E2085. Implementation of Videoconferencing for Virtual Radiology Education During the COVID-19 World Pandemic
  1. Shana Elman; University of New Mexico
  2. Jennifer Weaver; University of New Mexico
The COVID-19 pandemic created educational dilemmas for radiology faculty and learners (fellows, residents, and medical students). Physical distancing requirements necessitated a paradigm shift in traditional radiology education. Conventional teaching and imaging review at the Picture Archive and Communication System (PACS) workstation and didactic group lectures/case conferences are no longer feasible. In this exhibit, we describe how we use a videoconferencing system for virtual PACS image review and teaching as well as for didactic lectures/case conferences. We discuss how we foster a sense of social inclusiveness and well-being while physically distanced.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
(1) Review educational difficulties created by physical distancing during the pandemic. (2) Describe the use of interactive videoconferencing for image review and didactic lectures/case conferences. (3) Explain our use of web cameras to foster a sense of social togetherness.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Physical distancing requirements resulted in redistribution of PACS workstations, utilizing administrative/faculty offices and faculty homes; faculty and learners were no longer in the same physical space. Conference room capacity was severely limited, such that gathering for didactic lectures/case conferences was not possible. Initially, faculty reviewed imaging reports created by learners remotely and communicated discrepancies via telephone or messaging. Teaching conferences were cancelled or postponed. Residents were polled about their educational experiences one month after physical distancing requirements were initiated. Learners reported feeling isolated and many felt that education was limited. We promoted use of videoconferencing as a virtual alternative to in person learning. Two faculty members became proficient in the use of the ZOOM (San Jose, CA) videoconferencing platform and instructed faculty and learners on use. We created a virtual learning experience at the PACS workstation that was similar to in person experience. We encouraged “ZOOM readouts” with screen sharing, annotations, and use of remote control to allow interactive review of imaging studies. We implemented videoconferencing for didactic lectures/cases conferences. Many faculty use interactive features such as annotations and remote control during lectures. Breakout rooms facilitate small group learning. We also encouraged use of web cameras. Faculty and learner satisfaction increased; many reported virtual PACS learning is nearly identical to in person learning. Learners and faculty reported feeling less isolated when they could communicate verbally and visually through videoconferencing. Use of web cameras for active video streaming has played an important role. Visual interaction increased feelings of social inclusiveness and well-being. Visual cues help gauge learner engagement and understanding.

Physical distancing requirements of the COVID-19 world pandemic have dramatically altered radiology education. Creative use of videoconferencing can alleviate loss of educational opportunities and can create a sense of social well-being.