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Our study surveyed 484 medical students from 17 medical schools on their views towards AI. We also explored the current state of AI education in the UK.

The majority of students in our cohort felt that medical schools are poorly preparing them in the critical use of novel digital tools underpinned by AI. We feel this is unsurprising given the rapid development of this field; universities simply cannot keep up. The silver lining is that we provide evidence that medical students in the UK would welcome teaching on this topic.

Approximately 50% of our cohort indicated they were less likely to consider radiology as a career given the advancement of AI. We speculate this is probably related to prominent non-domain experts predicting the rapid demise of radiologists. We present evidence that medical students that received teaching on AI are significantly less likely to discount radiology as a career choice.

It is increasingly accepted that AI will not replace a radiologist that is adequately trained in the use of contemporary evidence-based digital tools. Our work identifies the urgent need to address any misconceptions that persist amongst medical students, so the best and brightest will continue to apply for this fantastic specialty. We also hope our work has highlighted the need for increased teaching, to ensure the next generation of physicians possess the required knowledge to critically practice in an increasingly data- and technology-driven world of medicine.

Key points

  • UK medical students do not feel adequately prepared to work alongside AI, but understand the increasing importance of AI in healthcare and would like to receive teaching on the subject.
  • A significant number of UK medical students are discounting radiology as a possible career due to AI. Students that received AI teaching were less likely to rule out a career in radiology.
  • Although the small number of students that received AI teaching felt more confident in working with AI in the future compared to students that did not receive teaching, a significant number of taught students still felt inadequately prepared.

Article: Attitudes and perceptions of UK medical students towards artificial intelligence and radiology: a multicentre survey

Authors: Cherry Sit, Rohit Srinivasan, Ashik Amlani, Keerthini Muthuswamy, Aishah Azam, Leo Monzon & Daniel Stephen Poon

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