Aligning the Implicit Curriculum with the Explicit Curriculum in Radiology

Keith D. Herr*, Elizabeth George, Vikas Agarwal, Colin D. McKnight, Liwei Jiang, Anugayathri Jawahar, Mini Pakkal, Adam Ulano, Dhakshinamoorthy Ganeshan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Physician education occurs through two mechanisms that operate in tandem: the explicit and the implicit curriculum. The explicit, or formal, curriculum is the official version that is usually taken as the one-and-only curriculum and which is detailed in official documentation; however, an implicit curriculum exists, comprised of subtle messaging about professional norms, values, and beliefs that are tacitly communicated through both positive and negative role modeling. Both contribute to the overall education of the medical student and physician-in-training. Despite its well-documented influence in medical education, much of the teachings of the implicit curriculum occurs in the shadows, unspoken and unarticulated, and outside the awareness of both teacher and student. As panel members of the The Implicit Curriculum in Radiology Task Force of the Association of University Radiologists-Radiology Research Alliance (AUR-RRA), we present a review of the implicit curriculum, exploring its origin and impact on medical education, and on the overall professional development of medical students, post-graduate medical trainees and practicing physicians. Strategies for recognizing and contending with the implicit curriculum in radiology training are discussed, with a special emphasis on opportunities to leverage its potential through positive role modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • hidden curriculum
  • Implicit curriculum
  • medical student education
  • professionalism
  • radiology
  • residency education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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