October 19, 2021

My Experience as a Fellow in Pediatric Radiology

By Christabell C. Ndibe, MD, MPA

Christabell C. Ndibe, MD, MPAAfter completing my residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, I began my fellowship training in pediatric radiology during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020 at Emory University/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).

Three months prior we welcomed our second daughter, and I am very grateful that I got to spend quality time with our newborn through an extended maternity leave. This would not have been possible without the Pediatric Radiology Team at Emory University, especially the Chief of Pediatric Radiology, Stephen Simoneaux, MD, FACR, and my fellowship director Paula Dickson, MD, who approved my maternity leave after residency. I am truly grateful to the entire faculty for ensuring that my needs were met as a new mother and for providing a seamless transition into fellowship.

An integral part of my exceptional fellowship experience at Emory University/CHOA was the case complexity and acuity of a diverse patient population. My fellowship exposed me to the most commonly encountered diagnoses in pediatric radiology, significantly improving my clinical proficiency in identifying bread and butter cases. At the same time, I was constantly challenged and motivated by several rare cases and diagnoses, some of which I thought only existed in books!

My training experience was greatly enriched by the availability of wonderful mentors and experts in various disciplines as well as my participation in multidisciplinary conferences and didactic pediatric radiology conferences. These conferences provided an avenue to participate in holistic patient care and build valuable professional relationships.

Pediatric radiology offers the opportunity to diagnose the diseases of various organ systems using modalities such as pediatric musculoskeletal radiology, neuroradiology, cardiothoracic radiology, body imaging and fetal imaging. One of the reasons I chose subspecialty training in pediatric radiology is because I had an interest in multiple subspecialties and found it difficult to choose one until I discovered my true calling. Also, I found the pediatric cases to be the most exciting and felt that I was an integral part of the patient care team.

My experience with pediatric interventional radiology during my fellowship training was equally as exciting and memorable. I am happy about my career choice in pediatric radiology, and I urge all my colleagues to consider pediatric radiology when choosing subspecialty training.

I would certainly choose this path if I were to do it all over again!