Breaking the Stereotype: Interventions Aimed at Changing Medical Student Misperceptions of Radiology and Increasing the Female Match Rate
School of Medicine; Department of Radiology
Medical Education | Radiology
BACKGROUND: Although nearly half of medical students are female there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of women specializing in radiology. In 2013, 26.9% of US diagnostic radiology residents were female, a 1% increase in 20 years from 25.5% in 1990.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this project is to determine the effectiveness of the interventions implemented at a single medical school at decreasing negative attitudes about radiology held by medical students of all genders and whether those same interventions will increase the number of female medical students matching into radiology.
METHODS: The interventions were implemented between 2012 and 2016 and included incorporation of radiology into preclinical curriculum, electives in radiology for 3rd year students, a "Women in Radiology Panel," and increase in female radiology faculty visibility. First year medical student participants of all genders used a free text box to write their attitudes about radiology, which were categorized into the "six most common attitudes about radiology." Fourth year medical student participants used a free text box to write the reasons why they did not choose radiology as a specialty, and those answers were then placed into the same six categories. We then analyzed the data using Fisher's Exact Test to determine whether there was a decrease in the negative misperceptions after exposure to the interventions. We also then determined whether there was an increase in the number of women matching into radiology using Chi-Square analysis.
RESULTS: There was a decrease in the negative misperceptions between 1st and 4th years, with the most notable decrease from 51% of 1st years to 0% of 4th years listing radiologists as being antisocial (p < 0.01). There was also a significant increase in the number of female medical students matching into radiology in the years in which students were exposed to 4 years of intervention when compared to three and fewer (0.76%-4.2%, p=0.01).
CONCLUSION: Exposure to 4 years of the interventions demonstrated a significant increase in the female match rate into the specialty when compared to female medical students who experienced three or fewer years of intervention. Additionally, it appears that these same interventions decreased the number of students of all genders having some of the common negative misperceptions about the field of radiology.
radiology, female medical students, match rate, negative attitudes, misperceptions
DOI of Published Version
Podsiadlo V, DeBenedectis CM. Breaking the Stereotype: Interventions Aimed at Changing Medical Student Misperceptions of Radiology and Increasing the Female Match Rate. Acad Radiol. 2020 Feb 10:S1076-6332(20)30049-0. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2020.01.021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32057616. Link to article on publisher's site
Podsiadlo V, DeBenedectis CM. (2020). Breaking the Stereotype: Interventions Aimed at Changing Medical Student Misperceptions of Radiology and Increasing the Female Match Rate. Radiology Publications. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acra.2020.01.021. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/radiology_pubs/522