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Advice on applying to clinical radiology training in the UK and support for radiology registrars in training

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Radiology Cafe's mission is to support applicants to clinical radiology training and provide the best educational resources and exam preparation material for radiology trainees

What is RadiologyCafe.com?

RadiologyCafe.com provides help for junior doctors applying to clinical radiology and resources to help radiology trainees. Find out more.

We have detailed in-depth information on the interview and application process for ST1 Clinical Radiology training in the UK, with a long list of example interview questions, latest competition ratios, advice on improving your CV and portfolio, and life as a radiologist.

For radiology registrars in training, we have world class educational resources including free mock anatomy exams, physics notes, all the best FRCR revision materials, tips and advice for the FRCR exams and more...

 
Hints, useful resources and recommended reading for the First FRCR anatomy and physics exams
Hints, tips, useful resources and recommended reading for the FRCR 2A exams
Up-to-date list of all FRCR 2B courses in the UK

Applicants

Example radiology ST1 interview questions

  1. Why radiology?
  2. What qualities do you bring to radiology?
  3. What are the qualities of a good radiologist?
  4. How would you design and set up a radiology audit?
  5. Do you think research is important?

... view more example radiology ST1 interview questions

Finding a consultant job

Where to go to find the latest jobs and important job aspects to consider


Where do I look for a job?

Radiology is a small community and many jobs arise by word of mouth.  After four or more years of training you should have a fairly good idea of where potential jobs are and who best to approach regarding this.

A couple of tips from us:  Work out who you want to use as a referee or reference early on and look at job application forms for posts similar to the ones you want.  Start practising the application answers now as many applications ask for similar information.  Any preparation done now will save you time later and help you prepare.

Word of mouth

Has anyone left the department recently?
Are there plans to expand the department?
Remember a low GMC number spells retirement!

Job adverts

Register with NHS Jobs, NHS Scotland Recruitment and BMJ Careers.  It should be possible for you to receive email updates when new jobs are advertised.

NHS Jobs: England and Wales  https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/  

NHS Scotland Medical Recruitment  https://medicaljobs.scot.nhs.uk/  

BMJ Careers  https://jobs.bmj.com/hospital/  

Health and Social Care Jobs in Northern Ireland  http://www.hscrecruit.com/  

RadJobs  https://radjobs.co.uk  


 

Job aspects to consider

What matters most to you?

Consultant jobs can be surprisingly variable from hospital to hospital, region to region.  It is therefore important that you understand what your priorities are before you seriously consider an application.  It all depends on what you're looking for.  It is a good idea to think about these issues very early on and be clear to yourself which are important and which you are not so bothered about.  Such considerations include:

Tertiary centre or district general hospital (DGH)?

  • This is sometimes influenced by subspecialty.  Some specialised MDT meetings or procedures are only performed in few tertiary referral centres.  You can forget about that remote island lifestyle if you have a strong calling in interventional neuroradiology, for example.
  • In general, you can expect to do less of your chosen subspecialty and contribute more to the general workload if you choose a DGH.  On the flip side, this allows you to develop several subspecialty interests.
  • Is teaching trainees important to you?
  • Even if you choose a teaching hospital, there is still some flexibility as to the amount of “general” workload you could get involved with.

Travelling to work

  • Does the on-call commitment require you to live within a certain distance of the hospital?
  • One site or cross-site?
  • How far are you willing to commute?  What is the commuting time?  If location is an issue then get a map, put a pin where you live, work out the longest distance you are willing to travel, draw a big circle around you and research all the hospitals within that area.

On call

  • Most job adverts will specify the intensity of on call – there will be wide variations varying from no on-call commitments to particularly heavy 1:4 rotas.
  • Will the hospital require 24 hour cover or is there an overnight teleradiology service?
  • Will there be registrars first on call?
  • Interventional or diagnostic rota?

Colleagues

  • This is where already knowing the department confers a significant advantage.  Consider not only other consultants but also radiographers, staff nurses etc that you may need to work with over a long term period.
  • Is there an experienced colleague that could support you or will you have to carve out your own skills and services by yourself?
  • You may have built up relationships with other members of the hospital team, particularly registrars from other specialties.  It can be nice to work with them as consultant colleagues if they also stay on.
  • Remember that colleagues come and go.

