Mohamed Tarek Seleem Ahmed, MD, is a third-year resident at the UK College of Medicine Department of Radiology, through which he has gained vital clinical experience at UK Markey Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center.

In our “Why UK” Q&A series, Dr. Ahmed shares how the UK radiology residency program will prepare him for a fulfilling career in medicine.

Q: Why did you pursue a residency at UK?

A: There are a multitude of different career pathways in radiology that include: academic radiology, radiology in private practice, as well as (surprisingly) a mixture of both. The radiology program at the University of Kentucky is unique in that it trains candidates for both options.

Working at UK HealthCare exposes residents to a large volume of varied and complex pathologies. The strength of any radiology program is always dependent on the health care system in which it operates. The Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky is the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated center. It is designed to allow radiology residents to participate in world-class oncologic care. UK’s precision medicine clinic exposes residents to cutting-edge research and clinical trials, and its Level 1 Trauma Care Center prepares residents to treat trauma patients with a host of complex pathologies.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your experience?

A: I love how the entire department treats its residents like they are part of a big family. Even though the radiology program is large, residents and faculty are always in contact – in and out of the reading room.

I remember how several of my mentors reached out to me during my intern year in New York City to check on me and make sure I was adjusting well in a different environment. The program at UK organizes several social events –  like barbecues and hangouts – for all the faculty and residents to get together and celebrate being part of a larger community.

Q: How is UK preparing you for your future career goals?

A: The program leadership identified my academic aspiration early on. My program director, Dr. Jimmy Lee, helped me find more than one mentor – not only for academic and scholarly pursuits, but also to help me attend national courses and conventions in this discipline. The UK radiology program made it possible for me to attend an introductory course in academic radiology as early as my second year.

While I am planning to stay in academic radiology, I believe that this program would help other residents pursue careers in community or private practice.