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A national survey investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on core and higher breast radiology training in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Lowes


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© 2022 The Royal College of Radiologists. AIM: To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on core and higher breast radiology training in the UK from the perspective of trainees and new consultants. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey comprising 25 questions was distributed to UK radiology trainees via the regional Junior Radiologists Forum representatives under the auspices of the British Society of Breast Radiology (BSBR). RESULTS: Sixty-nine eligible responses were received representing all UK training regions. Fifty-five per cent of respondents completing either a core or higher breast rotation felt that the pandemic had a negative effect on their breast training. There was an overall reduction in exposure to the key breast imaging methods when rotations took place during the pandemic. Completing a core breast rotation during the pandemic was less likely to attract trainees to higher breast training. Three out of four breast radiology consultants in their first year after receiving their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) felt the pandemic reduced their preparedness for becoming consultants. Positive outcomes included the increased use of online educational resources and remote multidisciplinary meetings. CONCLUSIONS: As well as having a negative impact on breast radiology training overall, the pandemic has had a detrimental effect on attracting trainees to breast radiology as a future career. It is of key importance that trainees have a positive core breast rotation as this experience appears central to many trainees' decisions to pursue higher breast training. Increased use of online learning resources has also been positively received and is a valuable approach to learning that can be maintained in the longer term.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carpenter S, Graham Y, Kulkarni T, Lyburn I, Vinnicombe S, Sharma S, Sharma N, Lowes S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Radiology

Year: 2022

Volume: 77

Issue: 10

Pages: 749-758

Print publication date: 01/10/2022

Online publication date: 16/08/2022

Acceptance date: 05/07/2022

ISSN (print): 0009-9260

ISSN (electronic): 1365-229X

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.crad.2022.07.005


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