Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Female medical student impression of interventional radiology: what can we do to improve this?


Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, United Kingdom


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, United Kingdom


Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand

Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 542-545
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2021.20378
Read: 181 Downloads: 26 Published: 21 August 2020

The number of female medical students has increased significantly in the last decade due to increased gender diversity. However, the number of female doctors going into interventional radiology (IR) does not reflect this trend on an international scale. 

A standardized set of questions was created looking into medical students’ demographics, awareness of IR, their general opinion, and whether they would consider IR as a potential career path. One-hundred female medical students from the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Spain, and New Zealand were approached either directly or via an online survey platform. The students ranged from first to final year study of Medicine and were between 18 and 30 years of age.  

The majority of medical students (68%) were unaware of what IR is and 98% denied having teaching about IR in their university. Influential factors to choosing IR were more exposure to IR in medical school (15%), more options to allow family life (15%), direct training pathway to IR rather than via diagnostic radiology (13%), options of private practice (13%), and understanding more about radiation protection during pregnancy (12%). 

A lack of awareness about what IR is and misconceptions, particularly regarding radiation exposure during pregnancy, play an important role in discouraging entry into IR. Additionally, some of the concerns raised were directed at IR training pathway. Female IR consultants should also take leadership initiative to act as role models. More lectures and direct clinical exposure are paramount to their understanding of IR.

You may cite this article as: Huasen B, Suwathep P, Khan A, Connor B, Holden A. Female medical student impression of interventional radiology: what can we do to improve this? Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27:542-545

EISSN 1305-3612