Radiography, nuclear medicine enrollment down in 2020

By staff writers

January 25, 2021 -- The number of students enrolled in radiography and nuclear medicine education programs declined in 2020, according to a survey of program directors conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

A total of 15,620 students were enrolled in radiography programs in 2020, down from 15,972 one year prior. Nuclear medicine programs saw a similar decline, with 1,076 enrolled students in 2020 compared with 1,129 in 2019.

On the other hand, radiation therapy programs grew slightly in 2020. A total of 1,182 students enrolled in radiation therapy programs certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in 2020, up from 1,155 in 2019.

COVID-19 has also had an impact on the ability to place students in a clinical setting at the beginning of the pandemic. In April, 74% of program directors said the pandemic impacted placement. However, a follow-up survey in April showed a "large shift" in allowing students back in clinical rotations, noted ASRT Associate Executive Director Myke Kudlas.

The survey included responses from 353 directors of radiography, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine technology programs currently recognized by the ARRT. The ASRT has conducted the survey every year since 2001.

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