RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. A multi-institutional study was developed to evaluate whether having preradiology clinical training has an effect on the quality of performance of radiology residents assessed both after 1 year of training and at the end of the 4-year residency.
MATERIAL AND METHODS. Five faculty members from each of nine collaborating institutions that accept residents both directly from medical school and with postgraduate clinical training completed 1,015 evaluation forms on their 203 residents who had just completed their first year of radiology training or had finished training in the past 2 years. Each resident was evaluated by two senior faculty, two junior faculty, and the residency program director using a cross-institutionally validated, behavior-oriented, standardized instrument that assessed five behavioral characteristics: conscientiousness, curiosity, interpersonal skills, confidence, and recognition of limits. The differences between residents who did and did not have preradiology clinical training were evaluated by analysis of variance and by simple effects testing.
RESULTS. At the conclusion of training, no significant differences in resident performance were found between residents who did and did not have postgraduate clinical training before radiology residency. Among residents who had just finished their first year of training, those who had had clinical training scored significantly higher on four of the five behavioral scales.
CONCLUSIONS. Clinical training before radiology residency does not correlate with any measurable benefit in performance at the end of radiology residency. Training programs should consider elimination of this requirement.