Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Diagnostic radiology education is a specialty within healthcare education and encompasses education at both the undergraduate and resident level. There is little research regarding what constitutes effective radiology education. The broad purpose of this study was to investigate through the student perspective how chiropractic students learned diagnostic radiology within their curriculum and what contributed to this learning. This interview-based, qualitative research explored the learning experiences of 12 fourth-year chiropractic students at two colleges. Specifically this study investigated a) the learning strategies students believe both worked and didn't work in learning radiology, b) student perceptions of the effectiveness of instructional methods used by faculty, c) the challenges faced in learning radiology and how students addressed these challenges, d) the recommendations that students offer for both faculty and for peers regarding the teaching and learning of radiology, and e) whether the learning strategies and perceived effective instructional methods are reflective of the resources found in course syllabi. The key findings of this study were that students strongly preferred active learning experiences, students want real life clinical cases incorporated into their learning experiences, radiographic search patterns and appropriate vocabulary should be implemented throughout the curriculum, the style of examination drives the learning experience and attention must be paid to selecting appropriate examinations in order to prevent strategic studying, syllabi are not well utilized, and the biggest challenge students face in learning diagnostic imaging is effective time management.

Recommendations for future practice arising from this study include: increase active learning activities; provide anatomical models in normal radiographic anatomy laboratories and examples of normal radiographs in pathology laboratories; incorporate radiographic search patterns and vocabulary throughout all classes; utilize challenging examination formats and allow students to review exams; utilize clinical cases as much as possible; establish safe, challenging learning environments; develop syllabi that fulfill the functions of an effective syllabus; increase institutional support of scholarship in teaching and provide faculty development programs that model safe, challenging, learning-experiences; and provide time management and study skill training to first term students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Radiology Commons