Private practice

  • Again, there is a wide regional variation in demand for private practice.
  • Be careful not to tread on the toes of existing consultants!  Some departments are happy to share out the private workload and others less so.

Consultant interview questions

Typical questions that may be asked at a Radiology Consultant interview


Log in to download a FREE PDF of all the questions!

Alternatively, view the list of example questions below.  These questions are grouped under the following headings of personal, motivation, your training, working as a consultant, the future, hospital, radiology department, teaching, management and leadership, research and audit, patients, difficult scenarios, NHS and radiology nationally.  We hope you find these practice questions useful to help with your preparation.

 

  Personal

  • Tell me about yourself
  • How do you describe yourself?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How would you rate yourself on a score of 1 to 10?
  • How would others rate you on a score of 1 to 10?
  • How do you respond to criticism?
  • What are your outside interests?
  • How do you relax?
  • What do you do when you’re stressed?
  • How do you know when you are stressed?
  • What annoys you the most? How do you overcome that?
  • What experiences outside of medicine have you found valuable as doctor?
  • What words would you use to describe yourself?
  • Describe yourself in one word. What your values?
  • Are there any limitations you recognise in yourself?
  • What do you think your references say?
  • Why should we appoint you?
  • Why should we not offer you the post?
  • Tell us about 2 successful points in your life?
  • How do you know you’re a good doctor?

 Motivation

  • What made you come into radiology?
  • Why did you pursue radiology as a career?
  • What do you aspire to?
  • What motivates you to come to work?
  • What attracted you to this discipline?
  • How do you keep up-to-date?
  • Which journals do you find most useful to read?
  • Tell me about a recent scientific paper you’ve read
  • Tell me about a scientific paper that changed your practice recently
  • What postgraduate education do you find helpful?
  • What advice would you give someone who wants a career in radiology?
  • Is there anyone from the medical profession that you admire?
  • What do you admire in other consultants?
  • Are there any areas of this specialty that you dislike?

 Your training

  • Please talk me through your CV with particular reference to this job
  • Tell me, with reference to your training, how you came to be sitting in front of us now?
  • What experience do you have that is relevant to this post?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment?
  • Which of your publications are you most proud of?
  • You have a very impressive CV for the job which is essentially a DGH job. Do you really want this post?
  • What areas need to be addressed in your training?
  • What skills do you need to acquire?
  • Is there any personal and professional development support you’ll need post CCT?
  • Tell me the good things about your training.
  • Tell the bad things about your training.
  • Looking back, what do you think of your training programme? Any particularly good or possibly poor aspects?
  • If you could go back a few years, would you change the path you've taken up to now?
  • If you could change anything about your training what would it be?
  • How might you have improved your career progression?
  • For what reason did you last call your consultant?
  • How can you prove to me you're safe?
  • Give an example of a change you implemented in the department. How did this affect the department?
  • If appointed, do you feel competent to be involved in the on-call rota?
  • How have you improved practice recently within your department?
  • Given an example of where you were involved in implementing a new service, and what you learnt.

  Working as a consultant

  • What is the difference between being a registrar and a consultant? 
  • Suppose you got this job and three months later your consultant colleagues are still treating you like a registrar. How would you handle this?
  • What is your ideal job plan?
  • What would be the main features of your consultant contract?
  • What do you think about sabbaticals?
  • What do you think about flexible working?
  • To whom are you responsible as a consultant?
  • What is revalidation?
  • What are your views on revalidation?
  • What is an appraisal?
  • Is the new consultant contract a good thing?
  • What makes a good consultant?
  • What are clinical excellence awards for consultants?
  • How do you monitor your own practise?
  • How are you going to provide evidence of your good practice at your appraisal?
  • How will you assess the competence of your trainees?
  • Do you know of any recent changes to consenting patients?
  • Has there been any change in the law regarding consent?
  • What is your position regarding private practice after being appointed?
  • How will you make time to approach clinical commissioning groups?

