Teaching medical students about radiation protection--what do they need to know?

Clin Radiol. 2008 Dec;63(12):1344-9. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2008.06.010. Epub 2008 Sep 5.


Aim: To reach a consensus opinion on the competency-based topics in radiation protection that a UK medical student should possess at the time of graduation.

Materials and methods: A group of 69 varied, but highly-qualified experts (including 48 radiologists and 21 clinicians), took part in a three-stage e-mail-based Delphi study to establish the competencies in radiology, including knowledge and practice of radiation protection, expected of a medical student at the time of graduation. The information gathered from the first two questionnaires was refined into 57 individual clinical competencies directly relevant to radiation protection. On the final third questionnaire, the expert panel rated these on a seven-point Likert scale from "Definitely not core" to "Definitely core", with an 82% response rate.

Results: When 70% of the experts rated a competency>4, it was judged "core". If a competency was rated>4 but by less than 70% of the panel, it was judged "possibly core" due to the lack of consensus. If a competency was rated<4, it was judged "not core". In relation to radiation protection, 32 competencies were judged core, another 19 were considered as possible core and remaining five were considered not core.

Conclusions: This is the first UK study to establish a core curriculum in radiology in relation to radiation protection using a formal consensus method. The consensus of this study is detailed, wide-ranging, and insightful into the teaching of vital issue of radiation protection in radiology to medical students, and provides a valuable resource to enrich radiology teaching.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radiology / education*
  • Students, Medical