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Postgrad Med J. 2017 Oct;93(1104):587-591. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2016-134549. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Utilisation of radiology rotations in ACGME-accredited general surgery programmes.

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General Surgery, Providence and Providence-Park Hospital, Southfield, Michigan, USA.



General surgery (GS) residents are often required to provide immediate preliminary interpretations of radiological images, especially in critical situations. It is unclear whether residents in Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited GS programmes receive sufficient radiological training to deliver adequate patient care.


Determine the utilisation of radiology rotations (RR) during GS residency.


Between February and March 2015, a pilot voluntary 19-item survey was electronically distributed to GS programme directors (PDs) regarding the availability and value of a RR during GS training.


A total of 234 PDs received the questionnaire and the response rate was 36.8% (n=86). Sixty-five (77.4%) PDs expected their trainees to interpret imaging studies in the acute setting; however, only 8.3% of programmes had a dedicated RR. RRs are more prevalent among community-based than university-based programmes (71.4% vs 27.9% p=0.003). The implementation of a RR may be limited due to insufficient number of GS residents in the department (p=0.002). 75.4% of PDs expect GS residents to confirm their findings with a radiologist. In those programmes with RR, most PDs (85.7%) believed that a dedicated rotation improved GS residents' understanding of radiological imaging.


The majority of PDs are currently not confident that GS residents are capable of interpreting radiological imaging independently; however, the implementation of a mandatory RR in GS residency curriculum yet seems to be controversial. Given the expectation of PDs and the continued need to improve patient care, the integration of a dedicated RR in GS training should be encouraged.


Radiology rotation; diagnostic radiology; general surgery residency; imaging interpretation; surgical education

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