  The future

  • Describe what you think you will be doing during the first six months of this post. How about the following 6 months?
  • What do you want to achieve in your first 1-2 years?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time?
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • What is your ambition?
  • What is the future of radiology?
  • In ideal world, how would you improve your specialty?
  • What do you see as the major advances in this specialty over the next few years?
  • How will you introduce a new practice to the hospital?
  • You want to develop a new service, but your departmental lead says no. What will you do?
  • What do you think will change in this specialty in the next few years?
  • How can you make the system more transparent?
  • If you had £100,000 how would you spend it?
  • Would you like to be a clinical director?
  • How would you deliver transformational change?

 Hospital

  • Why do you want to work in this region?
  • Why have you chosen to apply to this hospital?
  • How can you help achieve the trust plans and objectives?
  • What does the mission statement of the trust mean to you?
  • How would you help us reach our targets in this trust?
  • How can you increase productivity for the trust?
  • How would you reduce the litigation costs for the hospital?
  • How many jobs have you applied for?
  • How will you bring extra income value into the trust?
  • What is your impression of this hospital?
  • What you know about the culture of this organisation? How will you support this?
  • How would you improve the technology in this trust?
  • Will you be better suited working in another hospital?
  • What do you know about the links the radiology department has with the university?
  • If you could change anything about the links the radiology department has with the university, what would it be?
  • What do you think about travelling between different hospital sites?
  • Can you describe a clinical governance issue working at two sites?
  • How would you develop services across two sites? 
  • Have you read our financial report on our website? What do you think?

 Radiology department

  • What weaknesses are there in this department?
  • What are the strengths of this department?
  • What 3 changes would you make to the department?
  • What would you like to change in this department in the next few years and how would you go about doing this?
  • How would you use clinical governance to improve effective working within this department?
  • What clinical risks are there in this department?
  • How will you address long waiting lists?
  • What skills will you bring to this department?
  • What qualities can you bring to this post?
  • How can we make this department more attractive to other consultants?
  • How would you implement a new guideline in this department?
  • The department has overspent. How will you try to make savings?
  • How will you save money in this department? What area(s) would you focus on?
  • How can we manage services in the department on a smaller budget in the current financial climate?
  • Your department is in the red and you need to lose staff. How do you do it?
  • Give an example of a change you’ll propose to make this radiology department more efficient?
  • How can you improve the quality of a service without increasing cost?
  • How would you save the department £1 million?
  • How do you ‘sell’ your department to the local clinical commissioning group?
  • How do you negotiate with a local clinical commissioning group for a particular service in your department?

  Teaching

  • If you're in charge of training for your specialty, is there anything you would change?
  • If you were in charge of all funding for training in this region, what changes would you make?
  • If the numbers of trainees were going to increase and you were given more funding, how would you spend it?
  • How do you know you are a good teacher?
  • What are the qualities of a good teacher?
  • How do you arrange medical teaching?
  • What do you feel about student, SHO or registrar teaching?
  • If you could change one thing about registrar training what would it be?

  Management and Leadership

  • What do you think are the differences between a manager and a leader? Which one are you?
  • What makes you a good leader?
  • Which qualities do you think you possesses that make you a good leader?
  • Can you give any examples of situations where you demonstrated leadership skills?
  • What are your thoughts about the clinical leadership competency framework?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • What sort of manager would you be?
  • Should doctors be managers?
  • How do you motivate people?
  • Do you think working in a team is important?
  • Tell me when you last worked in a team. What went well and what didn't go so well?
  • What part does teamwork play in practice?
  • What members of the team do you think are most important?
  • What do you think about multidisciplinary teams?
  • You want to implement a plan. How would you go about doing this?
  • How do you delegate?
  • I see you’ve been on a management course. What did you learn about yourself?

 Research and audit

  • Tell me about your involvement in research
  • What have you learned from your research?
  • Are you involved in research? If not would you assist others? If yes, what area would you like to review/research and why? What features attracted to this area?
  • Which of your papers are you most satisfied with and why?
  • Which of your papers are applicable to the area you're interested in?
  • How will you find the time to research in this new job plan?
  • How are you going to find money for research?
  • What is research governance?
  • Have you set up a research project?
  • Should all trainees be involved in research?
  • Is research necessary for consultants?
  • What do you understand my evidence based medicine?
  • What are your views on evidence based medicine?
  • Tell me about a controversial piece of research you are aware of
  • How does research affect your daily practice?
  • What is the difference between audit and research?
  • What are your views on clinical audit?
  • Tell me about your involvement in audit? How did your audit change practice?
  • How has audit changed your practice?
  • Tell me about audits you’ve been involved in.
  • How can you show you’re providing a quality service?
  • What was the last paper you read that changed the way you managed something?

