The Radiology Application Checklist!
It’s a good idea to start as early as possible. Believe it or not, but I have seen and heard of many a medical student embarking on beefing up their CV to acquire their coveted radiology training number. Starting work on your CV for applying to radiology might seem daunting, and there is the temptation to think that you will apply a year later. I’d recommend giving it a go…you never know. If you’re CV is predominantly empty then here are some basic things to get done in time for those interviews:
This article is aimed at those that have been asking me ‘ What do I need to apply to radiology?’. This is meant to work like a checklist of the very basic things that might be useful or think about. Again everything here is not a hard fast rule:
1. A Taster Week in Radiology
A Taster week in radiology – during this taster week I’d recommend refraining from spending all your time in the interventional suite because you think it is cool. During the week try and do the following:
- MDT- multidisciplinary meetings- Where the interaction between the diagnostic teams and the clinicians is most fruitful. Clinical indications are clarified or new information is brought to light, that will often change the interpretation of the images.
- Get involved/watch how requests are vetted. As radiologists this will be the majority and in some ways the most important aspect of your job. Everyone wants some kind of imaging, no one know what kind of imaging they want and often…no one knows why they want the imaging in the first place! It’ll be your job to figure it all out…as well as interpret the images, so it’s a good thing to talk about at interview.
- See if you can shadow whoever is on-call or get some experience of what that is like. It’ll put you way ahead of other candidates if you can talk about your experiences.
2. Do a radiology related audit. A great place to look for audit ideas is:
Type in something you might be interested in or something to do with whatever job you are doing and find a simple audit to do. Present it somewhere and then stick it on your CV. The more grand (!) the place you present…the better.
3. Submit a poster
Honestly, submitting posters is the easiest thing to do. I’d recommend ‘The Society of Radiologists in Training’ if you have something remotely interesting to submit a poster about-
4. Attend a course/conference
At the very least attend a ‘red dot’ course on A and E or something. That will be useful for your clinical practice, it lasts a day and the certificate is nice to put in your portfolio:
5. Sit a post graduate exam
This is by no means a must do, but if you can…do the MRCS or the MRCP. If you are trying to do radiology from the foundation years, you won’t even need to do the whole thing. Just do a part 1, and then you can decide if you can be bothered to do the rest at later date.
Alternatively, you could put yourself down for doing a post graduate exam where the sitting is after the interview, so that at the time of application you could write quite legitimately- ‘ in the process of acquiring exam X’… ‘ a friend of a friend’ did that and it worked…you didn’t hear that from me though.
6. Be interesting!
If you are a part time artist, cyclist, gym rat, coder, script writer etc then add it in to your portfolio! Mention it at the interview if you can. In the not too distant future you might end up working with whoever is doing the interview, so you want to be interesting. You want them to want you around, and be the kind of person that they could get along with. Do not be boring…save that for when you have the training number!
Finally, I wish you the best of luck. Radiology is an amazing profession and I wish you the best of success…who knows…you might like it so much, you might end up making a website about it!