Utilisation of radiology rotations in ACGME-accredited general surgery programmes

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BackgroundGeneral surgery (GS) residents are often required to provide immediate preliminary interpretations of radiological images, especially in critical situations. It is unclear whether residents in Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited GS programmes receive sufficient radiological training to deliver adequate patient care.ObjectivesDetermine the utilisation of radiology rotations (RR) during GS residency.MethodsBetween February and March 2015, a pilot voluntary 19-item survey was electronically distributed to GS programme directors (PDs) regarding the availability and value of a RR during GS training.ResultsA total of 234 PDs received the questionnaire and the response rate was 36.8% (n=86). Sixty-five (77.4%) PDs expected their trainees to interpret imaging studies in the acute setting; however, only 8.3% of programmes had a dedicated RR. RRs are more prevalent among community-based than university-based programmes (71.4% vs 27.9% p=0.003). The implementation of a RR may be limited due to insufficient number of GS residents in the department (p=0.002). 75.4% of PDs expect GS residents to confirm their findings with a radiologist. In those programmes with RR, most PDs (85.7%) believed that a dedicated rotation improved GS residents’ understanding of radiological imaging.ConclusionThe majority of PDs are currently not confident that GS residents are capable of interpreting radiological imaging independently; however, the implementation of a mandatory RR in GS residency curriculum yet seems to be controversial. Given the expectation of PDs and the continued need to improve patient care, the integration of a dedicated RR in GS training should be encouraged.

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