Assessing Medical Student’s Ability to Interpret Traumatic Injuries on Computed Tomography Before and After the Third Year Clerkships
Keywords:trauma, computed x-ray tomography, undergraduate medical education, radiolography
Introduction. Exposure to radiologic images during clinical rotations
may improve students’ skill levels. This study aimed to quantify
the improvement in radiographic interpretation of life-threatening
traumatic injuries gained during third year clinical clerkships (MS-3).
Methods. We used a paired-sample prospective study design to
compare students’ accuracy in reading computed tomography (CT)
images at the beginning of their third year clerkships (Phase I) and
again after completion of all of their third year clerkships (Phase II).
Students were shown life-threatening injuries that included head,
chest, abdomen, and pelvic injuries. Overall scores for Phase II were
compared with Phase I, as well as sub-scores for each anatomical
region: head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
Results. Only scores from students participating in both Phase I
and Phase II (N = 57) were used in the analysis. After completing
their MS3 clerkship, students scored significantly better overall and
in every anatomical region. Phase I and Phase II overall mean scores
were 1.2 ± 1.1 vs. 4.6 ± 1.8 (p < 0.001). Students improved the most
with respect to injuries of the head and chest and the area of least
improvement was in interpreting CT scans of the abdomen. Although
improvements in reading radiographic images were noted after the
clerkship year, students accurately diagnosed only 46% of life-threatening
images on CT scan in the trauma setting.
Conclusions. These results indicated that enhanced education is
needed for medical students to interpret CT scans.
Kans J Med 2018;11(4):91-94.
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