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    Basically the title is my question!

    I decided that I wanted to specialise in Radiology literally a few months ago and as a final year student missed the boat on intercalating in MRes etc. I also have very busy rotations and am aware of how competitive radiology applications are, especially if you want to go in straight after F2.

    I found that the local uni does a 2 yr imaging pg diploma and was thinking of applying but have no idea if it's possible during an F1/2 job.

    Am I talking crazy talk?:confused:
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    I did a postgrad diploma during FY1/2, in palliative medicine. Mine was part time distance learning requiring 4 days' attendance per year at the uni. It is perfectly possible, but very hard work.

    Important considerations:
    1. Attendance required by the university - remember that during F1/2 study leave is very variable between hospitals / areas of the country, example - my FY1 hospital decided that they were going to organise a bunch of useless courses for us and call that our study leave entitlement. I had to do a mixture of take annual leave and rely on my consultant's good will in allowing me an extra day's study leave here and there. If there is a moderate amount of fixed time to spend in uni, even if it's a couple of days per month, think carefully about leave / rotas and whether realistically you'll be able to swap and get that much leave.

    2. What are the assessments / assignments? How much access to radiology do you need? Find yourself someone in your F1 hospital's radiology dept or someone you already know well who'll be able to support / mentor you. Example: I had to do an audit, several assignments involved case studies, and it was just generally helpful to have someone in the same specialty who knew I was doing it and was supportive with ideas and advice.

    3. Postgrad exams. I don't know about radiology, but if there is any expectation that you would be starting to prepare for a first part of a post grad exam, then think again, you can't do both (unless you really want to have no life and no sleep).

    4. It's not easy adapting to the changes of the med student to FY1 transition at the same time as trying to study. At the beginning of FY1, you'll likely be exhausted, working long hours and wondering how on earth normal people fitted your job into the hours of a working day when it takes you till 8pm (answer: it took us till 8pm too). You'll be getting used to nights, and working weekends. Busy rotas are not usually mitigation for extensions to assignments (this was explicit in my course's rules).

    I really enjoyed mine, it was hard work, but I learnt a lot that was practically very useful (I did a pallcare job at the end of FY1). There were times when I really regretted taking it on with the work it entailed. Plan your time carefully, make sure that there's not an unrealistic amount of contact time at the uni, and get yourself a couple of good radiology mentors.
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    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    Basically the title is my question!

    I decided that I wanted to specialise in Radiology literally a few months ago and as a final year student missed the boat on intercalating in MRes etc. I also have very busy rotations and am aware of how competitive radiology applications are, especially if you want to go in straight after F2.

    I found that the local uni does a 2 yr imaging pg diploma and was thinking of applying but have no idea if it's possible during an F1/2 job.

    Am I talking crazy talk?:confused:
    There are much easier better ways of building your radiology CV than doing a post-grad diploma.

    Taking postgrad exams e.g. MRCP/MRCS, radiology-related audits, taster weeks in radiology, presentations if you can get them, attendence at radiology courses and conferences all build up your CV very well for radiology. In any case, selection for radiology is based on a very minimal application form and 4 interviews. Only half of one interview is chance to show off your CV.
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    Thanks for your replies guys!

    Lots to think about... I know it's a big commitment and balancing it with F1/2 job alongside doing all the other requisite parts of foundation training sounds like a big undertaking. I emailed the course co-ordinator and they seem pretty flexible, as long as all the modules are completed at the end of the two years they're happy, but they were vague on which ones required physical attendance...

    (Original post by junior.doctor)
    Important considerations:
    1. Attendance required by the university - remember that during F1/2 study leave is very variable between hospitals / areas of the country, example - my FY1 hospital decided that they were going to organise a bunch of useless courses for us and call that our study leave entitlement. I had to do a mixture of take annual leave and rely on my consultant's good will in allowing me an extra day's study leave here and there. If there is a moderate amount of fixed time to spend in uni, even if it's a couple of days per month, think carefully about leave / rotas and whether realistically you'll be able to swap and get that much leave.
    In terms of the useless courses, surely they can't be compulsory? What if you wanted to sit an exam or attend a conference?

    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    There are much easier better ways of building your radiology CV than doing a post-grad diploma.

    Taking postgrad exams e.g. MRCP/MRCS, radiology-related audits, taster weeks in radiology, presentations if you can get them, attendence at radiology courses and conferences all build up your CV very well for radiology. In any case, selection for radiology is based on a very minimal application form and 4 interviews. Only half of one interview is chance to show off your CV.
    I've been told about sitting the MRCP/MRCS but not sure why it's advantageous for radiology applications as you're not planning on doing medicine or surgery ?

    Also how difficult is it to do audits etc in radiology when you don't have a radiology rotation. I have ortho and resp rotations where I could conceivably get audits to do with imaging but would be hard to get a radiologist to supervise it, no?

