Do Interventions Intended to Increase Female Medical Student Interest in Radiology Work? Preliminary Findings

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology; School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Medical Education | Radiology


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to share the preliminary findings after initiation of interventions at the medical school level, which have been suggested by the literature to increase female medical student interest in radiology at one institution. Additionally, the paper provides discussion of how to better future interventions for increasing female medical student interest.

METHODS: Interventions to increase medical student exposure to radiology were implemented at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2012. Radiology was incorporated into the preclinical curriculum; flexible clinical experiences stressing patient contact were created for early exposure to radiology during third-year clerkships; and a 'Women in Radiology' panel was held to promote visibility of female radiologists. In addition, female radiology faculty became more involved in medical school activities and events.

RESULTS: Our results suggest that early exposure in the preclinical curriculum and patient-centered electives increase overall student interest in radiology but only minimally increase female interest. Simply offering the patient-centered electives is not enough as it resulted in more male student enrollment than female (60% vs. 40%, respectively). Just one event promoting visibility of female radiologists changed female medical student perception of patient contact within radiology by a statistically significant amount. Examination of current UMass faculty radiologists by gender demonstrates that full-time, junior female radiologists-the demographic suggested to have the biggest impact on female medical students-only accounted for 4% of faculty.

CONCLUSION: This article may be informative for radiology departments looking to increase female medical student interest. Required visibility of female radiologists and active publicity of female radiologists from the first preclinical year are likely to have the biggest impact in increasing female medical student interest.


radiology, female medical students, female radiologists

DOI of Published Version



Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2017 Sep 12. pii: S0363-0188(17)30166-4. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2017.09.003. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current problems in diagnostic radiology


First author Elizabeth D. Yuan is a medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID