How leaders can 'flip' the script to reach radiology trainees

If leaders want to succeed in training resident radiologists, they may need to pull a 180 on old, outdated teaching methods.

Experts from the University of Toronto department of medical imaging made their case for such a change in a new perspective piece published Sept. 27 in Academic Radiology. They advocated for the move to a “flipped classroom imaging round” for students, which reverses the traditional model and involves students studying materials independently outside of class.

Madeleine Sertic and colleagues noted that flipped classrooms result in a much more positive learning experience that helps new knowledge take root.

“In our experience, many radiology educators and even radiology residents are proponents of ‘shame-based’ learning,” they wrote.  “The perception is that the shame a resident experiences after failing to correctly interpret a case during ‘hot-seat’ rounds is essential to solidify the learning experience. However, behavioral science research has consistently demonstrated that shame disrupts the cognitive process.”

The University of Toronto’s flipped classroom effort involves two components—the distribution of case materials beforehand and an in-class discussion during rounds. Everyone gets involved in this model, whereas the traditional version puts one individual on the hot seat to take a case while the rest observe passively.

They also have three different approaches to educational rounds. One involves teachers emailing 10 or so cases to residents, who submit their findings before rounds, and instructors discuss those results and adjusts the lesson to address any weaknesses. The second approach includes sending comprehensive review materials beforehand on a specific topic and then dealing with similar cases during rounds, while a third approach combines the first two methods.

Sertic and company said this style of learning has been “warmly received” by residents, and they urge the rest of the field to give it a shot.

“The Flipped Classroom has been successful at multiple academic institutions, including our own, and our hope is that an increasing number of radiology educators will employ this method,” the authors concluded. “By flipping the script on the traditional ‘hot-seat’ rounds, we believe that case-based rounds will become more enjoyable and effective for radiology residents and educators alike.”