Reimagining Radiology Education for a Healthier Tomorrow Skip to main content


28 May 2024

Reimagining Radiology Education for a Healthier Tomorrow

In the evolving landscape of diagnostic radiology, continuous learning and professional development are essential for delivering exceptional patient care. At the forefront of advancing radiology education stands Unilabs Academy.

We sat down with Ricard Robledo, the Head of Unilabs Academy, to explore the mission, impact, and future of this pioneering institution. Join us as we delve into the world of digital learning, cutting-edge training programmes, and the transformative power of education in shaping the future of radiology.

How did the Academy start? And why? 

The Academy was created with the ambition of using high-quality training activities to support radiologists’ subspecialisation, both for external participants and those within our organisation. This was back in 2013-2014. Initially, the Academy was just focused on some onsite training activities, like the MSK course and certain onsite fellowships. From 2018, the Academy embarked on a new chapter, with a clear emphasis on online training. This shift represents a significant evolution for us, as online training has become the predominant aspect of our activities. It aligns perfectly with our purpose to reach as many radiologists as possible worldwide.

Can you tell us about the Academy’s offers? 

We offer diverse radiology training options tailored to meet the needs of our direct customers. Our Onsite Fellowships consist of three to five-day, in-person training sessions held in Barcelona, led by expert mentors. Limited to a maximum of 10 radiologists per session, these fellowships provide an ideal environment for strengthening and enhancing radiologists’ knowledge in case interpretation. They are CME accredited. The Online Fellowships entail 12-16 hours of hands-on training facilitated by expert mentors conducted entirely online. Like the onsite fellowships, radiologists gain access to a set of cases chosen by the mentor for individual reading, participate in group case discussions, and attend online lectures. CME accreditation is also provided. Our Reporting Modules offer training experience that replicates the real-world clinical practice of radiologists, all within an online environment. Our simulators allow radiologists to practice and refine reporting skills using real, anonymous cases, seamlessly integrating structured reporting with PACS integration. These modules are also CME accredited. Webinars delivered by industry experts are also part of our offering. We possess a library of them, and they are CME accredited. Our Online Reporting Courses combine the structured learning environment of our Reporting Modules with expert video lectures. They provide a fully online approach to upgrading radiologist’s reporting skillset without the need for travel. Additionally, the Academy develops biomarker-based medical education programmes sponsored by pharma and biotech companies, targeting different types of referral clinicians. 

Is it open to all radiologists?

Our materials are accessible to all Unilabs radiologists, as well as external radiologists.

What advantages do Unilabs’ radiologists have?

Unilabs radiologists enjoy free access to our Online Fellowships, along with our Premium Subscription, granting a 12-month pass to all reporting modules of the image reporting simulator and the webinar library.

Additionally, they are entitled to a €500 discount on the registration fee for our Onsite Fellowships in Barcelona.

What sets the Academy’s offering apart from other training programmes?

At our Academy, we take pride in our distinctive approach to training. Each programme is meticulously crafted with the needs of both level II and level III radiologists in mind. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our small group sizes, ensuring a premium learning experience characterised by interactive case discussion and mentor guidance.  

How does the Academy contribute to the professional growth of radiologists?

The Academy offers subspecialised training programmes that align with our goal of providing high-quality subspecialised radiology reporting services. Additionally, all our training programmes are CME accredited, supporting the professional development of radiologists. This accreditation is particularly beneficial as radiologists from many countries are required to accumulate a specific number of Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits annually to maintain their practice.

How do you select your tutors?

Selecting a suitable mentor for our medical training is a long and multi-steps process. Firstly, topics are selected based on the gap assessment of our current offering and the ESR curriculum. Subsequently, we identify renowned experts in each of these topics and seek approval from the Head of Section at Unilabs. Our aim is to engage mentors with expertise in the relevant subject matter, are internationally recognised, and exhibit strong communication skills. Afterwards, we approach potential mentors and organise meetings with them to assess their interest and availability. 

Can you share some success stories or memorable experiences where the Academy made a significant difference for a radiologist?

We have a plethora of success stories, but one instance stands out and underscores the profound impact of our training. Recently, we received an email from Dr Anees Jwad, a dedicated Unilabs’ radiologist, recounting a pivotal moment in his practice: he identified a subtle yet life-threatening aortic leakage while interpreting a CT pulmonary angiogram for a suspected pulmonary embolism. He attributes this crucial detection directly to a training module he had completed earlier on premature aortic leakage detection. Thanks to his timely diagnosis, the patient's life was saved, and she was swiftly transferred to the Heart and Chest Hospital in Liverpool for urgent surgery. Dr Jwad also acknowledged that his participation in our educational programmes spared him from potentially missing such a critical diagnosis, despite the significant pressures and distractions inherent in his daily practice.

This testimonial exemplifies the real-world impact of our training initiatives. It serves as a powerful reminder of the vital role continuous education plays in enhancing patient care and clinical outcomes.

What can radiologists expect from the Academy in the future? 

We are developing a fully rebranded Unilabs Academy website, which we view as a key asset in further advancing our mission of delivering high-quality subspecialised training to a wider audience of radiologists. 

Will you expand your offerings beyond radiology only to include other diagnostic specialties like pathology? 

Yes! Our plan is to launch the pathology vertical in 2025 and replicate the success we have already achieved with radiologists.

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