Aims Many clinicians find themselves self-interpreting the radiological images of their patients, especially in the acute management setting whilst on-call. The aim of this study was to assess the competence and attitudes of paediatric clinicians towards their diagnostic radiology skills.
Methods We conducted a nine item self-administered questionnaire on 48 trainees and paediatricians. The domains of this questionnaire included previous formal training in diagnostic radiology at different stages of training, indication for self-taught radiology and satisfaction in current knowledge towards interpreting different types of radiology imaging. We also asked if there was an x-ray meeting in their department and whether there was a need for formal training in diagnostic radiology. Descriptive data were obtained.
Results 39.6% (n = 19) of our respondents were consultants and 41.7% (n = 20) were registrars or associate specialists, all of which had a formal x-ray meeting in their current department. There was a significant difference between the number of respondents who attended a formal course in radiology interpretation, and those who were self-taught (18.8% vs. 87.5% p < 0.001). However, nearly all respondents (95.8%, n = 46) felt there was a need for formal diagnostic radiology teaching, to be arranged either formally (58.7%) or locally (41.3%).
Conclusion The wide variation in methods, yet high prevalence of self-taught diagnostic radiology highlights a need for formal training, reinforced by the fact that nearly all respondents’ feel formal teaching is necessary.