Rationale and objectives: The purposes of the study were to determine (a) if radiology residents and fellows view their internship year as a valued prerequisite for their career as a radiologist and as a physician, (b) how their postgraduate year (PGY)-1 was perceived with regard to a specific type of internship (i.e., internal medicine, transitional year, or surgery), and (c) how their internship is considered from the vantage point of their current year of training and subspecialty career choice.
Materials and methods: A survey was sent to all current U.S. radiology residents and fellows from a list derived from the American College of Radiology database. They were polled regarding their experiences in their preliminary year (PGY-1). Responses were coded on a 5-point Likert scale.
Results: Response rate for the study was 35%. Although 70% of respondents maintained that their internship year was necessary for their development as a physician, only 49% indicated that it was necessary for their development as a radiologist. Of respondents who graduated from surgical internships, 72% claimed that their PGY-1 was important for their development as a radiologist, compared to 44% of former transitional year interns and 49% of internal medicine interns (P<.001). When disaggregated by subspecialty career choice, participants were evenly divided about their perceptions of their intern year. However, among those considering interventional radiology, 67% of respondents considered their internship important to their development as a radiologist (P<.001).
Conclusion: Overall, these data suggest that although the internship year was believed to have merit, the transitional year was least liked by radiology trainees. Efforts should be made to determine why the transitional year does not fare so well in the hope that structural improvements in it can be undertaken to make the year seem more worthwhile and more highly regarded.