Attitudes and experience of urology trainees in interpreting prostate magnetic resonance imaging


  • Craig Rodrigues Medical Student
  • Kash Visram
  • Alireza Sedghi
  • Parvin Mousavi
  • D. Robert Siemens



resident, mpMRI, prostate, PIRADs, survey, needs assessment, self directed learning


Introduction: Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) has resulted in accurate prostate cancer localization and image-guided targeted sampling for biopsy. Despite its more recent uptake, knowledge gaps in interpretation and reporting exist. Our objective was to determine the need for an educational intervention among urology residents working with mpMRIs.

Methods: We administered an anonymous, cross-sectional, self-report questionnaire to a convenience sample of urology residents in U.S. and Canadian training programs. The survey included both open- and closed-ended questions employing a five-point Likert scale. It was designed to assess familiarity, exposure, experience, and comfort with interpretation of mpMRI.

Results: Fifty-three surveys were completed by residents in postgraduate years (PGY) 1–5 and of these, only 12 (23%) reported any formal training in mpMRI interpretation. Most residents’ responses demonstrated significant experience with prostate biopsies, as well as familiarity with reviewing mpMRI for these patients. However, mean (± standard deviation [SD]) Likert responses suggested a relatively poor understanding of the components of Prostate Imaging-Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) v2 scoring for T2-weighted films (2.45±1.01), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) films (2.26±0.90), and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) films (2.21±0.99). Similar disagreement scores were observed for questions around interpretation of the different functional techniques of MRI images. Residents reported strong interest (4.21±0.91) in learning opportunities to enhance their ability to interpret mpMRI.

Conclusions: While mpMRI of the prostate is a tool frequently used by care teams in teaching centers to identify suspicious prostate cancer lesions, there remain knowledge gaps in the ability of trainees to interpret images and understand PI-RADS v2 scoring. Online modules were suggested to balance the needs of trainee education with the residency workflow.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Rodrigues, C., Visram, K. ., Sedghi, A. ., Mousavi, P. ., & Siemens, D. R. . (2020). Attitudes and experience of urology trainees in interpreting prostate magnetic resonance imaging. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 15(5), E293–8.



Residents' Room