Residency Program Director: Sandra Huicochea-Castellanos, M.D.
ACGME: 2003511052 – NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (CORNELL CAMPUS)
It is imperative that Nuclear Medicine transform itself and embrace the community that it serves. This transformation must occur for precision medicine to align with molecular imaging and each reach their true potential. This process acknowledges that one must study not only the needs of the population in aggregate but also the molecular signatures that make imaging and therapy personalized. As such, the Nuclear Medicine Residency is the training site for the service named Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics (MI&T) – an updated descriptor of increasingly sub-cellular interrogations developed over the last five decades.
We are located in Manhattan on the Upper East Side and are a Service of the Department of Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. As such, we serve an incredibly diverse patient population and treat a wide spectrum of diseases. Many of our imaging agents are investigational but will become FDA approved during the span of your training. Therefore we are always preparing for the practice of the future. What we do today will only be a subset of what will be required in the future to remain proficient in practice.
Our current one-, two-, three-year ACGME-accredited Nuclear Medicine Residency Program (ACGME Number: 2003511052) provides specialized training in both diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine. As part of our academic mission, we are proud to provide training to both diagnostic radiology fellows and nuclear medicine residents. Training in the core competencies of image interpretation, radiotherapy procedures, and molecular imaging research is provided by dedicated Nuclear Medicine / Radiology faculty. Our in-house radiopharmacy and on-site cyclotron capabilities permit us to provide exposure to new radiopharmaceutical and radioisotope therapies, which is increasingly a part of personalized patient management.
Our facilities include 3 PET/MRI scanners which to our knowledge is the most significant single institution investment in these technologies in the world. These include --
--2 Siemens mMR PET/MRI Scanners
--1 GE PET/MR Scanner
We also have 4 Siemens mCT scanners where we perform a large volume of clinical and investigational PET studies on daily that are read by both the Molecular Imaging and Body Imaging services.
--1 GE Millenium MPS Single-head camcer
We have an array of SPECT and SPECT/CT cameras to perform our single photon and post therapeutic studies.
--2 GE Optimate 3/8" Crystal, Dual Head Cameras
--2 GE Discovery 3/8 Crystal, Dual Head SPECT cameras
We are developing therapeutic infusion spaces and a research radiopharmacy to better accommodate the increasing volume of approved and investigational therapeutic clinical trials that we are performing primarily with GU medical oncology and Endocrine oncology.
There is a state-of-the-art cyclotron in the CitigroupBiomedical Imaging Center (CBIC), and many hot cells to produce high quality radiopharmaceuticals with radioisotopes including Carbon-11, Nitrogen-13, Fluorine 18,Zirconium-87, and Iodine-124. Small animal PET and SPECT cameras are available, as are radiopharmaceuticals for study of the dopaminergic andserotonergic system.
Oncological PET/CT Training
Oncological FDG PET/CT is probably the most common study interpreted, but the approval of 18F-FACBC ad 68Ga-DOTATATE has already begun to transform the standard clinical read beyond FDG. 68Ga-PSMA studies are also interpreted on a cost recovery method, so the majority of the GU Oncology studies are now with alternate radiotracers.
The daily reading sessions with our fellowship-trained dual boarded radiologists coupled with multiple weekly educational conferences.
Neurological PET/CT & PET/MR Training
Our department is very active in brain molecular imaging research. We currently investigate the use of new PET radiotracers that can assist the diagnosis and treatment planning of a variety of brain and head and neck tumors.
Cardiac PET Training
During their training, the resident will be exposed to cardiac viability imaging and myocardial sarcoidosis imaging. At our institution, cardiac PET is performed using 13N-Ammonia and pharmacologic stress to evaluate myocardial ischemia, or to combine with F18-FDG to detectmyocardial inflammation, especially in patients with suspected cardiac sarcoidosis.
Schedule & Responsibilities
Normal clinical hours starting at 8 am and finishing between 5 and 6 pm. The resident may also participate primarily in Endocrine and Myeloma didactic and case conference although greater conference coverage is desirable.
Research and the Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute (MI4)
As the Clinical Chief of the Molecular Imaging Innovation Institute (MI3), Dr. Joseph Osborne has positioned MI4 and his faculty (Dr. Ivanidze laboratory) to connect clinical care to database mining, preclinical studies (MI3—Belfer Research Building) and phase 0/1 studies where pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics studies will be performed (MI4—C.V. Starr Pavilion).
As inclusion is a large part of the mission, population health studies and outreach will be a component of the work being done. It is distinct from the training program, but all are encouraged to join. Access to precision medicine and molecularly targeted therapies is as important to the service as the development of the technologies.
The MI4 space is connected to the nuclear medicine clinic and clinical radiopharmacy so that these early clinical trials can be performed in direct proximity to the necessary analysis of blood or urine based correlatives.
The call responsibilities change subtly every year. At present, there are no weekend call responsibilities.
A mentoring cascade is a form of inter-generational learning in which knowledge, values and practice cascade from one generation to the other. We have distinct mentoring teams compromised of faculty members, residents, medical students that interact and work together closely.
Electives and Vacation
The trainees have 20 days of vacation and an additional 5 sick days. In general, the trainees spend one month per year on elective, but these decisions are made based on seniority prior training and with consideration of the other fellows scheduled in the clinic.
How to Apply:
The NYPH/WCM Nuclear Medicine Residency Program participates in the ERAS system for residency applications on the December application cycle: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-residencies-eras/applying-residencies-eras
Please note that interviews for positions in the 2023-2024 academic year will all take place virtually rather than in-person.
Important ERAS Application Dates:
Summer 2022 – ERAS opens to applicants. Create an account and enter application information.
November 17, 2022 – Residency applicants may apply to December application cycle programs.
December 1, 2022 - December application cycle programs start receiving applications.
May 31, 2023 – ERAS 2022 season ends.
The Nuclear Medicine Residency Program does not participate with the NRMP Match. Once applications have been reviewed, interview invites will be distributed. Post-interviews the selection committee will meet to discuss the candidates and offer letters will be sent out.
If you have any questions regarding the Nuclear Medicine Residency program, please contact:
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine
525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065