Medical student perceptions of diagnostic radiology. Influence of a senior radiology elective.
Sallee DS., Cooper C., Ravin CE.
To assess the impact of a four-week elective on medical student perceptions of diagnostic radiology, we gave questionnaires to 96 senior students on the first and last days of the rotation. Eighty-five anonymous entrance responses and 73 exit responses were obtained during a 13-month interval. Compared with other clinical specialties, the students viewed radiology as third, behind surgery and medicine, in terms of required breadth of knowledge, skill, training, and "glamour." Radiology was also perceived to have the lightest workload with the exception of psychiatry. Responses did not significantly change after completion of the elective. Perceived advantages and disadvantages of radiology were studied in detail in a subset of students. Exit responses indicated that the elective promoted favorable perceptions of radiology but did not change the relative rankings of the various specialties. It appears that at our institution basic attitudes concerning radiology are formed prior to the senior radiology elective and are affected only moderately during the elective.