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    Hello

    I have just finished FY2 and am currently working for a locum agency - I am loving working in different places and being flexible and saving money. I will also be starting a PG cert in medical law and ethics, attending lots of radiology courses and doing other extra-curricular stuff such as the Children's Panel.

    I am completely set on radiology as a career and am definite that it is the one for me, however I feel in no hurry to start it yet - I'd rather focus on the above for a couple of years (potential for me converting to a masters) and then apply.

    Would it count against me to take out more than one year after FY2, or would it be okay as long as I had things to show for it? Would they question my commitment for not applying to radiology training straight away?
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    I've never applied for radiology training but understand from colleagues that they value applicants who have a reasonable amount of clinical experience. I also understand that lots of radiology trainees embarked on a career in medicine/surgery/etc before switching specialties. A friend of mine who interviewed for radiology told me that they were very keen that he had completed a set of exams during his years as an A&E trainee. He was perturbed that they appeared to expect MRCS or MRCP ("real exams") rather than the MCEM, which is probably a lot harder to pass.

    It is feasible that they might think a little less of random locum work through agencies than actually making progress in an alternative specialty, e.g. core medical/surgical training. Perhaps a set of exams would help? MRCS might be more useful from an anatomical perspective.
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    Update - I am loving my PG cert course and feel really motivated to turn it into a masters, which woud probably take another 1-2 years on top of the year I'm already taking out from training. During this time I'd be continuing to do ad hoc locum shifts as well as working towards the degree. It's not something I'd want to do along with radiology training as I am aware of how intense the learning and exams are for that alone.

    Will it go against me to take 2-3 years out to do a masters?!
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    I don't know that this is a question that anyone can answer. The selection processes for most training programmes award points for "career trajectory being consistent with stage", which is the means by which they penalise random years out and "chaotic" career pathways. If you have done something relevant during years out then clearly your career trajectory might still be consistent with your stage... they would probably overlook a PhD in a relevant area, for example.

    If I were scoring an application, I could understand a year out to undertake a MSc but not 2-3, particularly if it's not in a subject that is obviously relevant to the specialty. Most doctors that complete an MSc do so part-time alongside a training programme.That said, you could presumably lose all the points in this domain and still be appointed if you score highly in other areas.*I do think 2-3 years out for an MSc and sporadic locum work would be a disadvantage, just not one that's insurmountable.
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    (Original post by coffeestorm)
    Will it go against me to take 2-3 years out to do a masters?!
    PS. You might want to ask this question in the "Radiology" forum at www.doctors.org.uk. I suspect that consultants involved in selection for other specialties will weigh in as well with their thoughts.
 
 
 
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