ABSTRACT: Exposure to, understanding of, and interest in interventional radiology in american medical students
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
The purposes of this study were to determine the degree to which medical students are exposed to interventional radiology (IR) in medical school, to assess their knowledge of the field, and to gauge their interest in IR as a career choice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
An institutional review board-approved survey was generated using the website www.surveymonkey.com. Medical student participation nationwide was elicited by sending e-mails to administrators of medical schools and radiology residency program directors and asking them to distribute the survey link to their students.
Seven hundred twenty-nine medical students from 21 states responded to the survey. Although 58% of students said they were interested in a hands-on career, only 5.5% of students said they had participated in an IR rotation and only 12.7% were interested in IR. Less than half of the IR domain-related questions used to assess understanding of IR were answered correctly, with greater understanding found among the students who had participated in an IR rotation.
Exposure to IR in accredited US medical education programs is inconsistent, although interest in the field is moderate among medical students compared with interest in other hands-on specialties. Understanding of IR is limited among the study population. Improved understanding of the field and recruitment could result from greater exposure.