Development of an Online Curriculum for Surgeons on the Use of Pelvic Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Rectal Cancer and Results of a Pilot Study

Sara Nofal, Yi Qian Nancy You, George J. Chang, Elizabeth G. Grubbs, Brian Bednarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High-resolution pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a critical tool in the management of patients with rectal cancer. An on-line curriculum was developed for surgical trainees on the interpretation of pelvic MRI in rectal cancer for clinical staging and surgical planning. Methods: The online curriculum was developed using the six-step approach to curriculum development for medical education. The curriculum incorporated case-based learning, annotated videos, and narrated presentations on key aspects of pelvic MRI in rectal cancer. A pilot study was conducted to assess curriculum effectiveness among Complex General Surgical Oncology (CGSO) fellows using pre- and post-intervention assessments. Results: Of 15 eligible fellows, nine completed the pilot study (60%). The fellows’ median confidence score after completing the online curriculum (40, IQR: 33-46) was significantly higher than their baseline median confidence score (23, IQR: 14-30), P = 0.0039. The total practical assessment score significantly increased from a pre-median score of 9 (IQR: 8-11) to a post-median score of 14 (IQR: 13-14), P = 0.0078. A subgroup analysis revealed a significant change in the knowledge assessment with a median score of 7 compared to a baseline median score of 4, Z = 2.64, P = 0.0078. However, the skills assessment showed no significant change. Conclusions: The case-based online curriculum had a positive impact on CGSO fellows’ knowledge and confidence in the utilization of pelvic MRI for patients with rectal cancer. This unique on-line curriculum demonstrates a mechanism to enhance shared educational collaboration across CGSO fellowships and other surgical training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Case-based learning
  • Curriculum development
  • Pelvic MRI
  • Rectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of an Online Curriculum for Surgeons on the Use of Pelvic Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Rectal Cancer and Results of a Pilot Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this