Radiology ST1 in the East of England
I applied from an FY3 year.
Only during my FY3 year! It was the shortest route to specialising (without being a GP), a 5-year run through programme, and scope to work part-time as a consultant (especially with the rise of teleradiology). For me, no medical field is 100% perfect, but life balance is extremely important to me whilst also maintaining a rewarding career where I can still make a significant difference, and I believe radiology could cater to that.
I applied to Ophthalmology as the only other alternative.
Very confusing and incomprehensive from the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) website and Oriel. But once I got my head around it it was much simpler than I expected.
Please note: updated portfolio requirements in the 2022-2023 application year mean that the points discussed in these case studies are out-of-date, however you might pick up some useful tips to get you some more points
My portfolio really wasn't that great at all. I had the bare bones and minimum as I was a last minute applicant. I never imagined I'd apply to radiology for 2022 entry because of unforeseen personal circumstances that arose during FY2 that threw all my plans off whack. But I managed to pull a last minute application together. A taster week, audit and teaching evidence is a must - rest assured you do not need crazy fancy international conferences or prizes to be a "worthy" applicant, just ensure you meet the criteria for the radiology portfolio mark scheme. Luckily, FY2 requires audits and teaching as part of the annual Horus ePortfolio so that was very useful to pull evidence from for my radiology application. Doing a taster week in radiology is a MUST, and I'd highly recommend doing a simple radiology audit using an RCR template during the taster week to add to your portfolio and show further commitment to specialty. Ensure you get formal and signed evidence for everything you include in your application.
My score changed during the verification process, however I appealed and got my self score of 5 in the end.
I revised for 1 month, initially around 2 hours a day. In the last 1 week before MSRA exam, I crammed in around 6 hours a day (I took 1 week off my locum job to cram!).
Simple and very doable in regards to the science aspect (I personally thought the science level was easier than that of final year medical school exams, but that's probably because i had 2 years of actual clinical experience from FY1/FY2). I've always struggled with SJT since medical school and found it quite difficult in the MSRA, but was pleasantly surprised when results were released that it was not as bad as i thought. So my advice is, keep going and keep doing as many Qs as you can! Pro-tip: for SJT is always rank the 1st and 5th as a priority, and then tackle the middle 3.
I solely used RadCast (it was the ultimate God send!). I purchased the medibuddy interview resource too, but did not think it was useful at all especially as RadCast covered all of the content and more comprehensively. I discovered RadCast only 10 days before my interview hence prepped for just 10 days, and watched all their videos relating to the interview section. Then, I practised solely on my own in front of the mirror to perfect my answers as I realised the questions would most likely be thematic, rather than on the spot questions that were outside the box.
Exactly as how RadCast tutored and predicted within their programme. On the day it was a Teams interview with 2 consultant radiologists asking Qs for 15 minutes covering the 4 sections as outlined. They were both very friendly and the process itself was smooth.
I got my second choice of deanery.
Purchased RadCast sooner! And I would have practised my interview questions with a friend to sharpen my answers.