 Patients

  • How do patients describe you?
  • Have you been involved in any complaints procedures?
  • How do you handle a personal complaint?
  • How did you handle the last complaint you received about your service?
  • Tell me about some patient feedback you had?
  • A patient disagrees with your treatment plan. How are you going to respond?
  • Sometimes patients can pose challenges, particularly when disabled, for example positioning them for a clinical examination. How would you ensure your trainees are safe when dealing with challenging patients?
  • How do you insure your trainees treat patients with respect?
  • How do you describe your job to layperson in a pub?
  • A patient demands a particular radiological procedure and you’re certain that the procedure is not right for him/her. How do you go about explaining this to him/her? The patient is still adamant!
  • If you found my mobile phone with a video of a patient on, what would you do? What if I said the patient had given consent?
  • What role can patients have in planning service development?
  • Have you worked with patients to improve a service?

 Difficult scenarios

  • What was your last mistake?
  • Have you ever made any mistakes? What happened and what did you learn from it?
  • Tell me about a serious untoward incident you’ve been involved with
  • How do you resolve a disagreement?
  • What conflicts may you encounter in this post and what will you do to minimise/prevent them?
  • Tell me about the most difficult decision you had to take in the last 2 years
  • Tell us about a difficult situation that you had to deal with recently?
  • Tell me about a difficult situation involving a patient?
  • Given example of how you managed a difficult situation?
  • One of your consultant colleagues is underperforming. How do you deal with this situation?
  • How would you deal with a colleague who is dangerous?
  • You’re asked to investigate a colleague's practise which you have been told is dangerous. How do you proceed?
  • You disagree with a consultant colleague’s over-diagnosis. How do you manage this scenario?
  • How do you approach an underperforming member of staff?
  • You are given reports of a colleague turning up to work under the influence of alcohol? What do you do?
  • When faced with a registrar who is underperforming, what action would you take?
  • What if a junior doctor confided to me that one of your colleagues had made inappropriate advances? What would you do?
  • Tell me about a disagreement you had with a colleague and how you resolved it?
  • Give an example of a conflict situation with a colleague and how you managed it.
  • It has become well known that two consultant surgeons you work with do not get along with each other. A patient has asked your views regarding this and their up-coming operation. How do you respond?
  • How do you deal with a colleague with power and authority, who has been undermining your confidence?

  NHS

  • What do you think about private sector involvement in the NHS?
  • What do you understand by the term foundation hospital?
  • What are the advantages of being a foundation trust? Are there any disadvantages?
  • What do you think of independent sector treatment centres?
  • How do National Service Frameworks affect your practice?
  • How do you feel about performance related pay?
  • Are national performance indicators of any value?
  • How can you help us meet NHS targets?
  • What are your views about the recent financial cuts?
  • What do you understand by clinical governance?
  • What are your views on clinical governance?
  • What do you think about the modernising medical careers?
  • Do you think the NHS constitution is a good thing?
  • What do you think of the Robert Francis Report of the mid Staffordshire NHS trust?
  • Has the Francis report changed our practice?
  • What do you think about the national programme for IT?
  • Tell me how the Francis / Berwick / Tooke / Darzi reports affect your daily practise.
  • What do you think of The Health and Social Care Bill / NHS Commissioning / Care Quality Commission / service line reporting?
  • If Jeremy Hunt / Lord Darzi walked into the room now, what would you ask him?
  • How do you feel about GMC reforms, accreditation and revalidation?
  • What do you think about the European working time directive?

  Radiology nationally

  • There is a shortage of radiologists. What do you propose to do about this?
  • What is your view on specialist nurses in your discipline?
  • What do you think about reporting radiographers?
  • Do you think we should be training more reporting radiographers?
  • Do you think out-sourcing is important?
  • Do you think in-sourcing is important?
  • Would you like to become involved in Royal College of Radiologist groups or committees?