Clinical Radiology involves the use of imaging techniques to diagnose and manage patients. It also includes the practice of Interventional Radiology, whereby invasive procedures are completed in conjunction with imaging.
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Entry Route into Clinical Radiology
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before they are eligible to apply for ST1-5 run-through training in Clinical Radiology. Trainees wanting to specialise in interventional radiology will also have to undertake an additional year of training at ST6-level. Whilst trainees may apply for specialist training immediately after completing the Foundation Programme, additional experience in Clinical Radiology or research may be an advantage, due to the incredibly competitive nature of the speciality. Furthermore, successful applicants for ST1 posts ideally need to have 18 months’ experience in radiology, excluding foundation modules.
Job Progression as a Clinical Radiologist
Speciality training comprises three years of general radiology, and two years in an area of special interest, with trainees completing the FRCR examinations during run-through training. Although the GMC only recognises Interventional Radiology as a subspeciality, during ST1-3, trainees gain experience in each of the following areas:
- Cardiac imaging,
- Emergency radiology,
- Breast imaging,
- Gastrointestinal imaging,
- Interventional radiology,
- Musculoskeletal radiology,
- Paediatric radiology
- Radionuclide radiology,
- Thoracic radiology,
- Uro-gynaecological imaging, and
- Vascular imaging.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training. Additionally, trainees can choose to work as a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Clinical Radiology roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. However, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Clinical Radiology Posts
In 2017, the competition ratio at CT1/ST1 was 3.82, with 1,021 applications for 267 posts.
In December 2017, there were
- 2,957 consultants,
- 17 associate specialists,
- 63 speciality doctors,
- 2 staff grades,
- 1,131 speciality registrars,
- 19 core trainees,
- 9 F2 trainees, and
- 6 F1 trainees.
Salaries in Clinical or Interventional Radiology
The salary for NHS consultants ranges from £76,000 to £102, 500, and for speciality doctors from £37,500 to £70,000. The salary for doctors in training ranges from £26,350 to £45,750.
A Day in the Life of a Clinical Radiologist
Consultant radiologists are responsible for performing interventional procedures. However, a significant amount of time is spent writing imaging reports, and delivering those reports in at least one multi-disciplinary team meeting a week. Additionally, the on-call rotas vary, and are often around one-in-seven to one-in-eight, with the work involving emergency procedures, writing reports, and liaising with colleagues about the results – often without the help of speciality trainees.