Search-pattern training bolsters image interpretation

Sunday, November 30 | 11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m. | SSA11-04 | Room S403A
In this presentation, researchers from Emory University will describe how the image interpretation skills of nonradiologists can be improved with search-pattern training.

While medical trainees spend at lot of time learning how to interpret images, interpretation errors still occur, said presenter Dr. William Auffermann, PhD.

"Much of our understanding regarding errors in medical image interpretation are derived from the literature on medial image perception, where it has been shown that a proportion of clinically relevant abnormalities may not be fixated in the eye's useful field-of-view, especially for the novice," he told

Believing that search-pattern training could be a simple yet effective method for improving image interpretation, the researchers gave medical trainees (including medical and nurse practitioner students as well as nonradiology residents and fellows) a standardized chest radiograph search pattern.

After receiving training, the trainees showed a significant improvement in performing a nodule identification task.

"Most radiologists likely have effective search patterns," Auffermann said. "However, in many instances, nonradiologists may be rendering and acting on their preliminary interpretation of a medical imaging study (including chest radiographs). Consequently, search-pattern training may be of particular value to nonradiologists, the subject population for this study."

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