A survey of interventional radiology awareness among final-year medical students in a European country.
AffiliationDepartment of Academic Radiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland.
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
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CitationA survey of interventional radiology awareness among final-year medical students in a European country. 2009, 32 (4):623-9 Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
AbstractInterventional radiology (IR) is a rapidly expanding specialty that is facing the challenges of turf wars and personnel shortages. Appropriate exposure of medical students to this field can be vital to recruitment of potential future trainees or referring physicians. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and views of final-year medical students in a single EU country regarding various aspects of IR. An electronic survey was sent via e-mail to all final-year medical students in a European country. The students were given a month to respond to the questionnaire. A total of 234 students of 675 (34.5%) replied to the survey. Of the respondents, 35% had previously completed an attachment to the radiology department. The majority of students (63%) thought their knowledge in radiology in general was poor. The percentage of students who correctly identified procedures performed by interventional radiologists was 69% for Hickman line insertion, 79% for fibroid embolization, and 67.5% for lower limb angioplasty. Sixty percent, 30%, and 47% thought that interventional radiologists perform cardiac angioplasties, perform arterial bypasses, and create AV fistulas, respectively. Forty-nine percent felt that interventional radiologists are surgically trained. Eighty-three percent of students were first made aware of angioplasty by a cardiologist. Thirty-one percent thought that interventional radiologists do ward rounds, 24% thought that interventional radiologists have admitting rights, and 26% felt that interventional radiologists run an outpatient practice. A significant number of students (76%) thought that the job prospects in IR are good or excellent but only 40.5% were willing to consider a career in IR. In conclusion, this study indicates that IR remains a nascent but attractive specialty to the majority of medical students. Further development of the existing informal undergraduate curriculum to address shortcomings will ensure that IR continues to attract the brightest talents to the field.