Part I: Preparing First-Year Radiology Residents and Assessing their Readiness for On-Call Responsibilities

Suvranu Ganguli, Ivan Pedrosa, Chun Shan Yam, Barbara Appignani, Bettina Siewert, Herbert Y. Kressel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an Emergency Radiology (ER) Core Curriculum training module and a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)-based interactive examination system to prepare first-year (postgraduate year 2 [PGY-2]) radiology residents and assess their readiness for taking overnight radiology call. Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained, and the study was compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. A dedicated month-long ER curriculum was designed to prepare new radiology residents for overnight radiology call that includes interpretation of off-hour urgent and emergent studies without immediate direct attending supervision. Lectures of the curriculum, provided by department staff, were based on the American Society of Emergency Radiology core curriculum. The lecture series was implemented after PGY-2 residents had completed formal introductory resident rotations during their first 6 months of training. A DICOM-based interactive computer-based testing module was developed and administered at the end of the lecture series. The module consisted of 19 actual emergency department cases with entire series of images, simulating an on-call setting. Tests were scored by two staff members blinded to resident identifying information. Upper-level residents also were tested, and comparison was made between first-year and upper-level resident test scores to determine the effectiveness of the test in determining first-year resident preparedness for call. Statistical analysis of results was performed by using t-test (P < .05). Results: All residents in the residency program present during the month (nine PGY-2, six PGY-3, seven PGY-4, seven PGY-5 residents) attended the lecture series and finished the testing module at the end of the lecture series. Of 19 actual emergency cases on the testing module, five cases were neuroradiology, three cases were thoracic imaging, eight cases were body imaging, and three cases were musculoskeletal. PGY-2 residents scored an average of 73.0% (range, 63.2%-81.6%) of total points possible. PGY-3 residents scored an average of 76.8% (range, 68.4%-86.8%); PGY-4 residents scored an average of 77.4% (range, 65.8%-100%), and PGY-5 residents scored an average of 81.2% (range, 68.4%-94.7%). There was no statistically significant difference in scores according to level of training. Conclusion: First-year radiology residents who underwent 6 months of formal radiology training followed by an intensive ER lecture series before taking overnight call had scores similar to upper-level colleagues on an interactive computer-based ER simulation module.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-769
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Emergency Radiology
  • Radiology, residency program
  • computers, educational aid
  • computers, teaching aid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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