Proposed program guidelines for pregnant radiology residents: A project supported by the American Association for Women Radiologists and the Association of Program Directors in Radiology

Meghan E. Blake, M. Elizabeth Oates, Kimberly Applegate, Ewa Kuligowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale and Objectives. Written institutional policies governing radiation exposure and work responsibilities for pregnant radiology residents are not uniform and often are nonexistent. Standardized program guidelines would allow residents and program directors alike to prepare for a resident pregnancy with objectivity and consistency. Materials and Methods. The American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR) launched a task force to revisit guidelines for the protection of pregnant residents from radiation exposure during training. We conducted two surveys of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) membership. Survey 1 was designed to learn about existing program and institutional policies and to assess the need for and interest in standardized guidelines that would address radiation exposure and work responsibilities for pregnant radiology residents. Based on those responses, we drafted a set of program guidelines incorporating policies contributed by responding program directors. Our follow-up APDR survey, survey 2, was conducted to determine opinions and acceptance of the drafted program guidelines. Each survey was analyzed by using a proportion of means test. Results. Fifty-five of 156 program director APDR members (35%) responded to survey 1. Only half the respondents had formal written policies at their respective institutions. Review of submitted policies showed widely divergent opinions about appropriate policies for pregnant radiology residents. Most (34/52; 75%) supported the development of standardized guidelines. In survey 2, 38/73 responding APDR members (53%) offered their opinions and comments on our drafted guidelines. Approximately 90% agreement was catalogued on 13 of 18 items (72%); a majority (>60%) agreed on all points, even the most controversial points concerning fluoroscopy. Conclusion. A minority of radiology residency programs have written policies addressing pregnancy during training. With expressed support from a majority of responding program directors, we have developed and present here proposed program guidelines for pregnant radiology residents to serve as a framework for radiology residents and program directors alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalAcademic Radiology
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Program policies
  • Radiation protection
  • Residency training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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