Preparation for clinical practice in radiology: a survey of interns and radiologists

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Simelane, Thabisile
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University College Cork
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Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate interns’ preparedness to deal with radiology departments, and to identify knowledge gaps which will facilitate the design of simplified evidence-based radiology orientation course for students or newly qualified doctors, to ease the transition from theory to practice. Methods: A cross-sectional, mixed-methods approach was employed. A sample of Irish interns and practicing radiologists were asked to complete a quantitative survey regarding perceptions of intern readiness to interact with the radiology department. A mixed quantitative/qualitative analysis using group concept mapping was also conducted involving perspectives of doctors in various categories, including NCHDs, and consultants, to evaluate what topics should be covered in a related preparatory course. Pearson’s Chi Square analysis was employed to examine the association between socio-demographic and educational variables and selected categorical item responses. Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance (ANOVA) and/or Mann–Whitney U tests were employed to carry out univariate comparisons. Results: The majority of interns 66%( N=66) and radiologists 52%(N=26) felt that undergraduate medical training did not prepare the interns to interact with radiology department. More than half of the intern respondents 52%( N=52) were frequently uncertain about radiology exam indication when completing a request form. Most interns identified challenges in choosing appropriate examinations and communicating with the radiology department. A significant number also regarded the radiology department as unapproachable. Most radiologists 92%( N=92) felt that intern understanding of indications for imaging modalities is inadequate, reflecting intern uncertainty regarding exam indications. Most radiologists 86%(N=43) perceived that interns’ understanding of contrast medium was inadequate, and 78%( N=39) perceived that interns were lacking in the knowledge of (N=39) radiation protection. Results of the group concept analysis suggested the following topics to be included in the intern radiology preparatory module: ordering investigations; clinical decision support; radiology department IT and communication; adverse reactions and risks; urgent imaging; interpretation of radiology results. Conclusion: This study has highlighted vital topics to be included if one were to design a preparatory module in radiology which would promote smooth transition from theory to practice. Future research would be to design, implement, and evaluate an appropriate preparatory module.
Preparation , Clinical practice , Radiology , Interns or junior doctors , Radiologists
Simelane, T. 2019. Preparation for clinical practice in radiology: a survey of interns and radiologists. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.