RSNA lends a hand to radiology residents with patient-centered learning modules

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is helping out radiology program directors and residents alike with the release of a free curriculum centered around quality patient care, safety and communication, the organization announced this week.

The curriculum, comprised of 13 individual learning modules, was designed for diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology and integrated interventional radiology programs to help residents meet their ACGME requirements, according to the RSNA, and was penned by the organization’s Public Information Committee (PIC).

“Radiology as a field is moving toward being more patient-centered, and patients expect more from their radiologists,” Max Wintermark, MD, chair of the PIC, told the RSNA. “Radiologists are excited by the prospect of increased interactions with patients and we need to prepare our trainees so that they can excel at this type of interaction.”

The modules, which can be found here, focus on a learner-centered approach to teaching. Outlines for lesson plans exist—the RSNA recommends articles, videos and discussion questions for each module—but Desiree E. Morgan, MD, who led PIC efforts to develop the new material, said delivery methods for the lessons are purposefully left out to encourage creativity at the individual program level.

The program begins with the basics of patient-centered care before moving onto empathy, cultural awareness and communication. It stresses a culture of safety and spends the majority of its modules on the subject, including lessons on understanding patient vulnerabilities, radiation education and safety, contrast risk discussions and issues of consent. The final section stresses teamwork.

“The curriculum is very modern and incorporates novel teaching approaches such as team-based interactive learning and role playing for the benefit of our trainees,” Morgan told the RSNA. “In establishing these patient-centered practice patterns during training, residents will carry the knowledge, empathy and communication skills necessary to provide safe, efficient and equitable care to optimally serve their patients now and throughout their lives as physicians.”