Finding a consultant job
Where to go to find the latest jobs and important job aspects to consider
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!
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 https://www.hscrecruit.com/
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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.