Radiology Café Blog

X-ray of a fountain pen for the Radiology Cafe Blog

With radiology being the hottest and most technologically advancing speciality, attracting the attention of many doctors, let us have a brief look at how it all began.

Radiology has been around for over a century. It all started when Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-rays in 1895. After working for weeks in his lab experimenting on the production of ‘strange rays’, which he referred to as ‘X’, he asked his wife Anna Bertha to lend ‘a hand’, the left one to be precise, which he used to produce the first X-ray image. This is now known as ‘Hand mit Ringen’.(1) Allegedly she exclaimed in fear ‘I have seen my death!’ after seeing the image.(2)


Portrait of Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen (1845-1923).

Portrait of Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen (1845-1923)

The bones of a hand with a ring on one finger, viewed through x-ray. Photoprint from radiograph by W.K. Röntgen, 1895.

The bones of a hand with a ring on one finger, viewed through x-ray. Photoprint from radiograph by W.K. Röntgen, 1895. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC 4.0

Founder of Radiology Cafe, Dr Christopher Clarke, talks about the website on the new RadCast Podcast

RadCast is a new series of podcasts developed by UK clinical radiology trainees.  Their mission is to provide a grassroots perspective into all things Clinical Radiology.

Early in January 2019 they interviewed Dr Christopher Clarke and asked many questions about Radiology Cafe.  They discuss the history of Radiology Cafe and how it has developed over the years as well as many other issues including use of social media by radiologists.


Rad Cast Episode 7 - Dr Christopher Clarke Radiology Cafe. Listen now on any Podcast app!

Rad Cast Episode 7 - Dr Christopher Clarke talks about the website Radiology Cafe

"Does the patient know they are coming down for a scan?"

I once got asked by the duty radiologist: "Does the patient know they are coming down for a scan?". The question was initially puzzling, as it seemed to have an obvious answer… but do we always inform patients appropriately of decisions around diagnostic imaging?

“Gratitude over Fear”

Since the golden ages of radiology in the 1970s to the present day, advances have created a significant impact on the role of the radiologist. Today, the 21st century radiologist is central in the delivery of patient care, however the future for many radiologists is regarded as an uphill battle with several factors influencing the course of the journey.

"There are two options: Adapt or die"
Andy Grove

The future of radiology has been the hot topic at many radiology conferences and is viewed both with enthusiasm, by those looking forward to what advances will be made, and trepidation, by those who are concerned that they may find themselves prematurely redundant.

A snapshot of the life of a radiology trainee...

Clinical Radiology is a specialty that involves utilising imaging modalities to help clinicians in the management of patients across all branches of medicine and surgery.  From diagnosing anterior cerebral artery aneurysms on CT angiograms to identifying fractures of the zygoma following a traumatic injury during a game of hockey - radiology is one of the most revolutionising fields over the last twenty years.

Unfortunately, I had very limited insight into radiology as a career during medical school.  However, as a junior doctor I was exposed to radiology daily which peaked my interest in the specialty.  I organised a taster week to discover what a career in radiology was like and to identify the skills required from a competent radiologist.  To gain a real sense of radiology, I observed several subspecialties including musculoskeletal, paediatric, interventional, neurology and general radiology.

I believe few people fear the film “Terminator” as much as a young radiologist.  Unsurprising given that for years we have heard how artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually supersede the radiologist.  For some the radiologist in 2040 will simply cease to exist.  Others believe their drastically reduced numbers will be subservient to a “black box” of technology designed by informaticians and engineers.


'Evolution of Radiology' by James at - image reproduced with permission of the rights holder

'Evolution of Radiology' by James at

Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube.  Long gone are the days of solely relying on e-mail for online communication, or the inescapability of physically attending networking events to widen your professional and social networks.

There are numerous social media platforms out there on the World Wide Web, some of which can provide various benefits to radiologists

Social media has revolutionised the way we create and share information with one another.  These dynamic and interactive forms of online communication are not just popular for the public, but also impact the work of healthcare professionals, particularly radiologists.

Lets look at some of the main platforms now:

A summary of the ST1 clinical radiology interview format from the recent 2016/17 recruitment round.

The radiology interview process has changed every year for the past few years.  There are a number of reasons for this, but ultimately the college is trying to optimise the process to select the best candidates whilst managing the large number of applicants.  For this reason the number and content of the interview ‘stations’ undergoes a change every year.

The interview & application section of Radiology Cafe provides a comprehensive overview of the application process and previous interview structures.  This article, however, is written by an ST1 trainee and aims to cover the content of interview stations from the most recent 2016/2017 intake only, with examples of questions asked last year.

The time had come to arrange a study week and actually find out what the radiologists get up to in their secret hidey-holes of the hospital…

Working as a locum enabled me to arrange a study week fairly easily and I approached a friendly radiologist in the department, expressed my interest in a career in radiology and asked who the best person to contact for help was.  A few emails later and the personalised timetable of the study week was sitting nicely in my inbox.  Now all I had to do was put my scrubs away and dig out some normal clothes for the week.

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