabilities of the modality. The emphasis of a student rotation is to gather an understanding of the technology, the fundamentals of radiation and radiation biology, and the common diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are performed in nuclear medicine.
Hines VA has a full service department that includes general diagnostic procedures, PET/CT, and therapies. We have an imaging study for virtually every organ system in the body, and students will find this rotation to be valuable and educational no matter what medical specialty they choose to pursue.
- You should plan to be in the department from 9am-4pm Monday-Friday. The mornings will be spent either observing the technologists perform studies, or attending lecture by one of our physicians. The afternoon reading sessions will be the most beneficial as this is when we interpret cases that were performed in the morning. Any time to be used off-service for interviews must be pre-approved by the attending physician prior to the start of your rotation.
- You will attend lectures at Loyola with our nuclear medicine residents; these occur roughly every other Wednesday from 11:30-1:00.
- If you have access to GUI, you will help the resident gather clinical information.
- You will be provided a textbook on loan during your rotation to use as a reference. Please return it at the end of the rotation to avoid a charge.
- You will give a short presentation to the physician staff at the end of your rotation on a nuclear medicine topic of your choosing. This will be informal and no more than 20-30 minutes.
- A written exam will be administered at the discretion of the attending physician. Students who demonstrate interest in the rotation with good attendance will not be required to take the written examination.
Topics that you will learn during your rotation:
- Radioactivity and decay
- Radiation protection
- Biological effects of radiation
- Commonly used radiopharmaceuticals and their actions
- Clinical indications for nuclear medicine studies and therapies