Letter to the Editor: “Attracting the next generation of radiologists: a statement by the European Society of Radiology (ESR)”
Authors: Sonia Bermúdez, Daniela Fernanda Carrascal, Rodrigo Borrero
Affiliation: Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia
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Dear Editor in Chief,
We have read with great interest the article titled “Attracting the next generation of radiologists” written by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) in the May 2022 issue of Insights into Imaging . This statement reinforces the importance of the radiologists in the healthcare system and the difficulties for the workforce in many countries, being insufficient for the increasing demand, and justifies the need to approach the younger generation of physicians to consider radiology as a specialty.
It is remarkable to see how the ESR has contributed to medical education all over Europe with its Curriculum for Undergraduate Radiological Education , integrating primary concepts from radiation exposure, doses, and advantages of the different imaging modalities to recognizing common pathologies through images. In Colombia, official radiology education in undergraduate programs does not exist; nevertheless, some universities have transformed their curriculums centered on systems-based learning, allowing students to learn from a different perspective about one specific system. Usually, Imaging Studies are part of their system-based learning, but, unfortunately, lectures are not given by radiologists but by anatomists. Additionally, these programs allow students to have elective rotations in their fifth year and their internship, in which radiology is an option, offered as a bi-monthly rotation in our institution.
In addition, considering present rotation in the radiology department as a determining aspect is imperative for students to understand our mental workflow and the clinical–radiological correlation. Currently, we have significant limitations in our institution due to insufficient space and limited forum due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only four people are allowed for each station. Likewise, many students perceive Interventional Radiology as an unknown field because of the surgeons’ leading role and the small chances of having rotations in the haemodynamic room, while being underestimated its fundamental part in minimally-invasive treatments for patients.
In Colombia, the process of funding an undergraduate radiology society is far from what is referred to in the article, due to the lack of ratification and sponsorship. However, radiology groups of interest have been created by each university, lead by fifth-year students who aspire to become radiologists. Groups of interest involve the same dynamics based on a structured curriculum and lectures for students about different sections throughout the year. All of them work without financial support, being of lesser scope than the programs described in Europe.
Conclusively, both radiologists and universities face a significant challenge: to redefine radiology education for undergraduate students. Firstly, it is necessary to provide basic radiology concepts and the usefulness of the different imaging modalities. Secondly, it is important to expose to undergraduate students the wide work field radiology has and remark the growing opportunities of technology such as Artificial Intelligence. Last but not least, all radiologists and the educative system should motivate physicians to consider radiology as a specialty.
 European Society of Radiology (ESR) (2022) Attracting the next generation of radiologists: a statement by the European Society of Radiology (ESR). Insights Imaging 3(1):84.
 European Society of Radiology (ESR) (2021) Curriculum for Undergraduate Radiological Education [Internet]. Available via: https://www.myesr.org/education/undergraduate-education-radiology