Radiology education: a radiology curriculum for all medical students?

Laura Zwaan*, Ellen M. Kok, Anouk van der Gijp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Diagnostic errors in radiology are frequent and can cause severe patient harm. Despite large performance differences between radiologists and non-radiology physicians, the latter often interpret medical images because electronic health records make images available throughout the hospital. Some people argue that non-radiologists should not diagnose medical images at all, and that medical school should focus on teaching ordering skills instead of image interpretation skills. We agree that teaching ordering skills is crucial as most physicians will need to order medical images in their professional life. However, we argue that the availability of medical images is so ubiquitous that it is important that non-radiologists are also trained in the basics of medical image interpretation and, additionally in recognizing when radiological consultancy should be sought. In acute situations, basic image interpretations skills can be lifesaving. We plead for a radiology curriculum for all medical students. This should include the interpretation of common abnormalities on chest and skeletal radiographs and a basic distinction of normal from abnormal images. Furthermore, substantial attention should be given to the correct ordering of radiological images. Finally, it is critical that students are trained in deciding when to consult a radiologist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Early online date28 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Dr. Zwaan is funded by the Netherlands Organzation for Scientific research (NWO) grant number 45116032.

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01-68-01


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