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J Am Coll Radiol. 2010 Jan;7(1):50-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2009.09.013.

Role models in academic radiology: current status and pathways to improvement.

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University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine residents' attitudes about the influence and characteristics of academic radiology role models.


A Web-based survey was sent to the 35 residents in the 2007 Siemens AUR Radiology Resident Academic Development (SARRAD) program and to all other residents at their institutions. The survey contained questions regarding experiences with and desirable characteristics of role models, as well as the influence of role models in career decisions. Chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Mann-Whitney tests were used to assess associations between responses and expressed career choice.


Thirty of 35 SARRAD participants (85%) plus 103 non-SARRAD participants responded. Only 46% felt that there were enough role models at their institutions and 56% that there were sufficient role models in academic radiology. More than two-thirds of residents surveyed stated that they would be more likely to stay in academic radiology if there were more role models. The most desired characteristics of role models included availability, enthusiasm, integrity, and a positive attitude toward residents. Residents stating that they would choose academic careers were more likely to be research track (P = .0001), have more publications (P = .01), be less concerned with salary (P = .003), and be less concerned about politics (P = .047). Level of debt was not different between residents planning to choose academic careers and those with other career plans (P = .80).


Role models in academic radiology play an important role in influencing residents to stay in academic radiology. Increasing the number of role models in academic radiology with characteristics valued by residents will encourage residents to stay in academic medicine.

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