The Teaching of Radiology: an Analysis of Health Curricula in Undergraduate Institutions of Southern Brazil

ABSTRACT Introduction Due to the importance of radiology in medical research, disease diagnosis and prevention, allied to its current and future technological advances, it is imperative that more studies are conducted to evaluate its curricular dynamics. Objective To evaluate the curricular profile of radiology in Medicine, Physiotherapy and Biomedicine courses offered in public and private undergraduate educational institutions in the southern region of Brazil. Material and methods The class hours of the courses were analyzed and data about subjects that would be related to radiology (SRRs – Subjects Related to Radiology) was collected. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The proportionality of the class hours of the SRRs in the courses was made through correlation between the courses’ total class hours and those allocated to the SRRs by analyzing Person’s correlation coefficient. Student’s t-test with a level of significance of P < 0.05 was employed to verify the existence of standardization in the radiological studies among the courses. Results The average class hours found in the courses was 58 hours. By analyzing every course separately, Biomedicine showed the highest average class hours compared to the Medicine and Physiotherapy courses. High variability in the courses was found in relation to the class hours of SRRs. Medicine and Biomedicine showed a positive correlation, i.e., the more class hours, the more class hours allocated to SRRs. In the Physiotherapy course a slight negative correlation was detected, i.e., the more course class hours, the less class hours were related to SRRs. Conclusion The results showed that Biomedicine and Medicine courses possessed the highest average class hours. Biomedicine had the biggest gap in class hours, and high heterogeneity with respect to the teaching of radiology between the courses analyzed and between the same courses at different institutions. Despite the study limitations that included not having access to specific class contents, the competencies and skills being taught, this study has contributed to the overall discussion regarding the curricular profile of courses that involve radiology.