One Radiologist’s Transition from Fellow to Faculty

An interview with Rupa Radhakrishnan, MD

I am very excited to be a part of the Radiology faculty at Cincinnati Children’s. It is one of the top children’s hospitals in the U.S. and the world, and it is a privilege to be a part of this amazing team. After finishing my residency in Radiology and becoming a certified Radiologist, I knew I wanted to expand my learning even more by focusing on the unique and specialized imaging and diagnosis of children. For the past two years I did my fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s in both general pediatric radiology and specifically in pediatric neuroradiology.

During my training and learning as a radiology fellow I became fully aware of the complexity of pediatric imaging not only from the medical conditions, but also from the logistical challenges of imaging young children. For example, many children require sedation or anesthesia to help them hold still during imaging, and this requires more coordination of staff and resources. From my fellowship I became very aware of the potential effects of radiation in young children, so I always try to minimize exposure and avoid unnecessary examinations with radiation. I also learned how important Child Life Specialists are in soothing and calming the anxious child (and parent) so that the procedure can be completed effectively as well as supportively.

The best thing about being a radiology fellow was learning from the radiology faculty, who are some of the best radiologists in the world. It never ceases to amaze me that these radiologists–the very same people who are leaders in their field, authors of well-read textbooks, collaborators on ground-breaking research and part of the decision-making team developing the imaging guidelines used world-wide in pediatric radiology–were always approachable and willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

During my training I became increasingly involved in the innovative research being done at Cincinnati Children’s. I developed a particular interest in advanced neuroimaging and the ways it can be applied in the areas of epilepsy and neonatal neurodevelopment. As a member of the radiology faculty, I will continue my research in this field.

Transitioning from my “learner” role as a radiology fellow to my leadership role as a radiology faculty member has been very smooth. For the past several years I have been committed to the Radiology Department’s mission and vision of providing the safest and most accurate imaging of children and have been actively involved in working toward those objectives.  My experience has made me very knowledgeable about the protocols for exams, and I have developed strong relationships with clinical staff and other medical disciplines. This level of expertise and these collaborative relationships enhance the care we provide to all of our patients and families. I look forward to continuing my learning and leadership at Cincinnati Children’s and the care that I can deliver in the Radiology Department for many years to come.

Contributed by Rupa Radhakrishnan, MD and edited by Catherine Leopard (Child Life).

Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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