Education| Volume 30, ISSUE 6, P1210-1219, June 2023

Download started.


Using a Nationwide Virtual Radiology Student Interest Group to Expand Medical Students’ General Awareness, Drive Greater Interest, and Achieve Uniform National Messaging in the Field of Radiology

Published:August 03, 2022DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      Many medical schools offer minimal exposure to radiology, leading to a decreased understanding of the field and negative perceptions among medical students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a radiology intensive series piloted by a novel virtual radiology interest group. Specifically, we were interested in how radiologists and medical educators can expand students’ general awareness, drive greater interest in the field, and achieve more uniform national messaging across all trainees.

      Materials and Methods

      We launched a national/international interest group called Radiology Student Interest Group (RadSIG) and piloted the RadSIG Intensive, a series of five events aimed at increasing awareness and dispelling misconceptions among preclinical medical students. Validated pre-intensive and post-intensive surveys were used to ascertain the students’ baseline and changed perspectives, respectively. A separate faculty survey was also distributed to understand how they perceived our events. Statistical analysis was carried out on the collected data to identify trends and assess the utility of our programming.


      205 students completed the pre-intensive survey, and 61 students completed the post-intensive survey. Of the pre-intensive survey respondents, 51.7% (106/205) indicated that they had a limited understanding of what a career in radiology entails. Of those who completed the entire RadSIG Intensive, average 5-point Likert scale scores for understanding of a radiology career rose from 3.30 to 4.38 respectively pre- to post-completion. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test revealed that this difference was statistically significant (Z=-5.95, p<0.001), and that the RadSIG Intensive significantly improved perceptions of radiologists across every single question measured, except for perception of long hours worked (Z=-0.20, p=0.841). The results also showed increased student comfort in reaching out to radiology attendings (Z=-4.30, p<0.001) and residents (Z=-5.12, p<0.001). Faculty survey results indicated positive perceptions of the series.


      Our results show that the RadSIG Intensive was effective in increasing students’ understanding of radiology as a field and a potential career. Online outreach can also lower the resistance and improve student comfort in reaching out for mentorship, which may provide a new pathway to reach underserved students with a unifying message. By furthering a platform based on voluntary and supplemental resources, we see a far greater potential of impacting the perception and known role of the imager in patient care among our next generation of physicians.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Academic Radiology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Straus CM
        • Webb EM
        • Kondo KL
        • et al.
        Medical student radiology education: summary and recommendations from a national survey of medical school and radiology department leadership.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2014; 11: 606-610
        • Taylor CS
        • Weatherly B
        • Farley EP
        • Clemons MP
        • Watts J
        • Vijayakumar V.
        Generating Medical Student Interest in the Field of Radiology.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2018; 15: 2
        • Branstetter BF
        • Faix LE
        • Humphrey AL
        • Schumann JB.
        Preclinical medical student training in radiology: the effect of early exposure.
        AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007; 188: W9-14
        • Grimm LJ
        • Fish LJ
        • Carrico CW
        • et al.
        Radiology Stereotypes, Application Barriers, and Hospital Integration: A Mixed-methods Study of Medical Student Perceptions of Radiology.
        Acad Radiol. 2022; 29: 1108-1115
        • Tabatabai S.
        COVID-19 impact and virtual medical education.
        J Adv Med Educ Prof. 2020; 8: 140-143
        • Ho PA
        • Girgis C
        • Rustad JK
        • Noordsy D
        • Stern TA.
        Advancing medical education through innovations in teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
        Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2021; 23
        • Harris PA
        • Taylor R
        • Thielke R
        • Payne J
        • Gonzalez N
        • Conde JG.
        Research electronic data capture (REDCap)–a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.
        J Biomed Inform. 2009; 42: 377-381
        • Harris PA
        • Taylor R
        • Minor BL
        • et al.
        The REDCap consortium: Building an international community of software platform partners.
        J Biomed Inform. 2019; 95103208
        • Branstetter BF
        • Humphrey AL
        • Schumann JB.
        The Long-term impact of preclinical education on medical students’ opinions about radiology.
        Acad Radiol. 2008; 15: 1331-1339
        • Ellenbogen PH.
        Imaging 3.0: what is it?.
        J Am Coll Radiol. 2013; 10: 229
        • Yu C
        • Sharma N.
        Growth and utilization of radiology instagram accounts: insight and template from an online radiologist educator.
        Acad Radiol. 2022; 29: 609-618
        • Ranschaert ER
        • Van Ooijen PM
        • McGinty GB
        • Parizel PM.
        Radiologists' usage of social media: results of the RANSOM survey.
        J Digit Imaging. 2016; 29: 443-449
        • Lovett JT
        • Munawar K
        • Mohammed S
        • Prabhu V.
        Radiology content on tiktok: current use of a novel video-based social media platform and opportunities for radiology.
        Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2021; 50: 126-131
        • DePietro DM
        • Santucci SE
        • Harrison NE
        • et al.
        Medical student education during the COVID-19 pandemic: initial experiences implementing a virtual interventional radiology elective course.
        Acad Radiol. 2021; 28: 128-135
        • Belfi LM
        • Dean KE
        • Bartolotta RJ
        • Shih G
        • Min RJ.
        Medical student education in the time of COVID-19: A virtual solution to the introductory radiology elective.
        Clin Imaging. 2021; 75: 67-74
        • Durfee SM
        • Goldenson RP
        • Gill RR
        • Rincon SP
        • Flower E
        • Avery LL.
        Medical student education roadblock due to COVID-19: virtual radiology Core Clerkship to the Rescue.
        Acad Radiol. 2020; 27: 1461-1466