New survey finds decline in radiography enrollment in 2021

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Radiography educational program directors report that the number of students enrolled in radiologic technologist training programs declined in 2021, while programs in nuclear medicine and radiation therapy saw a slight increase, according to a survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).

The survey found that enrollment in radiography programs for technologists fell 1% in 2021 over the previous year, while radiation therapy and nuclear medicine program enrollment grew at single-digit rates.

Enrollment in radiologic technologist programs in 2021
  2020 2021 Percent change
Radiography 15,620 15,477 -1%
Radiation therapy 1,182 1,275 8%
Nuclear medicine 1,076 1,300 2%

In addition, the survey also asked educational program directors about the effect of COVID-19 protocols on their programs.

"When we asked whether their program allows students to perform exams on known or suspected COVID-19 patients, 61% said yes. That's down from 74% in October 2020," said ASRT Associate Executive Director Myke Kudlas in a release.

The survey was sent to all 961 directors of radiography, radiation therapy, and nuclear medicine technology programs currently approved by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and achieved a response rate of 28.8%. The ASRT has been conducting the survey annually since 2001.

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