Radiology attracts doctors from many different backgrounds and trainees are welcomed from all branches of medicine. The minimum requirements for applying for a radiology training post are 2 years of clinical experience after qualifying (incl. pre-registration housejobs) and registration with the General Medical Council (either limited or full).
However radiology remains a popular career choice and competition is high.
Many applicants discover radiology only after they have already started a different clinical career and some candidates choose to spend another year or two in a different speciality. This differs from other countries where radiology can be entered straight after medical school and gives British radiology a particular depth of clinical competence.
This means however that many candidates have at least part 1 and some have a full higher medical degree (i.e. MRCP, MRCS, MRCOG etc.). In order to get short-listed (invited for interview) it is important to show an interest in radiology on the curriculum vitae (CV), such as a clinical attachment or an audit / case report / publication. Candidates who have spent many years in a different speciality and change tack at a relatively senior level will be suspected to be drop-outs. Recruiting centres are looking for applicants who are keen on the speciality and dedicated to the centre they are applying for.
The part 1 FRCR, a multiple-choice exam, which essentially covers radiation protection and physics can now be taken prior to applying for training and will significantly increase the candidates chances. The second part of the fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR 2A) is also a written exam, but consists of six system-based modules, which can be taken after 18 months of radiology training. The part 2B can be taken after 31/2 years of training and currently consists of two vivas and two film reporting sessions. The full details and the syllabi are available from the RCR website (www.rcr.ac.uk).
After 3 years of general training subspeciality training is done in year 4 and 5, with some areas allowing for a 6th year (e.g. ascular, intervention, neuro, radionuclide imaging).
There will be a shortage of consultants for the foreseeable future and accredited registrars have a lot of choice of jobs.