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Bridging the divide between medical school and clinical practice: identification of six key learning outcomes for an undergraduate preparatory course in radiology

  • Simelane, Thabisile1
  • Ryan, David J.2
  • Stoyanov, Slavi3
  • Bennett, Deirdre4
  • McEntee, Mark4
  • Maher, Michael M.2, 4
  • O’Tuathaigh, Colm M. P.4
  • O’Connor, Owen J.2, 4
  • 1 University Hospital Kerry,
  • 2 Cork University Hospital,
  • 3 Open University of the Netherlands,
  • 4 University College Cork,
Published Article
Insights into Imaging
Publication Date
Feb 12, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s13244-021-00971-1
PMID: 33576894
PMCID: PMC7881064
PubMed Central


Background There exists a significant divide between what is learnt in medical school and subsequently what is required to practice medicine effectively. Despite multiple strategies to remedy this discordance, the problem persists. Here, we describe the identification of a comprehensive set of learning outcomes for a preparation for practice course in radiology. Methods Assessment of interns’ readiness to interact with the radiology department was conducted using a national survey of both interns and radiologists. In parallel, group concept mapping (GCM) which involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques was used to identify the shared understanding of participants from a diverse range of medical specialties regarding what topics should be included in an intern preparatory course for interacting with the radiology department. Results The survey demonstrated that most interns and radiologists felt that undergraduate medical training did not prepare interns to interact with the radiology department. GCM identified six learning outcomes that should be targeted when designing a preparatory module: requesting investigations; clinical decision support; radiology department IT and communication; adverse reactions and risks; interpretation of radiology results and urgent imaging. The thematic clusters from the group concept mapping corroborated the deficiencies identified in the national survey. Conclusion We have identified six key learning outcomes that should be included in a preparation for practice module in radiology. Future courses targeting these thematic clusters may facilitate a smoother transition from theory to practice for newly graduated doctors.

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