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Scientific Session 12 — Efficacy/Administration/Informatics - Education

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Abstracts 1055-2559

2264. Senior Medical Student Radiology Electives: A Needs Assessment

Larocque N*,  Lee S,  Monteiro S,  Finlay K. McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Address correspondence to N. Larocque (

Objective: Designing diagnostic radiology electives for medical students is challenging because of the lack of patient care responsibilities compared with other clinical rotations. Little guidance exists on how to structure educationally fulfilling electives for medical students. The purpose of this study was to conduct a needs assessment of senior medical student radiology electives at our institution to identify current educational gaps, make suggestions for improvement, and set priorities for future elective structure.

Materials and Methods: An online retrospective survey consisting of quantitative and qualitative components was sent to all students who completed a clerkship radiology elective at McMaster University during the 2015 calendar year. A pilot survey was administered to several medical students and residents before implementation. The Salant-Dillman survey protocol was used to maximize response rate. Student evaluations of current and potential elective activities were assessed using dichotomous, ranking, and 5-point Likert scale questions (1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good, 4 = very good, and 5 = excellent). Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Additionally, two independent assessors analyzed qualitative data obtained from student evaluations using quantitative content analysis.

Results: Response rate was good (62%), and the responses were positive overall. Mean score for overall elective experience was 3.4 out of 5 (SD, 1.08). Students identified three main educational objectives for their elective: learn about radiology as a specialty choice (37%), develop an approach to various CT modalities (37%), and learn indications for different imaging modalities (31%). The majority of students (86%) believed they achieved their objectives during their elective. Mean score ± SD for self-rated radiology knowledge gained after the elective was 3.4 ± 0.99. The highest-rated educational activities were working with residents (mean, 4.1 ± 1.24), attending resident rounds (mean, 3.6 ± 1.16), and self-study time (mean, 3.6 ± 1.27). Suggestions for activities to add to the elective included interpreting and reviewing cases (37%) and having a more structured schedule (31%). When compared with other clinical electives, (e.g. medicine, surgery), mean elective score was 3.1 ± 1.16).

Conclusion: Needs assessment results showed that, although the majority of students felt they achieved their educational goals during their elective, scores for overall elective experience, particularly in comparison with other clinical electives, could be improved. We are currently implementing the recommendations of this needs assessment at one of our four sites by pairing elective students with residents, incorporating more self-study time, and scheduling individual case review sessions. We are also prospectively comparing student evaluations across sites. The results of this study are useful for medical educators in radiology to structure an elective that is of high educational value for students.