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Acad Radiol. 2012 Mar;19(3):369-73. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2011.11.005. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Understanding the US medical school requirements and medical students' attitudes about radiology rotations.

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  • 1Crozer-Keystone Health System, Department of Osteopathic Medical Education, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Drexel Hill, PA 19026-1186, USA.



To learn what percentage of US medical schools require their students to complete rotations in radiology during the clinical years. A secondary goal was to survey students' opinions about radiology rotations.


Data were collected from 159 US medical schools from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for allopathic medical schools, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) for osteopathic medical schools, and by e-mailing curriculum directors at US medical schools with a survey. The secondary goal was achieved by e-mailing curriculum directors for voluntary medical student participation with an institutional review board-approved online survey.


Data from the 2009-2010 academic year from AAMC and AACOM showed that 25% of US medical schools required radiology as a clinical rotation. Our survey of curriculum directors corroborated the AAMC and AACOM data. Data from our medical student survey showed that 87% of students from institutions requiring radiology thought radiology should be required. From institutions not requiring radiology, 45% of students thought that radiology should be required as a standalone course. Of students not required to take radiology, 63% planned to take radiology as an elective.


Students, regardless of requirements, think there is value in having radiology as a regular aspect of a medical school curriculum. Medical schools should consider ways of incorporating radiology into their clinical curriculum.

Copyright © 2012 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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