Curriculum Development for Hands-on Physics Education of Residents in Diagnostic Radiology

Grants and Contracts Details


The ABR Core Examination sharpens focus on images in lieu of the traditional written examinations. It integrates physics into clinical practice, with an emphasis application of physics knowledge. Accordingly, physics training of radiology residents faces a challenge. A traditional teaching of physics through didactic lectures is ineffective. It is also difficult to incorporate physics teaching in clinical practice due to time constraints. A dedicated physics rotation may be a solution. In 2013 and 2014, we provided a full week “physics rotation” to our first year residents. It included three major components: introductory lectures, hands-on experiments and observation of technologist scanning patients. Hands-on experiments were emphasized and took most of time. From surveys conducted at the end of the rotation, all participating residents thought that the intensive rotation could significantly benefit their clinical rotations. We have demonstrated that hands-on training improves understanding of imaging technology and helps residents understand the influence of physics in the appearance of images. In addition, the residents were better prepared to learn additional medical physics information, which will hone the skills necessary to become informed and competent practicing radiologists. Our preliminary experience with the physics rotation lays a solid foundation for the proposed systematic curriculum for hands-on physics training. The objective of this proposal is to fill this knowledge void and bridge the gap between current educational programs and evolving practical need of physics concepts. The broad scholarship on imaging physics with various imaging modalities, radiation safety, and instrumentation will be distilled through a series of hands-on operations. Each operation provides objective, discussion, materials, procedure, results, and review questions. The emphasis will be on clinical practice and value for patient management (e.g., radiation exposure) and outcome (e.g., image quality). The curriculum comprising repository of laboratory applications will be placed on website available for residency programs and practicing radiologists in the United States and the world. It is anticipated that the proposed curriculum will, with integration of existing RSNA/AAPM Physics Modules, fulfill the goal of the new ABR Core Examination.
Effective start/end date7/1/156/30/17


  • Radiological Society of North America Research: $150,000.00


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