BACKGROUND: Radiology education is essential for non-radiologist specialists and practitioners as well as for radiologists. We conducted a survey to gather the opinions of Turkish medical students regarding their radiology curricula, radiology education content, and perceptions of various imaging modalities and to assess the amount, adequacy, and homogeneity of radiology education in various schools.
METHODS: Turkish medical students were reached by student ambassadors from 10 different schools of medicine via social media and email. They were provided with a 20-question survey -- via the SurveyMonkey platform -- related to their radiology curriculum and their perceptions of the radiology education at their schools and of different imaging modalities. Subjective parameters were scaled by a 4-point Likert scale and the results are reported by percentages of students.
RESULTS: A total of 988 medical students (F/M: 61%/39%) from 41 different medical schools participated in this survey. Of those, 57% were preclinical students (≤3rd year of medical school), while 43% were clinical students (>3rd year). More than half of the students (51%) stated that the amount of radiology education included in their curriculum was too little, while 44% of them stated it was just right and only 5% stated it was too much. Only 31% of the participants stated that they were able to review radiology images on their own. When asked about their level of confidence for identifying the position of lines and tubes, pneumonia, pneumothorax, and pleural effusion on chest radiographs, 41%, 39%, 41%, and 41% of the participants, respectively, stated that they were not confident. Thirty-five percent of the participants had not received any training in comparing normal to abnormal imaging of bone fractures, pneumonia, pleural effusion, subdural hemorrhage, or pneumothorax. The majority of the Turkish medical students in this survey had never heard (57%) nor used (64%) the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria.
CONCLUSIONS: The radiology curriculum in Turkey differs among various schools and most students stated that preclinical radiology course content was inadequate. Further studies and improvements must be conducted to provide high-quality, equitable radiology education that begins during preclinical training with respect to the students’ opinions.