Graduate Success Spotlight on Ryan Arellano, ARMRIT
Ryan Arellano is an
accomplished MRI technologist who graduated from WCUI’s MRI program at the
Phoenix campus in 2010. Before WCUI, Ryan had done his share of work in the
sales field and was looking for an opportunity to get into a more meaningful
and stable career in the healthcare field. He found his calling in MRI and
passed through the WCUI program with flying colors, setting a high standard for
his fellow students and leaving a lasting impression on faculty and staff.
Throughout his externship and after graduation, Ryan hit the ground running by setting an example of hard
work and professionalism that got him hired at his externship site and led him
to work with some of the top radiologists and MRI technologists in the country
at SimonMed, his current employer. It is obvious that Ryan loves his work, and
is proud to demonstrate that you can become a leader in the MRI field with an
ARMRIT certification as long as you put in the time to master your craft and
maintain a reputation of dependability and humility. See below for full interview.
1. What got you interested in MRI (Magnetic
Resonance Imaging)? Was there a moment when something “clicked” and you
knew you wanted a career in Radiology?
I was doing sales
and was getting burned out with inconsistent pay and schedules. I
wanted do get back in the health field and do something different. In High
school I finished a two year course at a Mesa campus called EVIT (East
Valley Institute of Technology) for Firefighting and loved it. I did my
homework on the different technologies in the medical field and decided on Magnetic Resonance
What have you
accomplished in Radiology that you are most proud of?
I'd have to say
overcoming adversity with the ARRT/ARMRIT debate to not only land employment,
but set a new standard. Thus proving that an ARMRIT technologist is more than
qualified to not only be a technologist, but a leader. After having the
operations manager at my clinical site tell me three weeks in that she'd never
hire me without the ARRT x-ray cross-trained MRI license with no legitimate
reason. I'm very proud of the fact that she called me four months later to
offer me a full time position based on performance, not the title on my license.
That kind of kick-started my journey to where I'm at now with Simon
What obstacles did you
have to overcome to get to where you are today in a position of success?
I knew I wouldn't
be perfect. There was just too much to know. My approach was to master the
basics during externship (punctuality, attendance, keeping an open
mind to others critiquing) and befriend the techs so they would allow me to
maximize my time. In accomplishing that, I worked at all six sites by the end
of my time. At the end, sometimes covering two different sites in one day and
doing whatever I could to stay in front of a scanner. Doing all of the little
things right builds you a cushion - kind of like managing a bank account. Keep
making good deposits and rarely make withdrawals (errors). You do this so that
when you do make a mistake, they will be more apt to work with you to
correct the mistake as opposed to focusing on it. The bottom line is that if
you have a good work ethic and understand your craft no matter what it is,
and know how to work within the system, your ceiling is
Who are the role models
in your life and how have they inspired you and helped you become
My first five
years in radiology has been quite a journey. I've met some amazing people at
all levels, my favorites being Dr. Janet Martin who is one ofthe most renowned MSK Radiologists in the
country. She eventually led me to work with hands-down the best MRI Technologist
in the country, Kevin Oliver, who is currently the MRI Director for Simonmed,
one of the largest outpatient radiology groups in the country. These are
by far the most influential people in my career that saw everything in me that I’ve
been talking about.
Tell me about some of
memorable patients that you have scanned/cared for.
I've been fortunate
enough to work with some of the best radiologists in the world who have cared
for countless pro athletes and celebrities.
What advice would you
give a student who is just starting out in a career in radiology?
When you go to your clinicals,
remember that you are like a guest in their home. A humble, respectful, helpful
attitude will go a long way. Just keep in mind you're getting trained on their
equipment. Make yourself valuable and they won't want to let you go. Think
about it - you just had a six month audition and they trained you for free. There
is no reason that you shouldn't get hired.