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J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 Oct;14(10):1337-1340. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.06.033. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Improving Novice Radiology Trainees' Perception Using Fine Art.

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Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.



To determine if fine art perception training improved performance in novice radiology trainees.


On the first day of their residency, 15 radiology residents underwent a basic radiology perception test in which they were shown 15 different radiographs that each had a significant abnormality. This was followed by a focused session of interpretation training at a local art gallery where art experts taught the trainees how to thoroughly analyze a painting. After this fine art session, the residents were once again shown 15 different radiographs and asked, in the same manner as before, to identify the location of the abnormality. The results of both radiograph assessments were then compared.


The 15 residents correctly identified the areas of abnormality on 35 of 225 cases pre-art training with a mean score of 2.33 and a SD of 1.4. After art training, the figure for correctly identifying the area of abnormality rose to 94 of 225 cases with a mean score of 6.27 and a SD of 1.79 (P < .0001).


The implementation of a focused teaching session on perception improved first-year residents' ability to localize imaging abnormalities. This improvement was significant (P < .0001). Most errors in radiology occur due to failures of perception rather than failures to correctly interpret a finding and, as such, it behooves the profession to ensure that perception training is adequately addressed as part of a radiology training curriculum. Using an art gallery may be a novel, effective transitional starting point for novice radiology trainees.


Perception; art; resident; trainee; training

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