Cross sectional computed tomography (CT) is an important investigation in the clinician’s arsenal. Contrast-enhancement allows tissue of interest to be more readily visualised against surrounding structures.1 However, tissue appearance in a contrast-enhanced study depends on the timing of image aquisition in relation to contrast administration.
Often, the task of ordering imaging falls upon junior clinicians, who have historically viewed radiology-related education in medical school as inadequate.2 As such, they can lack understanding of contrast enhancement in CT and the associated contrast phases that can be...
Methods and materials
Following ethics exemption, 275 JMOs at our institution were invited via email to participate in an anonymous online survey. Participation was voluntary. The survey consisted of 14 questions covering 4 key areas of interest. These comprised participant demographics, previous radiology-related teaching, current understanding of contrast phases and perceived usefulness of teaching sessions addressing contrast phases.
47 complete responses were received (23 PGY1, 15 PGY2, 9 PGY 3+). [Fig 1] 39 participants (82.9%) had formal radiology-related teaching sessions in medical school, of which 33 (84.6%) had CT-related teaching. 8 participants (17.1%) denied formal radiology-related teaching session in medical school. [Fig 2] 20/47 participants (42.6%) indicated awareness of non-contrast, arterial, portal venous and delayed phases. [Fig 3] 18/47 participants (38.3%) felt they were “somewhat prepared” at commencement of clinical duties to order CT investigations. Conversely, 17/47 participants (36.2%) felt they were “somewhat...
Our survey indicates understanding of contrast phases amongst JMOs is poor. The majority of respondents to our survey indicated that they had formal radiology teaching during medical school; however, it appears evident that there has been limited teaching around contrast phases. Therefore, it is not surprising that there was significant interest in formal teaching sessions around contrast phases. This may be beneficial to JMOs, and could be delivered either at the time of annual orientation, or as part of structured weekly teaching sessions.
Pomara C, Pascale N, Maglietta F, Neri M, Riezzo I, Turillazzi E. Use of contrast media in diagnostic imaging: medico-legal considerations. Radiol Med. 2015 Sep;120(9):802-9.
Nyhsen CM, Lawson C, Higginson J. Radiology teaching for junior doctors: their expectations, preferences and suggestions for improvement. Insights Imaging. 2011 Jun;2(3):261-6.