Pediatric magnetic resonance imaging training versus job-readiness: using education research tools to re-align

Pediatr Radiol. 2021 Mar 27. doi: 10.1007/s00247-021-05047-2. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Fellows begin MRI training with variable experience and expertise. To better serve patients, pediatric radiology fellows should gain competence in MRI that enables seamless transition to independent practice.

Objective: We implemented a needs assessment survey and conducted a focus group discussion to identify knowledge gaps and inform creation of a curriculum for pediatric body MRI.

Materials and methods: We electronically distributed a comprehensive anonymous needs assessment survey in October 2016 to current fellows and recent (<5 years) graduates from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited pediatric radiology fellowships, with follow-up in January 2017. We conducted a focus group discussion among current fellows at our institution in October 2017 to inform a better understanding of the results.

Results: Eighty-one pediatric radiologists (8 fellows/73 attendings) completed the survey (24%); 5 current fellows participated in the focus group. The technical issues most commonly identified with limited or no instruction during training included setting up an MR service, accessory equipment (coil) selection and MRI field inhomogeneity correction. Areas needing increased attention and inclusion within the curriculum included coil choice/patient positioning (n=42, 52%), contrast agents (n=40, 49%), field strength (n=33, 41%) and strategies for motion correction (n=33, 41%). Most fellows were uncomfortable with setting up an MR service (n=57, 70%), correcting field inhomogeneity (n=56, 69%) and improving image quality (n=50, 62%). The focus group showed consensus that there was insufficient MR training in residency to prepare them for fellowship. The group also preferred shorter lectures and streaming via video education/tutorials.

Conclusion: While traditional instruction emphasizes image interpretation, trainees in pediatric radiology need a curriculum that also emphasizes technical and non-interpretive aspects of MRI.

Keywords: Curriculum; Education; Fellows; Magnetic resonance imaging; Medical instruction; Pediatric radiology; Residents.