Student Competencies and Outcomes for the Undergraduate Radiology Curriculum
Loyola University Chicago – SSOM

General Principles

Throughout the Undergraduate Radiology Curriculum, students will be exposed to the following general principles of the practice of radiology. Upon completion of this curriculum, our graduates will have the appropriate basic diagnostic and therapeutic skills for radiological interpretation, practice, and application for their own future careers. Our graduates will demonstrate competency in the following areas of radiology:

  1. role of radiologists as specialists and consultants working with other medical staff as part of the healthcare team;
  2. applications of radiology as a screening modality of disease and for use in guiding medical and surgical interventions;
  3. importance of evidence-based medicine in choice of radiological imaging, procedures, and appropriate interpretation;
  4. basic concepts of risk management, malpractice, and confidentiality, as it applies to radiology and the legal obligations to protect patients’ interests;
  5. formulation of appropriate differential diagnoses for common radiologic findings;

Throughout the Undergraduate Radiology Curriculum, our students will become familiar with the normal and abnormal structure of the body and each of its major organ systems as it pertains to radiological imaging. Our graduates will demonstrate competency to:

Plain Radiographics

  1. Discuss principles of radiology and radiation
  2. Identify normal anatomy on PA, AP, and lateral chest films
  3. Recognize abnormal chest films including pleural effusion, pneumothorax, pneumonia and lobe location, changes of congestive heart failure, changes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, atelectasis, pulmonary nodules and masses, and hyaline membrane disease of the newborn
  4. Identify normal anatomy on four views of the abdomen
  5. Recognize abnormal abdominal films including ileus, small bowel obstuction, large bowel obstruction, free air, and calcifications
  6. Identify normal anatomy of the spine and long bones in both adults and children
  7. Recognize abnormal bone radiographs including fractures, degenerative joint disease, osteoporosis (including vertebral collapse), and primary versus metastatic bone malignancy
  8. Identify normal anatomy on intravenous pyelogram, barium enema, and upper gastrointestinal series

Computed Tomography

  1. Recognize and treat contrast allergy, it’s signs and symptoms, and implications to the patient
  2. Discuss principles of CT function and applications
  3. Discuss differences between CT, MRI, plain film, and US, including the comparative benefits/drawbacks and strengths/weaknesses of each modality
  4. Discuss general indications of when to use CT as the imaging of choice
  5. Identify normal anatomy found on CT of the head, spine, chest, abdomen, and pelvis
  6. Recognize abnormal head CTs including acute hemorrhage (subarachnoid, subdural, and parenchymal), infarcts, edema, mass effect, and hydrocephalus in an infant and adult
  7. Recognize abnormal chest CTs including pulmonary nodules and masses
  8. Recognize abnormal abdominal/pelvis CTs including diverticular disease, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, abdominal aortic aneurysms, pancreatitis, abdominal abscesses, ascites, and hepatic, pancreatic and renal masses
  9. Recognize abnormal CTs of the spine, including metastatic disease, degenerative joint disease, and disc disease

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  1. Discuss principles of magnetic resonance imaging, including differences in abilities and applications of MRI versus CT
  2. Identify normal anatomy on MRI of the head and spine
  3. Recognize abnormal head and spine MRIs including central nervous system infection, masses, stroke syndromes, multiple sclerosis, disc disease, metastatic vertebral column disease, and cord compression


  1. Discuss general principles of ultrasound including the differences between 2D, Doppler, and M mode
  2. Discuss indications and limitations of


  1. Discuss basics of normal and abnormal mammograms
  2. Discuss indications and utility of mammography, including usefulness as a screening method and as a surgical tool for resection and biopsy

Nuclear Medicine

  1. Discuss general principles and therapeutic uses of nuclear medicine
  2. Discuss mechanisms, indications, and limitations of HIDA scans, bone scans, tagged RBC scans, myocardial perfusion and function (gated blood pool) scans, bone densitometry scans, and ventilation/perfusion scans


  1. Discuss diagnostic and therapeutic principles of angiography
  2. Discuss idications for obtaining angiograms
  3. Discuss applications and utility of MRA angiograms
  4. Recognize normal anatomy of the great vessels and other vasculature on angiograms
  5. Discuss indications for angiograms for abnormal processes including subarachnoid hemorrhage and berry aneurysms, vascular stenotic lesions, pulmonary angiogram for PE, aortic dissection, aortic trauma, and gastrointestinal bleeding

Finally, our graduates will not only have obtained adequate competency in the identification of normal and abnormal findings, but also will have learned appropriate and judicious choice and sequencing of imaging modalities to optimize the diagnosis in balance with sensitivity and specificity, utility, and potential patient complications. Our graduates will have developed competence regarding the radiologic work-up of:


Radiology is a field that requires effective communication among many health care professionals working as a team in the best interest of the patient. Upon completion of this curriculum, our graduates will demonstrate competency to:

  1. recognize the role of the radiologist as a consultant and the importance of effective communication between radiologists and other clinicians


As physicians, radiologists are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity, service, and professionalism. Our graduates will demonstrate competence to:

  1. work collaboratively as members of a healthcare team in a variety of settings.


Our graduates will demonstrae competence to:

  1. interpret the results of the most frequent commonly used radiological tests;
  2. select and use information technology as it relates to radiological imaging with respect to PACS, and employ electronic communications for effective communication with clinical services.


Our graduates will demonstrate competence to:

  1. use information technology to access and manage clinical information and perform on-line searches to support ongoing self-directed learning;
  2. search, evaluate, and critically review radiological scientific evidence appropriate as an approach to a clinical problem;


Our graduates will demonstrate competence to:

  1. develop diagnostic and treatment strategies with regard to radiological technologies that are cost-effective, sensitive to limited resources, and do not compromise quality of care.