Training and development (clinical radiology)
This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.
Training and development
Training for clinical radiology is a run-through programme that takes five years to complete stages ST1-5. There is a further year, ST6 for those trainees wishing to specialise in interventional radiology. Unlike some other medical specialties, there is no competitive application process at ST3.
It is possible to apply for specialty training directly from foundation training, although because of the competitive nature of the specialty, some previous experience of radiology clinical practice and/or research is likely to be useful. Some applicants have undertaken training in another medical specialty before applying for radiology.
The training involves three years of general radiology training followed by two years of special interest training. Years one to three includes training in each radiology sub-specialty.
During training you will also take examinations leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR). During your ST1-5/6 training you will be employed as a specialist registrar. At the end of this training you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and will be eligible to be on the GMC Specialist Register. You can then apply for consultant posts.
Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, such as degrees, prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.
Entry is highly competitive so you will need achievements that are relevant to radiology. Completion of an elective or taster in radiology will demonstrate your commitment to the selection panel. Your portfolio should have evidence of your commitment to this specialty.
The GMC provides information on the curriculum for radiology training.
This is also available on the Royal College of Radiologist’s website.
The Integrated Academic Training Pathway
If you are interested in research the integrated academic pathway may be for you. Trainees can apply for the two-year academic foundation programme instead of a normal foundation programme. Entry is highly competitive.
After completion of the academic foundation trainees can then apply for academic core training posts (instead of normal core training).
Trainees can then apply for academic specialty training.
A PhD is often taken, either during core or specialty training.
You will normally be appointed as an academic clinical fellow during ST1-2 and as a lecturer at ST3 and until the end of your training.
Getting in tips
It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in clinical radiology as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.
Tips for medical students
- attend conferences on radiology for medical students – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
- work hard to achieve a prize, eg in anatomy
- undertake a placement in radiology
- undertake a student selected module or project in radiology and choose an elective in radiology
- become a medical student member of the British Institute of Radiology and/or the British Society of Interventional Radiology
Tips for foundation trainees
- make contact with radiology department in your hospital and ask to sit in on reporting and attend multidisciplinary meetings. Also get involved in radiology audit/research
- attend courses such as those offered by the Royal College of Radiologists
- ensure your e-portfolio has plenty of mainstream acute care clinical work and that this is kept properly up-to-date
- try to gain teaching and management experience
- become a foundation doctor member of the British Institute of Radiology and/or the British Society of Interventional Radiology
Tips for core and specialist trainees
- undertake a relevant research project
- try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
- teach junior colleagues
- take on any management opportunities you are offered