1Mohammad Alshammri, 1Mohammed, 1Nada Alharthi, 1Noura Albdaya, 1Samar Alanazi, 1Hanan Alruwaybiah
1Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
To assess the level of interventional radiology knowledge among medical students, and compare it between undergraduate students in pre-clinical and clinical years in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Methods and Materials:
A cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students in Riyadh from September 2020 to June 2021. A validated questionnaire was adopted from another study . The data was collected via a self-administered questionnaire that consisted of 17 items about interventional radiology awareness and students’ interest, training paths and hospital responsibilities, the questionnaire was distributed online through different social media platforms. The predicted sample size consisted of 414 medical students from the four public medical schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Sample distribution relative to population size is as follow; 110 for Imam Mohammed bin Saud University, 94 for King Saud bin Abdulaziz University of Health Sciences, 42 for Princess Nourah bint Abdul Rahman University and 186 for King Saud University. We divided the respondents into two categories, pre-clinical year and clinical year students to evaluate if knowledge is different among these two groups. Microsoft Excel 2019 was used for data entry. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25. Frequencies and percentages were used for the qualitative variables and measures of central tendency would calculate continuous variables. The data relations between qualitative variables would be tested using the chi-square test. To visualize the results, tables and bar charts will be used. Statistical significance was defined as p-values of less than 0.05.
The total number of students who participated in the research was 562 responses from different universities in Riyadh (Response rate= 140.5 %). Among this sample, 52.3 % of students were in pre-clinical years while 47.7 % were in clinical year. Moreover, 34 % of them were students at medicine college in King Saud University while 26 % of them were from Al-Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud Islamic University, 20.6 % from King Saud bin Abdulaziz University of Health Sciences and the rest of students were from Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University. Regarding knowledge of IR, one hundred and seventy-eight students (31.7 %) rated their level of knowledge as poor, 15.3 % as having no knowledge of IR, 31.3 % having adequate knowledge, 14.2 % as good knowledge and only 7.5 % of them rated themselves as having excellent knowledge about IR. Notably, 28.3 % of participants indicated that they had completed or plan to complete an elective in radiology, while 18.5 % of them would consider a career in radiology and 16.9 % consider a career in IR. However, majority of students who would not consider a career in IR, most of them because they had not enough knowledge about IR (41.6 %), and 29.0 % loss of interest, 12 % they afraid of radiation exposure. Furthermore, 25.3 % of students had seen patients treated by IR doctors [Table 1].
A total of 48.8% of the sample did not have any exposure to IR. Self-directed research, lectures from interventional radiologist, radiology elective were the most common sources of information about IR (16.2 %, 14.9 %, 11.6 % respectively) [Table 2].
In table 3, we compared between pre-clinical students and clinical students and their association with knowledge of IR. The result showed that clinical students rated their level of knowledge about IR as (Excellent/Good/Adequate) is a significantly higher percentage than pre-clinical students (67.5 % VS 39.8 % respectively, p-value = 0.000). Moreover, students of clinical years would significantly more consider a career in diagnostic radiology and IR than pre-clinical years (21.3 % VS 12.9 % P-value = 0.001 and 24.3 % VS13.3 % P-value =0.000). Besides, students of clinical years reported seeing patients treated by an interventional radiologist, which is a higher incidence than pre-clinical students; however, no significant correlation was found between the level of knowledge and exposure to IR.
Our data show a statistically significant difference between students of different universities toward knowledge about IR. Interestingly, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University and Al-Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud Islamic University tend to rate themselves as Excellent/ Good/ Adequate level of knowledge. In contrast , students of other university tended more to rate themselves with poor/ no knowledge toward knowledge about IR (P-value =0.001). Further analysis showed that students who rated themselves as having good knowledge generally indicated that they would have a career in diagnostic radiology and IR (34.6 % VS 14.8 %, p-value =0.000). [Table 4].
Next, we asked the students about the favored method for learning about IR, ranging each method from 1 to 7 where 1 indicated less favorable and 7 most favorable. It is noticed that clinical research projects were the most favored method of learning IR by students (mean 4.87, 150 students chose point 7). Other favored methods include self-directed research and problem-based learning tutorials (mean = 4.52 and 4.34, respectively). While, the radiology department elective was the least favored method of learning IR by students (mean =2.92). [Table 5].
Finally, 59.1 % of students thought that a mandatory 2- week radiology rotation during clerkship would be beneficial, and 61 % of them were interested in doing 2- week interventional radiology selective if it was offered during the surgery rotation in clerkship [Table 6].
In conclusion, this study found that almost a third of the students rated their knowledge of IR as “poor” which indicates an inadequate level of knowledge among medical students. However, this is not the case in clinical students who are considering a career in radiology and IR. The study recommends the application of different tools such as self-directed research, lectures from interventional radiologists, and radiology elective programs in order to increase the level of knowledge and interest towards radiology and IR.