Awareness and Level of Knowledge of Interventional Radiology among Medical Students at a Canadian Institution
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PURPOSE: To assess the awareness and level of exposure of interventional radiology (IR) among medical students at a Canadian medical school. To understand how IR can be better described and introduced to medical students. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Electronic anonymous surveys were sent to 542 medical students in their first, second, and third years at a Canadian 3-year medical school. A total of 103 students (19%) responded. Each survey contained 17 questions assessing knowledge, interest, and perception of IR. RESULTS: Fifty-three percent (55/103) of respondents reported "poor" knowledge of IR and only 18% (19/103) said they would consider a career in IR. Respondents cited lack of knowledge (48%, 37/77) or lack of interest (43%, 33/77) as the main reasons why they would not consider IR as a career. Although 92% (95/103) of respondents could name at least one IR procedure, many (54%, 56/103) were unclear as to the duties of an interventional radiologist within the hospital. Seventy-four percent (76/103) of students stated that a mandatory 2-week rotation in radiology during clerkship would be beneficial, whereas 71% (73/103) stated that they would be interested in a 2-week IR selective during their mandatory core surgery rotation. CONCLUSIONS: The knowledge and exposure to IR in medical school is limited. Students were eager to learn more about IR and expressed a desire for more exposure. Early exposure of medical students to IR should be introduced to attract future interventional radiologists as well as increase awareness among future referring physicians.
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