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Efficacy, Education, Administration, Informatics

E2484. Radiology Resident as Physics Teacher: One Program’s Perspective

Priamo F1,  Whang J2,  Silberzweig J.1 1. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York, NY; 2. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Address correspondence to F. Priamo (

Background Information: Physics is often considered to be one of the more challenging subjects in preparation for the American Board of Radiology’s (ABR) core examination. The difficulty of this section can by compounded by delaying the study of medical physics by junior residents in favor of learning and becoming adjusted to the interpretation of clinical imaging. However, an understanding of basic medical physics can both enhance image quality and increase patient and operator safety. For these reasons, maximizing educational opportunities in physics is essential. One strategy our institution has undertaken is to supplement the medical physics curriculum with a resident-run physics conference led by a senior resident. It is our position that a resident-run physics curriculum adds a unique perspective to the medical physics curriculum that a traditional physics curriculum cannot offer and fosters an environment in which first-year residents can begin learning physics from the outset.

Educational Goals/Teaching Points: The goals of this exhibit are to demonstrate the means by which senior radiology residents may conduct an effective physics conference, to elaborate on the specific benefits to both junior residents and the lecturing senior, and to present potential advantages and limitations of the resident-run conference over more traditional means of teaching physics.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques: While senior radiology residents may lack the expertise of medical physicists and other traditional medical physics teachers, they can provide perspectives that more traditional teachers may lack. Namely, senior radiology residents who have recently taken the ABR’s core examination, may be able to teach medical physics in a manner emphasizing board-relevant topics. Furthermore, radiology residents may be better able to provide a less intimidating and more inviting environment to their resident colleagues, in particular, first-year residents. Given the large volume of resources that exists, it can be difficult for more traditional physics teachers to recommend material that is relevant to the ABR’s current curriculum. Radiology residents are more inclined to build lectures using resources that they found to be personally helpful in preparation for the boards. In addition, most residents are free of any conflicts of interest that may influence the use of one resource over another. Residents leading physics conferences may opt to provide a “flipped classroom” approach whereby attendees prepare in advance and are tested in class. Alternatively, residents may opt to give more traditional resident-run didactics and supplement lectures with problem sets. Program directors may promote resident-run lectures by offering academic days to prepare. Additionally, resident-driven physics lectures may be helpful in fulfilling multiple Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies.

Conclusion: Resident-driven physics conferences may provide an excellent resource in energizing a residency program’s physics curriculum. While these conferences cannot replace more traditional methods of teaching radiology physics, they can provide an excellent supplement to the curriculum.