Public Health Foundations for Radiology Resident Education: Healthcare Disparities in Radiology

Elsevier, Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology, 2021, ISSN 0363-0188,
John C Mach DO, Abdillahi Omar, Hani Abujudeh

Increasing recognition within the medical literature and by the ACGME has been attributed to the need for enhanced resident education on concepts related to public health and health equity. Despite increasing documentation of pervasive inequalities within the scope of radiology, dedicated curricula designed to improve cultural competency and understanding of healthcare disparities among radiology trainees remains sparse. With relatively fewer patient interactions, radiology trainees are particularly susceptible to insufficient contextual awareness of how socioeconomic factors influence patient health and behaviors, physician recommendations, and ultimately clinical outcomes.

The purpose of this article is to provide a high-yield background of foundational health equity and disparity concepts for radiology trainees, from which additional educational curricula may be derived. Specifically, this article will discuss the fundamental socioeconomic factors known to contribute to discrepant access and use of imaging services, followed by areas in radiology with well-documented disparities of which trainees should be aware. Lastly, previous and current strategies for addressing disparities in radiology will be discussed with the ultimate goal of stimulating trainee participation and the development of novel approaches.