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Competition ratios

Clinical radiology is a very rewarding career but getting a training post is competitive.

Key statistics from 2020:

  • There were 1677 applications for 353 ST1 training posts in England, Scotland & Wales.
  • 491 candidates were interviewed.
  • There were on average 4.75 applications to every 1 post.

Click here for more information including statistics from previous years

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What is a radiologist?

Overview on what a radiologist is and what they do

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Radiology ST1 interview questions

The following list of example questions are typical of those asked at Radiology ST1 interviews

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Alternatively, view the list of practice questions below.  We have grouped the questions under 4 different headings:

Achievements

  • Describe audit?
  • Why do radiologists need to do audit?
  • Describe your best audit and why?
  • How would you plan an audit?
  • Describe an audit cycle?
  • What is a good audit?
  • What problems are encountered in audit?
  • If you were to design an audit how would you approach it?  Talk me through the stages.
  • Critically appraise this audit (you are handed an audit).
  • What’s the difference between audit and research?
  • Is research important in radiology?
  • What research methods do you know?  Explain them.
  • What is your research experience?
  • How would you plan a radiology research project?
  • What is the value of doing research as an SPR?
  • Talk us through your research.
  • Who works in the radiology department?
  • How would you organise the radiology department?
  • What is teamwork?  How can we promote it?
  • Is clinical governance important in radiology?
  • What do you think of risk management?
  • Tell us about your presentations.
  • Any awards?
  • Describe your teaching experience?
  • As a radiologist whom should we teach?
  • Describe your preferred teaching method and explain why?
  • What would you like to teach junior doctors and why?
  • Tell us about a recent radiology journal you have read?  What was its impact factor?

Abilities

  • A clinician asks for an inappropriate investigation.  How do you handle this situation?
  • You are alone on your first on-call and need help.  What do you do?
  • What referral pathways are you aware of?
  • Explain the 10-day rule.
  • Explain the 28-day rule.
  • What are the abnormalities on …..?
  • Prioritise these scans.
  • Discuss this scan and why you chose it.
  • Comment on this PET-CT report. What improvements would you suggest?
  • What do you think about the structure of this report?
  • Do you know of any guidelines on how to deliver an effective radiology report?
  • What is your understanding of CT scanning?
  • What is your understanding of MRI?
  • Explain how X-ray works?
  • Explain how Ultrasound works?
  • Why has this patient had this type of scan?
  • Do you know why we use contrast?
  • What further scan or radiological procedure would you like to do next?
  • After reviewing this scan what would you immediately do next?  Who would you contact?
  • You see a patient and perform an Ultrasound.  It shows liver metastasis and the patient is asking if the scan is normal.  How do you handle this situation?  Explain your reasons why.
  • You scanned a patient for ?gallstones and found cholecystitis and an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).  How would you proceed?
  • A pregnant lady had been exposed to radiation and she is now upset and concerned.  How do you handle this situation?
  • A patient has been administered 3 x dose of radioactive agent during a nuclear medicine scan.  How would you proceed?
  • A patient with learning difficulties requires a CT scan.  How would you handle this?
  • Patient A had a CT scan that was meant for patient B.  Patient B had an Ultrasound scan that was meant for patient A.  How do you handle this situation?
  • A nurse would like to discuss her father’s scan results.  How would you proceed?
  • A colleague would like you to report their father’s MRI scan.  How would you proceed?
  • A confused patient needs a drain.  A completed consent form is with the patient.  What would you do?
  • What would you do if a patient were refusing an investigation?  Have you dealt with a similar situation in your training?
  • What role does imaging have in an elderly confused patient?
  • How would you investigate a child with a limp?  How would you investigate a child with a painful hip?
  • You are having difficulty with a radiology colleague.  What do you do?
  • A fellow doctor/ your consultant comes into work drunk.  What do you do?
  • You are delivering a teaching session and a junior foundation doctor arrives 15 minutes late with a cup of coffee. How do you handle this situation?
  • You are continually asked to report after hours and asked not to declare this on the hours monitoring.  What would you do?
  • You report a plain radiograph and notice a solitary lesion in the lung.  The previous radiograph, which was reported a few months ago by your consultant, was suggestive of a mass, however no action was taken.  How would you proceed?
  • You have an unkempt colleague who dresses in jeans to work.  How would you approach this situation?

Aspirations

  • Why Radiology?
  • Why have you decided to change from your chosen career path?
  • Is there anything you would miss coming from a different background?
  • How has your training so far prepared you for a career in radiology?
  • What do you bring to radiology?
  • Tell me about your experience so far and how it is related to radiology?
  • Tell me about the radiology experience you have?
  • What did you learn from your taster experience?
  • What branch of radiology are you interested in?
  • During your radiology training what other projects do you hope to achieve?
  • Other than attaining your CCT what else do you hope to achieve during training?
  • Describe an interesting case?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Name two good and two bad aspects about yourself.
  • What are the qualities of a good radiologist?
  • The NHS is in financial difficulty.  What impact would this have on radiology?
  • What threats are there to Radiologists?
  • Have you got a good idea what a radiologist does?
  • How many sessions does a radiologist do?  What do they involve?
  • What would you do as a first year registrar?
  • Have you talked to any radiology trainees / consultants?
  • Tell us about a radiologist that has inspired you.
  • Recent advances in radiology?
  • What were the significant radiological advances in the last 5 / 10 / 50 years?
  • What is the future for radiology?
  • What changes will there be during your training?
  • What challenges face radiology?
  • Are you aware of any innovations in radiology?
  • What do you think of 24/7 radiology?
  • How do you think ‘any willing provider’ has affected radiology?
  • What do you think of outsourcing / teleradiology?
  • What is your understanding of a radiology academy?
  • Do you agree radiographers should have an extended role?
  • What are your opinions on non-radiologists performing procedures?
  • What do you know about skills mix?  Advantages / Disadvantages.
  • Are you aware of any guidelines in radiology?
  • Which organisations produce guidelines?
  • How does defensive practice affect imaging?
  • Have you noticed a conflict between radiology and surgery?
  • Tell me about the radiology examination process.  Where did you get this information?
  • Tell me about the training structure.
  • Tell me about the role of workplace based assessments in radiology training?
  • Tell me about the IRMER regulations.
  • How do you feel current changes in healthcare will affect radiology?
  • Is clinical governance important in radiology?
  • What is the purpose of discrepancy meetings?
  • Do you think discrepancy meetings are useful?  How do patients benefit?
  • Explain the role of the radiologist in the MDT?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • How do you de-stress?
  • What is your understanding of the EWTD and its implications in radiology?
  • Are communication skills important in radiology?
  • Do you think foundation year 2 (FY2) doctors should apply for radiology?  Advantages / Disadvantages.

Portfolio

  • Please direct me to your greatest achievement.  Explain why?
  • Please show me the item you are most proud of.
  • What is your best achievement and why?
  • Please show me evidence of teaching.  Do you have any feedback?  How do you use feedback?
  • What have you learnt from this course?  Have you reflected on this teaching?
  • How would you improve your teaching methods?
  • What taster experience have you done?
  • Do you have evidence of a taster week?
  • Did do an elective in radiology?
  • What presentations have you done?
  • Do you have any publications?
  • Please guide me through your assessments.  360 appraisal, MSF etc…
  • Direct me through your research / audit experience.
  • Do you have any postgraduate exams?
  • Why have you not done any postgraduate exams?
  • Why have you done these exams MRCS/MRCP?
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