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Acad Radiol. 2012 Dec;19(12):1583-8. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2012.08.009.

What program directors think: results of the 2011 annual survey of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology.

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Department of Radiology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, 4301 W Markham, #556, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.



The Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) conducts an annual survey to monitor and evaluate issues pertaining to radiology residents' educational experiences, work responsibilities, and benefits. Data are used to identify emerging trends and patterns of change to plan and provide resources that support radiology residency programs and their directors.


The APDR Annual Survey Committee selected 59 items for an observational, cross-sectional study using a Web-based survey. Topics of interest included program director satisfaction, resident recruitment, social media, program requirements, curriculum, the new American Board of Radiology exam process, call, and residents-as-teachers programs. All active APDR members (n = 296) were invited to participate in survey between February 20 and March 11, 2011.


The response rate was 47% (140 of 296). Descriptive results were tallied using SurveyMonkey software, and qualitative responses were tabulated or summarized as comments. Findings were reported during the 59th annual meeting of the Association of University Radiologists.


Data generated by the annual survey enable the APDR to accrue data pertaining to residents' real-time educational experiences. In 2011, program directors were satisfied with their jobs but not convinced that competency-based program requirements had positive effect on residency training. Programs plan to use the Radiological Society of North America and American Association of Physicists in Medicine Web-based physics training modules. Most radiology programs do not have residents-as-teachers programs, nor do they plan to initiate them. During recruitment, programs use an applicant's location as a proxy for true interest in the program, and interest in the program is important for granting interviews and final ranking. Qualified international medical graduate applicants have access to radiology training in the United States and Canada. Almost half of radiology programs have in-house reading by attending radiologists with residents on call. Residency programs have been slow to embrace social media.

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