What We Do and Do Not Know about Teaching Medical Image Interpretation

Ellen M. Kok*, Koos van Geel, Jeroen J. G. van Merrienboer, Simon G. F. Robben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Educators in medical image interpretation have difficulty finding scientific evidence as to how they should design their instruction. We review and comment on 81 papers that investigated instructional design in medical image interpretation. We distinguish between studies that evaluated complete offline courses and curricula, studies that evaluated e-learning modules, and studies that evaluated specific educational interventions. Twenty-three percent of all studies evaluated the implementation of complete courses or curricula, and 44% of the studies evaluated the implementation of e-learning modules. We argue that these studies have encouraging results but provide little information for educators: too many differences exist between conditions to unambiguously attribute the learning effects to specific instructional techniques. Moreover, concepts are not uniformly defined and methodological weaknesses further limit the usefulness of evidence provided by these studies. Thirty-two percent of the studies evaluated a specific interventional technique. We discuss three theoretical frameworks that informed these studies: diagnostic reasoning, cognitive schemas and study strategies. Research on diagnostic reasoning suggests teaching students to start with non-analytic reasoning and subsequently applying analytic reasoning, but little is known on how to train non-analytic reasoning. Research on cognitive schemas investigated activities that help the development of appropriate cognitive schemas. Finally, research on study strategies supports the effectiveness of practice testing, but more study strategies could be applicable to learning medical image interpretation. Our commentary highlights the value of evaluating specific instructional techniques, but further evidence is required to optimally inform educators in medical image interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • medical image interpretation
  • education
  • instructional design
  • e-learning
  • curriculum design
  • diagnostic reasoning
  • cognitive schemas
  • study strategies
  • ECG INTERPRETATION SKILLS
  • UNDERGRADUATE RADIOLOGY EDUCATION
  • COMPUTER-ASSISTED-INSTRUCTION
  • ELECTROCARDIOGRAM INTERPRETATION
  • STUDENT PERFORMANCE
  • RADIOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
  • REASONING STRATEGIES
  • DERMOSCOPY EDUCATION
  • DIAGNOSTIC-ACCURACY
  • DERMATOLOGY COURSE

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