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More Residents and Medical Students are Choosing Interventional Radiology Over Diagnostic Radiology

Medical students are more interested in interventional radiology than diagnostic radiology, says a study published in Current Problems in Radiology.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco asked students to fill out a five-point Likert scale survey to determine their level of curiosity in either a career in IR or DR. Radiology residents responded to a separate 10-point scale survey evaluating their interest in IR or DR for their residency.

The questionnaire results found that students are drawn to IR because of the high rate of procedures, the direct patient care component, and the reputation the role carries in the field. However, overall, most residents are attracted to non-IR careers. The survey also determined that there are more positions in DR than IR.

“Medical student preference for IR seems to be driven by an interest in direct patient care, a higher number of procedures, and being in a field that they feel is respected by their peers,” the authors wrote.

The authors pointed out that these results are not reflective of national attitudes towards DR or IR. Yet, they do mention that some residents opt for DR because there are fewer opportunities in IR.

However, the researchers consider the findings to indicate a larger interest in IR over DR. “In summary, our survey revealed a strong interest in IR over DR among medical students considering a career in radiology. The extent to which these data reflect broader trends and the effect this will have on future application patterns and application competitiveness remains to be seen,” they said.

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