Evolution of nuclear medicine training: Past, Present, and Future

Michael M. Graham, Darlene F. Metter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Since the official inception of nuclear medicine in 1971, the practice of nuclear medicine and its training programs have undergone major revisions. Numerous procedures that were common in the 1970s are no longer available, and many new radiotracers and procedures have since been developed. Training programs have evolved from an unstructured experience before 1971 to 2 y of nuclear medicine training after 2 clinical years, to 2 y of nuclear medicine training after 1 clinical year and, most recently, to 3 y of nuclear medicine training after 1 clinical year. The most substantial content changes in the new 2007 training program requirements are an increased emphasis on 6 clinical competencies, an increased emphasis on Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements, and a new CT training requirement that was spawned by the advent of PET/CT. In addition to the new training program requirements, residents will need to become familiar with the concept of maintenance of certification, which will continue to be an important component of their professional careers. Nuclear medicine is gradually evolving into molecular imaging. Hence, it is inevitable that in the near future, training programs will be required to place greater emphasis on molecular imaging in both clinical and research applications. The incorporation of molecular imaging will represent a significant paradigm shift for the specialty but will ensure that nuclear medicine will be a major part of medical practice for the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-268
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • ABNM
  • Education
  • History
  • Molecular imaging
  • Residency programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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