Anatomy educators are increasing their utilisation of radiology in anatomy education in line with growing requirements for undergraduate radiology competency and clinical need.
We aimed to evaluate student perceptions of radiology and to outline the technical and academic considerations underlying the integration of radiology into musculoskeletal practical anatomy sessions.
The formal integration of radiology into anatomy practical sessions took place over a 5-week period during the lower limb musculoskeletal component of the anatomy course taught to first-year medical students. During practical sessions, students were required to rotate between aligned audio-visual radiology presentations, osteology/anatomical models, and prosection/dissection learning stations. After completing the course, students were invited to complete a survey to establish their opinions on radiology as a mode of learning and their satisfaction with radiological integration in anatomical practical sessions.
Most students were not familiar with radiology prior to attending our university. All our students agreed or strongly agreed that learning to read radiographs in anatomy is important and most agreed that radiology is a valid assessment tool. Sixty percent stated that radiology facilitated their understanding of anatomy. The majority believed that radiology was best suited to clinically relevant anatomy and X-rays were their preferred learning tool.
The practical approach to integrating radiology into undergraduate musculoskeletal anatomy described here did not place strain on existing academic resources. Most students agreed that radiology should be increased in anatomy education and that learning to understand radiographs in anatomy was important for clinical practice.