Impact of an interactive diagnostic case simulator on a medical student radiology rotation

Michael V. Friedman, Jennifer L. Demertzis, Travis J. Hillen, Jeremiah R. Long, David A. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to assess the short-term impact of adding an interactive simulator to a medical student radiology clerkship. We hypothesized that transitioning students from passive observers to active participants in the reading room would create an appealing and effective learning experience for the current generation of students. MATERIALS AND METHODS. An interactive workstation that provided diagnostic simulations of 84 cases selected to maximize exposure to important diagnoses in musculoskeletal (MSK) radiology was created. From February 2015 through July 2016, 83 students on the radiology elective rotated through MSK: 40 in the traditional observational role and 43 with the MSK simulator. At the end of the rotation, all students completed general radiology and MSK-based competency examinations. The students who used the interactive workstation completed a survey about their experience. RESULTS. MSK competency scores were significantly better for students who rotated with the interactive workstation compared with students in the traditional observational role (mean scores, 71% and 51%, respectively; p < 0.0001). There was no difference in end-of-rotation general competency scores between the groups (mean, 86% and 85%; p = 0.32). Ninety-one percent of students reported the simulator had at least a moderately positive impact on their radiology experience. All students (100%) reported that learning was improved and recommended establishing workstations for other subspecialties. Twenty-one percent of students reported that their experience using the simulator had a positive impact on considering radiology as a career choice. CONCLUSION. Using a reading room-based diagnostic radiology case simulator improves medical student learning, enables self-directed learning, and improves overall experience on the radiology clerkship, positively impacting consideration of radiology as a career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1256-1261
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Interactive workstation
  • Medical student education
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Simulator


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