Photo (lf-rt), Michael Chang and Margo Alexander.
Each summer the Department of Radiology at Cincinnati Children’s offers a 9-week Radiology Research Program to four University of Cincinnati medical students who have just completed their first year of medical school. These paid positions match each medical student with a Radiology faculty member to work on a clinical radiology research project covering a wide variety of pediatric radiology topics. In addition, the students rotate throughout all areas of the Radiology Department to gain a better understanding of the field of pediatric radiology.
The program was established in 1984, and to date more than 120 students have participated. The goals of the program from the standpoint of the students are: 1) to experience and contribute to clinical research in pediatric radiology; 2) to have their research project ultimately result in a presentation at a national scientific meeting and a publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal; and 3) to gain a broad understanding of the field of pediatric radiology.
The Radiology faculty find the program valuable for many reasons. Bright young students assist them in gathering, organizing, and analyzing data for their research projects. Faculty members also have the opportunity to teach and contribute to the education of the next generation of physicians, serving as role models for the field they love–pediatric radiology.
This year’s Radiology Medical Student Summer Research Program just concluded a couple of weeks ago, and the students presented a short summary of their work to our Radiology faculty and fellows. The project titles were: 1) Evaluation of osteochondral lesions of the talus on MRI: Comparison of neutral and plantar flexion for evaluation of instability using surgery as the gold standard. 2) Trends in utilization of enema and ultrasound for diagnosis of intussusception. 3) Lung perfusion vs. aortopulmonary collateral blood flow in cystic fibrosis assessed by MRI. 4) Normal MR measurements of major intracranial vessels in infants, children and young adults.
A review of our Radiology Medical Student Summer Research Program from 2007 (Exposure of first-year medical students to a pediatric radiology research program: is there an influence on career choice? Donnelly LF, Racadio JM, Strife JL.Pediatr Radiol. 2007 Sep;37(9):876-8. Epub 2007 Jul 17) showed that medical students who have participated in our program are more than 6 times more likely than their other medical school classmates to choose radiology as their profession. Steering some of the brightest medical students into radiology bodes well for the future of our field.
Contributed by Dr. John M. Racadio and edited by Tim O’Connor (Dir. Imaging Informatics).