The thoracic radiology section at GW focuses on the plain film and CT detection of lung disease. The day begins at 8 a.m., where the resident organizes the list of chest x-rays that were obtained overnight and subsequently reads out with a staff attending. Emphasis is placed on both establishing proper technique in interpreting x-rays and understanding the imaging characteristics of lung diseases. Typically junior residents are guided more by the attending during readout and senior residents are encouraged to "pre-read" the studies and the staff serve to verify their interpretation.
The service is also responsible for CT scans of the chest, which encompass ER, inpatient, and outpatient studies. The patient population at GW is quite diverse and residents are exposed to both garden variety pneumonia and pulmonary emboli as well as rare infectious diseases and interstitial pathology.
After their first rotation, residents are encouraged to become increasingly autonomous on the thoracic service in order to improve both their efficiency and their confidence in interpreting xrays and CTs.