    And surely if selections are based mainly on interview then you need a good radiology contact who can guide you through the process? It looks like something I'll have to get onto as soon as I start working - joy!
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    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    In terms of the useless courses, surely they can't be compulsory? What if you wanted to sit an exam or attend a conference?
    F1 (and F2) teaching is generally compulsory - there are certain things they have to teach you, and this can use up your study leave allowance quite rapidly. You are not technically supposed to take private study leave for exams in F1 at least, though some trusts are more lenient than others. In general it's fairly prescriptive, I'm afraid.

    I've been told about sitting the MRCP/MRCS but not sure why it's advantageous for radiology applications as you're not planning on doing medicine or surgery ?

    Also how difficult is it to do audits etc in radiology when you don't have a radiology rotation. I have ortho and resp rotations where I could conceivably get audits to do with imaging but would be hard to get a radiologist to supervise it, no?

    And surely if selections are based mainly on interview then you need a good radiology contact who can guide you through the process? It looks like something I'll have to get onto as soon as I start working - joy!
    You used to have to have MRCS or MRCP to start radiology training in the past, so it's not too surprising! It's worth checking the person specifications but lots of other specialties offer points for having at least some parts of the above exams completed.

    I'm sure there are audits you could complete which are radiology-related, and most departments would probably welcome offers of help with them. You will meet radiologists when requesting scans and at MDMs and so on, so just put yourself forward!
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    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)

    In terms of the useless courses, surely they can't be compulsory? What if you wanted to sit an exam or attend a conference?
    As Helenia said, unfortunately these courses are often compulsory for completion of the foundation curriculum (however useless that is) and thus passing the year. Getting time off to sit exams or attend conferences are often at the trust's discretion.
    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    I've been told about sitting the MRCP/MRCS but not sure why it's advantageous for radiology applications as you're not planning on doing medicine or surgery ?
    Radiology isn't a speciality in isolation. You have to advise on scan results and suggested management in the clinical context, which often require reasonable clinical knowledge. Not to mention that having MRCS/MRCP implies that you have a reasonable knowledge base; Radiology is a very knowledge heavy speciality. Across the 5 years training, you would have to do 9 quite challenging exams.

    FWIW, the Professor of Radiology at my med school who was very involved in my teaching, advised me to not go into radiology straight out of F2 because you don't the clinical experience to advise clinicians with confidence from yourself and respect from them. He was bemoaning the lesser quality of the F2 entry registrars. Whilst this may just be 'In my day' nostalgia, I certainly think he has a point. Anecdotally, I've had experience of quite a few registrars and the ones that enter from F2 always seem to be the ones that offer inappropriate advice.
    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    Also how difficult is it to do audits etc in radiology when you don't have a radiology rotation. I have ortho and resp rotations where I could conceivably get audits to do with imaging but would be hard to get a radiologist to supervise it, no?
    Almost every speciality has a imaging component, and therefore audit opportunities. Alternatively, it's quite easy to approach a radiologist to ask to do an audit in their dept.
    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    And surely if selections are based mainly on interview then you need a good radiology contact who can guide you through the process? It looks like something I'll have to get onto as soon as I start working - joy!
    I don't think you particularly need a radiology mentor. I got an offer this year (turned down to do core medical training before I apply again afterwards) without one. Essentially, the 4 interviews were:

    1. Ethical scenarios e.g. a man has been sent down for US guided drainage with no consent form and is obviously confused. This is straight forward enough
    2. Clinical scenarios - basically involved putting radiology requests in order of priority and being asked questions about scans. Again, this is quite straight forward from clinical experience alone.
    3. CV and audit critique - The panel will grill you on your CV then ask you to critique an audit. Again, relatively straightforward
    4. A general 'Why do you want to do radiology?' interview. Arguably the only one that might be helpful to have some guidance, but if you are aware of the current radiology issues of the day (e.g. tele-radiology, litigation etc) you should be fine.
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    (Original post by bleepmedoodah)
    Basically the title is my question!

    I decided that I wanted to specialise in Radiology literally a few months ago and as a final year student missed the boat on intercalating in MRes etc. I also have very busy rotations and am aware of how competitive radiology applications are, especially if you want to go in straight after F2.

    I found that the local uni does a 2 yr imaging pg diploma and was thinking of applying but have no idea if it's possible during an F1/2 job.

    Am I talking crazy talk?:confused:
    Yes.

    You don't need to do this, focus on other things for your application such as the things mentioned below.

    Dave,
    ST2 Radiology
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    (Original post by Daveo)
    Yes.

    You don't need to do this, focus on other things for your application such as the things mentioned below.

    Dave,
    ST2 Radiology
    Cheers. Very succint... for a radiologist

    Guess I better start thinking about a good time to sit the MRCP, and get my audit hat on. It does sound a bit crazy time wise if to do the diploma, I definitely wouldn't have time for extra bits like MRCP, auditing or a life.

    Thanks again guys, for your words of wisdom!
 
 
 
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