CCSF radiology department wins big


By James Locke-Rico
The Guardsman


The Diagnostic Medical Imaging Program at City College was the winner of a 2011 Minnie award for Best Radiologic Technologist Training Program in the entire country. This rating was awarded on Oct. 26, 2011 by, a Web site for professionals in the medical imaging industry.

City College beat out Weber State University of Ogden, Utah in the final round to take the award. Last year City College placed second to Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country.

“It isn’t just Diane Garcia and myself. There are four part-time faculty who are excellent in what they do, are very involved in the community, and are very knowledgeable,” said Kyle Thornton, chair of the radiologic sciences department.

Over the span of 15 years, the DMI program has made tremendous improvements. When Thornton began working at City College, the radiology program wasn’t doing too good.

“The accreditation status was on probation and we were lucky to get half the students that we would normally get in a class,” Thornton said.

Since Thorton took over, the program has received back-to-back four-year accreditations from the Chicago-based Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

City College’s DMI Program has rigorous prerequisites in science, algebra and English, and requires 40 hours of volunteering in a hospital radiology department. Upon completing these prerequisites students are considered for admission into the program. Only 12 to 15 slots are available and the finalists are selected by lottery.

After completing the program, the students take a credentialing examination. Since 2006, 100 percent of DMI graduates have passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists examination on the first attempt.

Despite high levels of training and City College’s country-wide acclaim, many biotech companies in the Bay Area are hesitant to give internships to City College students, tending to favor those from four-year universities.

“Some companies must get over the perception that the community colleges are vocational schools, not serious academic programs,” said Lori Lindburg, director of the pharmaceutical association BayBio, in an interview with

Kyle Thornton and Diane Garcia will be flying to Chicago to accept the award .


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