Objective: The number of 4th-year medical student applications to the field of diagnostic radiology has decreased from 2009 to 2015. The purpose of this study was to learn how radiology departments are recruiting medical students.
Materials and methods: An anonymous online survey hyperlink was distributed to the members of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments regarding both innovative and proven recruitment strategies. The results were synthesized with a recently published survey of medical students about factors influencing them to go into radiology.
Results: Forty of 126 radiology departments completed the survey. Most felt that radiology exposure and curricula require alteration given recent downward trends in medical student applications. A majority (79%) had changed their outreach to medical students in response to these trends. The responding department chairs felt that interactive learning while on rotation was the most important strategy for recruitment. The presence of a diversity program, dedicated medical school educator, or rotating daily assignment for students did not affect the likelihood of filling residency spots in the main match.
Conclusion: Many radiology departments are changing their outreach to medical students to improve recruitment. Effective strategies to focus on include early active outreach by involving students in the radiology department, thereby framing radiologists as clinicians.
Keywords: medical students; recruitment; strategy.