Making the case for early medical student education in interventional radiology: a survey of 2nd-year students in a single U.S. institution.
ABSTRACT To examine perceptions of interventional radiology (IR) among a group of second-year medical students and support the case for early exposure to the field in order to increase visibility and, ultimately, recruitment to this specialty.
Sixty-five members of the class of 2011 from a single U.S. institution were anonymously surveyed about their opinions on IR before and after a 1-hour case-based introductory lecture.
Sixty-four students completed the survey in its entirety. Perception about what IR entails varied, with 52% of the students aware of IR involvement in major and potentially life-saving procedures; however, 34% believed that an interventional radiologist primarily performed "minor" procedures or "read films." Previous interaction with interventional radiologists was uncommon. Following the single, case-based introductory IR lecture, 74% of the class was eager to learn more about the specialty, with 22% interested in enrolling in a dedicated hands-on elective in IR. The perception and impression of what IR entails changed significantly for the better for 75% of the students. Before the lecture, 19% were considering IR as a career (first or second choice); this increased to 33% after the introductory lecture.
Although medical students are aware of IR, their exposure and understanding is limited. They are keen to learn more when exposed to it. Reaching out to the medical students early in their career may help in recruiting talent and securing the specialty's growth.