Privacy, Trainee Rights, and Accountability in Radiology Education

Cory M. Pfeifer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives Academic radiologists commonly hold multiple simultaneous roles within the landscape of physician training. This paper analyzes theoretical scenarios describing relationships between medical students, residents, and physician educators in radiology. Materials and Methods The scenarios presented involve medical student supervision, radiology resident recruitment, and resident termination with respect to relevant ethical, regulatory, and legal considerations. Legal precedents and the medical social contract are addressed. Results The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act defines a framework for the privacy practices of medical schools, but it does not confer individual rights. Resident physicians rarely win wrongful termination lawsuits. Physician educators are ethically bound to act in the best interest of society. Conclusions Courts have ruled that medicine is intended to be a self-regulatory profession. Such a power requires that physicians remain accountable to the public while providing a fair learning environment for medical trainees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-720
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • ABR Core examination
  • medical social contract
  • resident dismissal
  • resident privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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