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Medical Students


This page is for all medical students regardless of specialty choice. Resources below are part of University of Toronto Diagnostic Radiology electives.


If you are considering a career in radiology, start with the basics. Focus learning a basic approach to chest and abdo x-rays, understand the basic concepts of CT, and introduce yourself to cross sectional imaging of the major body systems.

Cases for elective medical students can be accessed through the "Cases" tab

STEP 1: Why Radiology?

The stereotype of the radiologist as a boring/faceless part of the medical team hiding in a dark room is not accurate. Radiologists are consultants - often at the centre of the clinical environment with a unique opportunity to provide critical information that frequently directs management. 


Lectures in radiology are often content driven, which can be boring in the absence of background knowledge. Diagnostic Radiology is intellectually stimulating, detail oriented, and can be very gratifying. It is perfect for those that love problem solving. As a radiologist, you will constantly be making decisions that have a strong and direct impact on patient management.

STEP 2: Introduction to Plain Films

Focus on a basic approach and only the most common pathologies. 


If you are considering radiology, as an elective student there are very low expectations of you. However, if you are going to be expected to have an approach to any study - it will be a chest or abdominal x-ray. It is also helpful to learn a good approach early so you can spend more time practicing getting better.

i) Chest X-Ray

Our videos will take you through basic anatomy, a basic approach, and go through the most high yield cases -- enough to get you to start interpreting chest x-rays right away. Click here for the entire playlist of videos.


Additional Suggested resources:


ii) Abdominal X-Ray

This short video (15 minutes) goes through the most high yield basic information you need to know to start interpreting abdominal plain films right away.  


Additional suggested resources:

STEP 3: A Practical Introduction to CT

As a medical student, if you are going to watch one thing about CT -- this is the video. You need to understand these basic concepts before looking at anything else related to CT.  


Video highlights:

  • Conventions

  • Understanding radiographic densities/Hounsfield Units (HU)

  • Application of HU: importance with clinical example

  • Windowing in CT: principles and importance of windowing appropriately

  • Introduction to IV contrast

STEP 4: Introduction to CT by Body System

Content includes introductory videos and suggested resources. Solely watching the videos is more than enough information for your stage. Don't worry about the details in these videos - focus on the anatomy and approach. 


As a general suggestion, scrolling through scans to identify normal anatomy on CT is one of the most beneficial exercises at this stage. Optional resources that will facilitate this include e-Anatomy (IMAIOS), which requires paid subscription.

i) CT Head

Focus on learning basic cross-sectional anatomy and just a conceptual approach to CT head. IMAIOS and are two resources that will allow you to scroll through images and identify anatomy.


The video highlights include (click bullet point to open video in a new window at content specific time):

ii) CT Abdomen

Our video takes you through everything you need to know at this stage and then some. Make sure you watch the practical introduction to CT first and then watch this to learn all of the CT anatomy you need to know and a detailed approach.


Other resources (click to access):

iii) CT C-Spine

Watch the video and again, focus on anatomy and basic approach. Learning the basic kinds of injuries, as briefly overviewed in this lecture, will also be of benefit. This video includes details that are intended for early on call radiologists. However, introducing these concepts is still helpful.


The video highlights include:

  • Basic anatomy 

  • Important measurements you need to know

  • Overview of injuries, including pearls

  • Commonly missed findings

  • Detailed approach

  • Case demonstrations

iv) CT Chest (and PE studies) 

Focus on learning cross-sectional anatomy and basic pathologies. For PE studies, understand the basic principle and signs of acute and chronic PE. 


A single video that focuses on only the most essential concepts is coming soon. As a good starting point for now, I suggest the following resources (click to access):

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