#FOAMrad: Embracing Online Education in Radiology

Radiology education has evolved significantly over the last decade, particularly with respect to the medium in which content is delivered to learners. As a trainee nearly a decade ago, I relied heavily on printed books, peer-reviewed journal articles, and, occasionally, online resources for learning the fundamentals of diagnostic radiology and preparing for board examinations. In their own quest to learn the nuances of radiology, the current generation of radiology learners—medical students, residents, and fellows—are turning more frequently to open-access sources widely available on the internet .  

Musculoskeletal Radiology Case Discussions                 

In an effort to engage this millennial generation of learners, I decided to deliver and publish educational videos on YouTube. While there is a plethora of expertly curated content online—ARRS’ own monthly newsletter, The Resident Roentgen File, chief among them—I wanted to provide a service specific for radiology trainees and medical students interested in diagnostic radiology.

To that end, each week, I publish brief musculoskeletal case discussions on high-yield topics that are geared to prepare junior and senior radiology residents for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Core Exam. These videos are helpful for radiology residents and medical students alike—anyone wishing to learn more about the fundamentals of commonly encountered musculoskeletal pathologies and diagnoses seen in the reading room on a day-to-day basis.

ARRS #FOAMrad: Joints of the Lower Extremities 

Meanwhile, this open-access ARRS Web Lecture series, Musculoskeletal Lower Extremity Joints, considers MR features and diagnosis relating to foot, ankle, and hindfoot pain; commonly missed injuries in lower extremity joints; and patterns of injuries seen on knee MRI.  

United States Medical Licensing Examination Tutorials               

Recently, for medical students, I started publishing short YouTube tutorials every week with tips for succeeding on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) through the lens of imaging.  Every year, I hear more and more medical students telling me that more imaging appears on the USMLE examination, and students often feel unprepared for interpreting complex images during the examination.

Thus, I decided to offer students free access to short tutorials regarding high-yield topics covered on the USMLE examination, focused on interpreting diagnoses and pathologies they are likely to encounter. As a secondary aim, I hope these videos will show medical students throughout the world the importance radiology plays in the delivery of optimal patient care.   

ARRS #FOAMrad: ABR Exam Prep

As the landmark assessment for in-training radiologists, there are myriad materials of varying utility to prepare them for the ABR Qualifying (Core) Exam. Featuring practical tips from residents who have recently aced the test, this ARRS Roentgen University webinar is purposefully designed to help future test-takers of all learning types identify the most useful, truly indispensable study guides.  

The landscape and education of radiology is changing; we must embrace this opportunity to provide our students and trainees the most relevant content in a way that is most feasible for their learning. I hope that radiology educators will continue to use the most pertinent innovative tools and methods to educate the new generation of learners. Our field depends upon it.

Omer Awan, MD, MPH


2021 ARRS Melvin M. Figley Fellow in Radiology Journalism

Associate Vice Chair of Education, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

University of Maryland Medical Center  

Associate Professor, Musculoskeletal Radiology Associate Director, Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program & Radiology Medical Student Education

University of Maryland School of Medicine  

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