Medical Students’ Knowledge of Indications for Imaging Modalities and Cost Analysis of Incorrect Requests, Shiraz, Iran 2011-2012

Document Type: Brief Report(s)

Authors

1 1Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; and Shiraz Anesthesiology and Critical Care Research Center, Nemazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Medical Imaging Research Center, Department of Radiology, Nemazee Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Student Research Committee, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Medical imaging has a remarkable role in the practice of clinical medicine. This study intends to evaluate the knowledge of indications of five common medical imaging modalities and estimation of the imposed cost of their non-indicated requests among medical students who attend Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. We conducted across-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire to assess the knowledge of indications of a number of medical imaging modalities among 270 medical students during their externship or internship periods. Knowledge scoring was performed according to a descriptive international grade conversion (fail to excellent) using Iranian academic grading (0 to 20). In addition, we estimated the cost for incorrect selection of those modalities according to public and private tariffs in US dollars.The participation and response rate was 200/270 (74%). The mean knowledge score was fair for all modalities. Similar scores were excellent for X-ray, acceptable for Doppler ultrasonography, and fair for ultrasonography, CT scan and MRI. The total cost for non-indicated requests of those modalities equaled $104303 (public tariff) and $205581 (private tariff).Medical students at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences lacked favorable knowledge about indications for common medical imaging modalities. The results of this study have shown a significant cost for non-indicated requests of medical imaging. Of note, the present radiology curriculum is in need of a major revision with regards to evidence-based radiology and health economy concerns.