The Radiology Cafe Blog

We have just finished uploading beautiful FRCR Physics notes to Radiology Cafe.

These notes are for those sitting the first FRCR physics exam and are based on, and cover, the entire scope of the RCR Radiology - integrated training initiative (R-ITI) e-learning upon which the first FRCR physics exams are based.  The notes are concise and comprehensive with plenty of beautiful diagrams to aid in understanding.  Each field of radiology physics is covered and separated into structured pages to make it easy to work through or to provide a quick point of reference for when you need to look something up.

Click here to visit the FRCR Physics notes


They were created by Dr Sarah Abdulla while an ST5 trainee at Norwich.  When she was revising for her FRCR physics exam she was frustrated with the lack of concise yet comprehensive notes written in a way she could easily understand.  This led to her creating her own notes and she realised that other might find these notes useful so decided to make them available online...   ...and now the notes have been moved to Radiology Cafe!

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There are many reasons to become (or not to become) a radiologist.  Here is one person's experience from the USA.

During the first two years of medical school, I shadowed many different physicians during my scarce free time, trying to figure out what I would like to do for the clinical half of my career. I enjoyed all my experiences, from paediatric gastroenterology, to anaesthetics, paediatric cardiology and adult cardiology to name a few. I did not, however, enjoy shadowing a radiologist. It was boring!

I did not, however, enjoy shadowing a radiologist. It was boring!

I took time out of medical school to undertake a PhD which involved lots of microscopy and some radiology. Unlike looking at cells under the microscope, radiology allowed me to look at the entire body. I knew that I wanted to be familiar with medical imaging techniques in the future for research purposes, but at this point I still held on to the notion that clinical radiology was boring!

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1600 First FRCR Anatomy mock exam questions uploaded!

I am delighted to reveal that 16 mock First FRCR anatomy exams are finally live on Radiology Cafe today to help trainees revising for the First FRCR exam.  This is a project I have been working on for some time (years in fact) so I am glad to finally upload something of some use to radiology trainees on Radiology Cafe!


Viewing the mock exams

Quickly test yourself on 100's of mock exam questions

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Preparation is key!

The application

Clinical radiology is a competitive speciality.  In 2016 there were 963 applicants for 249 jobs in England, Scotland and Wales giving a competition ratio of 3.87:1.

Recruitment takes place from October each year (when the applications open) until the interviews in February.  Offers tend to be released within the first few weeks of March.  Applications are made through Oriel (online) and are a simple box ticking exercise, so as long as you've not made a mistake or picked the wrong box most people are longlisted and invited to sit the specialty recruitment assessment.


The SRA (Specialty Recruitment Assessment)

Due to increasing competition the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) have recently introduced a SRA which is an exam to be sat in the first two weeks of January.  In 2016, 286 applicants fell at this hurdle.

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At the ST1 clinical radiology interview there are marks specifically allocated to demonstrating a commitment to the specialty.  A taster week is a great way to guarantee a few marks, but make sure you at least do a full week if possible.


Why do a taster week?

Apart from gaining extra marks for the interview, it allows you to experience how a department runs, engage with current registrars and ask them their reasons for choosing radiology.  You can observe consultants' roles which extend beyond the obvious clinical demands, as well as gain first hand experience in basic reporting.

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Immediately post FY2, or later after FY2, that is the question

Wilhelm Röntgen Shakespeare

At our induction day at the Royal College of Radiologists, a poll was taken of all new ST1s about who had come straight from FY2 (foundation year 2) and who had done other training.  The result was 50:50, yet people seem to get unnecessarily worked up about it as if the biggest decision about doing radiology is when to start.

The reality is it honestly doesn't matter, there are pros and cons for both options!  Here's what I think...

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My journey from a three week medical student placement in radiology to publishing Chest X-rays for Medical Students book.


Chest X-rays for Medical Students - from teaching workbook to published book


Now my second book Abdominal X-rays for Medical Students is finally published, I thought it would be interesting to look back at how it all started.  Here is my experience of the process of creating and publishing a teaching resource, in this case my first book Chest X-rays for Medical Students.

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What happens when a radiologist decides to investigate the contents of an Easter egg with some of the coolest technology the NHS has to offer?!


Kinder egg x-ray hybrid photo


A tenth of our chocolate is devoured during the Easter weekend and the average Briton gobbles nine Easter eggs a year.  As diagnostic experts, the average British radiologist is naturally curious to know what lies inside...

Can you flex your diagnostic muscles and piece the toy together from the scans below?

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Everyone should know the rules of interventional radiology.  They are non-negotiable.

  1. The natural resting place of a hydrophilic guidewire is on the floor.
  2. If you feel resistance, stop pushing.
  3. Always ensure the bag is closed before you attach.
  4. If the histology report reads 'foam' you've gone too far.
  5. Every puncture is optional. Every haemostasis is mandatory.
  6. When in doubt, keep the guidewire in. No one has ever complained about the access being too good.
  7. Never let a procedure take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.
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