The Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) has released a newly revised interventional radiology (IR) curriculum for medical students. Where the original curriculum from CIRSE, published in 2012, was five pages long, this most recent version is considerably longer, at 24 pages.
A statement from CIRSE reads: “IR has grown continuously over the past decades, with interventional treatments being applied to an ever-increasing number of conditions. Now more than ever, young physicians are showing interest in pursuing a career in IR—an extremely interesting field combining state-of-the-art procedures with clinical practice, patient interaction and multidisciplinary teamwork.
“Due to its innovative nature, patient-centred treatment approach and the ever-increasing applications of interventional procedures, IR has become one of the most interesting career choices for medical students. In order to help students make an informed decision, CIRSE has released a newly revised IR Curriculum for Medical Students describing the most important procedures performed by interventional radiologists.”
It goes on to say that the updated IR curriculum enables medical students “to find out more about IR’s key areas and the most common clinical conditions treated by interventional radiologists”.
This is the second edition of the IR curriculum for medical students published by CIRSE, the first being released in 2012. Christoph Binkert (Institute of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kantonsspital, Winterthur, Switzerland) is the editor-in-chief of the document, and he founded and chaired a CIRSE taskforce dedicated to updating the curriculum. Five editors worked with him on the revised publication: Roberto Cazzato (Department of Interventional Radiology, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France), Jan Jaap Janssen (Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Gregory Makris (Oxford University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK and chair of the British Society of Interventional Radiology trainee committee), Arash Najafi (Kantonsspital, Winterthur, Switzerland), and Fatemeh Sakhinia (Royal Stoke University Hospital, Stoke, UK).
Speaking to Interventional News, Binkert says that is timely to provide an updated curriculum now as “IR has changed markedly, and has become a true clinical specialty!”. However, he adds that “carrier planning starts early (not many residents change specialty); unfortunately, in many medical schools, IR is not really taught as a dedicated specialty”.
There have been several additions to the revised document. Where the 2012 curriculum makes no mention of embolization, this latest one includes a dedicated section in the “Vascular IR” chapter to embolization for benign conditions; this includes reference to uterine fibroid embolization, prostate artery embolization, gastrointestinal bleeding, and gonadal vein embolization. Under the “Interventional oncology” chapter, liver malignancy embolization is also included in the revised curriculum for the first time. The updated guidelines also include a subsection on access, which is new from the previous report, and an expanded section on musculoskeletal interventions.
Binkert comments on these key revisions since the publication of the 2012 edition: “In order to make the curriculum more reader-friendly to medical students, we went away from a bullet pointed list to a disease-focused document, with increased detail and discussion on clinical presentation, imaging, IR treatments, and follow-up. We hope that this format will help an interested medical student gain a clearer understanding of what modern interventional radiology is all about. In addition to the curriculum, short videos will be available to explain interventional radiology to medical students within two minutes.”
“I think the combination of clinic work, imaging and [performing the] procedures is very appealing to many young doctors”, says Binkert of the attraction interventional radiology holds for medical students.