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Needs Assessment for Standardized Medical Student Imaging Education: Review of the Literature and a Survey of Deans and Chairs

  • Author(s): Webb, EM
  • Naeger, DM
  • McNulty, NJ
  • Straus, CM
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 AUR. Rationale and Objectives: Medical imaging education often has limited representation in formal medical student curricula. Although the need for greater inclusion of radiology material is generally agreed on, the exact skillset that should be taught is less clear. The purpose of our study was to perform a needs assessment for a national radiology curriculum for medical students. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from previous unpublished portions of the American College of Radiology/Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology survey of Deans and Radiology Chairs regarding prevalence of radiology curricular revisions, assessment tools, use of the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria, and resources used in curriculum revision. We also performed a literature search through both PubMED and a general search engine (Google) to identify available resources for designing and implementing imaging curricula and curricular revisions. Results: Medical school deans and chairs reported a need for more overall radiology content; one of every six programs (15%) reported they had no recognized imaging curriculum. Of schools currently with imaging curricula, 82% have undergone revision in the last 10 years using a variety of different resources, but there is no universally agreed on guide or standard curriculum. The PubMED and Google searches identified only 23 and eight resources, respectively, suggesting a sizable deficit in available guidance; however, a single published medical student radiology curriculum is available through the Alliance of Medical Student Educators in Radiology. Conclusions: There is a need, but few available resources, to guide educators in adding imaging content to medical school curricula. We postulate that a standardized national curriculum directed by a focused skillset may be useful to educators and could result in greater uniformity of imaging skills among graduating US medical students. A proposed skillset to guide a national curriculum in radiology is described.

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