Radiology and Imaging Sciences

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MD Education

It is impossible for contemporary medical students to become well-prepared for the practice of medicine without developing a strong foundation in the effective and efficient use of radiological diagnosis and therapy. More than 600 million such examinations are performed each year in the United States. Radiology frequently answers such vital questions as: Does my patient have a medical or surgical condition, such as pneumonia or appendicitis? If so, how far has it progressed? Is it responding to therapy?

Faculty and residents collaborate in presenting a three-dimensional MD curriculum, including lectures given by faculty and residents, one-on-one workstation-based education, and self-driven learning through case presentations and small group sessions.

Learning Objectives

In the radiology introductory course, electives and senior clerkship at IU School of Medicine, the curriculum focuses on two key learning objectives.

  • Ordering Tests: Students learn which common clinical situations warrant radiological imaging and which test(s) to order first. For example, in a patient presenting with new neurologic symptoms, would CT or MR be more appropriate, and is intravenous contrast material needed? The school relies on the American College of Radiology’s Appropriateness Criteria for evidence-based guidance.
  • Interpreting Images: Students learn how to detect, describe and offer appropriate differential diagnoses for abnormalities on common imaging examinations, including chest radiographs, abdominal radiographs, head and body CT scans, and ultrasound examinations of the abdomen and pelvis. This pertains especially to urgent findings such as pneumothorax, pneumoperitoneum, intracranial hemorrhage, and appendicitis.

Subspecialty Training

Subspecialty learning opportunities in the area of radiology and imaging sciences are also available to medical students. For example, the musculoskeletal Division of the Department of Radiology offers rotation electives for third- and fourth-year med students. With these opportunities, the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences hopes to provide top-notch radiology education for a very large group of future physicians.

Required Radiology Courses for MD Students

Introduction to Clinical Medicine is a glimpse into the realm of many medical specialties for all second year medical students. The radiology Division of this course typically occurs in the spring semester of the second year of medical school and covers many topics, including pulmonary, cardiac, gastrointestinal, breast and pediatric imaging.

The Radiology Core Clerkship is offered every month of the academic year with the exception of December; 25-30 students are enrolled in a given month. This clerkship includes large-group lectures given by staff and residents, small-group didactic sessions, and one-on-one education at the view station during week-long clinical rotations in imaging areas such as chest, abdomen, and neuro-imaging. Students function not only as learners but also as educators, choosing an imaging topic on which to present, making a presentation to the class, and writing questions that are included on the final examination.

Each student is lent a copy of Essential Radiology: Clinical Presentation, Pathophysiology, and Imaging, 3rd Ed. for the month, which constitutes the clerkship’s core curriculum. The course also uses web-based electronic learning resources including modules on chest, abdomen and neuro-imaging as well as a module on which exam to order in different clinical situations. Approximately 30 percent of the final examination questions are drawn specifically from this text, and it provides a relatively concise overview of the field of radiology and the role it plays in the daily practice of medicine. Grading for the course is based on a midterm exam (40%), a final exam (55%), and MedU (5%).

Radiology Electives for MD Students

The Radiology Clinical Elective month can be customized to the student’s needs and interest. It may be spent in one or more subspecialty areas:

  • Abdominal Imaging (University Hospital or Eskenazi)
  • Chest Radiology (University Hospital or Eskenazi)
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology (Eskenazi)
  • Emergency Radiology Interventional Radiology (Eskenazi)
  • Mammography (University Hospital or Eskenazi)
  • Neuroradiology (University Hospital)
  • Nuclear Medicine (University Hospital)
  • Pediatric Neuroradiology (Riley Hospital for Children)
  • MRI and Pediatric Radiology (Riley Hospital for Children)

The Special Please refer to the IU School of Medicine MD electives course book for information about the availability of elective opportunities especially designed to meet specific needs and interests.

The Nuclear Medicine Elective is designed to familiarize medical students with the place of Nuclear Medicine imaging in the imaging workup of patients.

The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiology / Nuclear Medicine course is designed to enable students to discuss types of nuclear medicine, diagnostic exams and correlation of the results with clinical findings, and methods of therapy via radiation and related side effects and results associated with treatments.

The objective of the Radiology Elective at South Bend Memorial Hospital is to introduce the students to diagnostic radiology and familiarize the student in working with radiologists to improve care for their patients.

Students taking Interventional Radiology at West Lafayette IUH Arnett Hospital gain in-depth, hands-on exposure to the specialty of interventional radiology, including procedure experience, inpatient consultations and outpatient clinic visits in a comprehensive, community interventional radiology practice.