Over the years I have noticed that many Radiology residents and fellows and even faculty can spend years and years studying MRI yet are remain uncomfortable with this topic. They may have passed their Radiology Board Examinations are considered experts by their peers yet have only limited understanding of how MRI works and how to deal with the situation when the MR images are not coming out well let alone figure out how to optimize MRI protocols.
Conversely, there have been occasional students, residents and fellows who “learn” MRI in just a few weeks. They transform themselves literally from knowing nothing about MRI to being more expert than most attending Radiologists in under a month. By studying these success stories we have acquired the secret of learning MRI. These successes are trainees who sit down at the MRI console and scan friends, volunteers, husbands, patients, or anyone who is MRI compatible. By going through the scanning process, they learn how to make the decisions necessary to complete an MR scan. Pulse sequence, preparatory pulses, slice thickness, slice spacing, TR, TE, flip angle, bandwidth,… Scanning forces them to develop an organizational framework in their mind for MRI information that reflects the decisions necessary to complete the scan. Once this organizational framework is in place, new information relevant to scanning sticks into the appropriate spot and makes it easier to make better imaging parameter decisions. It then becomes easier to protocol and supervise the image acquisition process and to understand images better when interpreting them.
Fortunately, learning MRI does not require reading any books or listening to lectures or studying physics. This site is designed to force you not to read but instead to do what it takes to rapidly transform yourself into an MR expert.
Martin Prince M.D., Ph.D.