From being a radiologist to watching a radiologist: Impact of filmless operation on the training of radiology residents

Regina O’connell Redfern, Robert A. Lowe, Harold L. Kundel, Steven C. Horii, Kathleen Propert, Stephanie B. Abbuhl, Colleen Brensinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The authors performed this study to investigate the impact of changing from a film-based image interpretation system to one using digital image workstations on the training of radiology residents in the interpretation of radiographs. Materials and Methods. Data were collected during a period when a conventional system of image interpretation with hard-copy images and multiviewers was used and during a period when digital image workstations were used. During each period, it was noted whether the first interpretation of the radiographs was performed by a radiology resident, by an attending radiologist, or as a group effort including both an attending radiologist and a radiology resident(s). In addition, it was noted whether a radiology resident or an attending radiologist dictated the report. Results. The proportion of images first interpreted by the radiology resident alone decreased from 38% (53 of 139) when using the conventional system to 17% (34 of 199) after the switch to interpreting images on the workstations (P =. 001). During the film-based period, radiology residents dictated 45% of reports (141 of 312), but during the workstation period, radiology residents dictated only 4% of reports (24 of 667; P =. 001). Conclusion. The authors observed a decrease in autonomous participation by radiology residents in image interpretation and dictation of reports and an increase in "group reading" after the switch from a film-based system to a workstation system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1158
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Picture archival and communication system (PACS)
  • Radiologic education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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