Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 189(10): 967-976
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-112338
Academic Radiology
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Who will be the Radiologists of Tomorrow? A survey of radiology during the “Practical Year” in Germany

Article in several languages: English | deutschSabine Dettmer1, Volkhard Fischer2, Carolin Paeßens1, Simone Meyer1, Frank K. Wacker1, Thomas Rodt1
  • 1Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • 2Dean’s Office for Medical Education, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

15 March 2017

15 May 2017

Publication Date:
11 July 2017 (eFirst)


Purpose Aim of our study was to evaluate the motivation of medical students in their final year of medical school to choose radiology for further specialization by means of a Germany-wide survey.

Materials and Methods The survey was performed during the 2015/16 semester among German medical students in their four months radiology elective during the final year. Invitations for the study were distributed by the Student Secretariats of each university. The survey was web-based with EvaSys 7.0 software. Questions on radiology contents during medical studies and “practical year” were part of the survey. Plans for residency and possible advantages and disadvantages of radiology as medical specialty were inquired. Descriptive statistics and group comparisons were used as analysis methods.

Results 89 students participated in the survey at the beginning and 60 students at the end of the practical year. Of these 39 students could be identified who answered both questionnaires. Most students were satisfied with their final year radiology elective (mean 1.8 on a range from 1 to 5). Nevertheless, they criticized mentoring during routine work (mean 2.1) and a lack of educational courses (mean 2.1). Most students (83 %) were uncertain about their residency choice at the beginning of their “practical year” and about one fifth changed their plans. From the students’ point of view main advantages of radiology included contact with many other clinical disciplines (87 %) and the working conditions (68 %). The reduced patient contact (42 %), the large amount of work at a computer (43 %), and the dependency on referring physicians (42 %) were regarded as the main disadvantages. The students regarded the way radiology is taught during the studies as not practical enough. With regard to radiology the majority of students (63 %) felt poorly prepared for their future work.

Conclusion The “practical year” is important regarding the choice of future specialization. There was a high degree of satisfaction with the “practical year” in radiology. The mentoring during routine work and a lack of educational courses was mildly criticized. These factors provide room for improvement to foster students’ interest in radiology.

Key Points

  • The “practical year” is important regarding the choice of further specialization.

  • Criticisms of radiology in the “practical year” were mentoring and courses.

  • Students feel poorly prepared for their future work regarding practical radiological skills.

Citation Format

  • Dettmer S, Fischer V, Paeßens C et al. Who will be the Radiologists of Tomorrow? A survey of radiology during the “Practical Year” in Germany. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 189: 967 – 976