Program Director Q&A

Old Questions with Answers

How many conferences can you go to?

There is not a specific limit, we have supported conference attendance when residents will be presenting, accepting awards, and/or have earned scholarships to attend. In the absense of other financial support, the department reimburses up to $1200 per conference. 

Where do most residents live? What's the typical rent for a 2-bedroom around Pablo Alto?

I had to Google it, but Pablo Alto is a "Garage Psych/Post-Punk" band with an awesome video. I'm not sure where they live but garages around here usually house startups not bands. Most of all Stanford Residents live in Palo Alto but the majority of Radiology Residents live in Menlo Park. You can see a detailed report here.  The GME has gathered housing resources here.

Do you get free meals?

In fact, the answer to this question used to be TANSTAAFL. This is not exactly true anymore. The department provides lunch for every Thursday block conference, every mandatory resident meeting, and for a monthly lunch with the PD. Yay wellness budget!

Do you hint it in anyway? Like smile extra big during the interviews?

I tried that for a some interviews but lost a few good candidates because they got weirded out.

I've heard from other radiology residents that one cough means "Not right now, but please come back as a fellow". Two coughs means you will match. 0 coughs means "please get out of here soon".  I got zero coughs, does this mean I will not match? There was a sneeze though, does that weigh up?

We had to scrap this otherwise brilliant schema because we realized that we interview through the cold and flu season.

Would you rather eat a burrito with pizza toppings or a pizza with burrito toppings?

Well I do in fact enjoy calzones. Are those not just burritos with pizza toppings? Unless the requirement is to use tortillas that would change everything. What if I get a pizza with burrito topings, can I choose what I put on my pizza? In other words, would I have to get rice, beans and sour cream? Can I just get a taco with gelato?

What's the salary of an attending at Stanford?

Do you get free meals?


great work ! bao.

Of course needless to say that it won't be anonymous if you include your name. Thanks Bao! I learned it by watching you.

Would you consider providing breakfast for morning conferences?

Sure, I'll come by every morning and whip up something for you myself.

Can we please get rid of all those ancient residency pictures?

Well, I'm not entirely sure if this refers to the leadership or the archived photos from the social page. If you want new pictures please check us out on fb or check out these photos from the welcome reception in July from our Flickr. #stanfordradiology on instagram has some interesting ones though not all of those are new. Or relevant, for that matter.

Do former co-fellows need enter the match just to see how you act in an interview setting?

If this is who I think it is you wouldn't get an interview.

What made you come to Stanford (and more importantly, stay on past residency)?

I chose Stanford General Surgery and started as a categorical resident in 2002. At that time I found several programs that had a similar combination of clinical strength and research prowess. What was unique to Stanford, however, was the humanity of the faculty, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the reserved confidence of a team who know they are at the top of their game--without need for artificial or arbitrary hierarchies to project dominance. In other words, the Stanford medical students wear long white coats! Experience with more hierarchical and frankly degrading trainee environments were far too common for most of us on the interview trail. And, yes, it takes some adjusting but makes for a great learning environment.

In 2005 I switched to Stanford Radiology residency. The transition was incredibly smooth, despite the vast difference in specialties, as the institutional culture pervaded both departments. The same qualities that drew me to Stanford after graduating medical school led to my establishing great relationships with my radiology colleagues when I was a surgeon, which I have continued to do so as a radiologist with other clinical care colleagues.

Residency and fellowship confirmed my interest in clinical care and teaching. As a result, I could not pass up the incredible opportunity to serve our veterans and teach the radiology residents at the VA Palo Alto and Stanford Department of Radiology after graduating. I have the honor of practicing and teaching the most advanced medical imaging in the world with the greatest medical students, residents, and fellows in the country, in service to the most deserving patients ever. 

Or, maybe I just like living in California...


Can you cook? If so, what is your signature dish.

Boy, can I cook. 7 years ago I made a free range bird for Thanksgiving. In those days I got cooking magazines and found a recipe for salted turkey with a shallot dijon gravy. Salted because brining is for wimps. I was not allowed in the kitchen for another 2 years.

About 5 years ago I decided to make a homemade butternut squash ravioli (yes, pasta from scratch) with a sage brown butter sauce. This was inspired by the interminable supply of squash from our local farm delivery service. It took about 2 months to get rid of all the flour that I threw all around the kitchen. Also, try cooking ravioli with a tiny 0.1 µg/mm3 bubble of air you didn't squeeze out. They rupture in the pot and you get a watery butternut soup with ravioli shards. We have not used our pasta tool since.

Needless to say we no longer have subscriptions to cooking magazines or farm fresh [squash] to you.

All I do now is grill in the backyard.