Core Training

Speciality Training Year 1

The initial two weeks include a general introduction and familiarisation with the department. The first 6 months are mainly spent preparing for the FRCR Part 1 examination. This is done in collaboration with the Norfolk and Norwich radiology academy or Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where focused FRCR physics teaching is provided.  Dedicated anatomy teaching is also provided, either at one of the hospitals within the scheme, or at one of the allied Teaching Hospitals. The initial 6 months is also spent acquiring a basic grounding in all modalities of radiology, particularly focussing on Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy and A&E plain films. It is expected that trainees will commence unsupervised reporting of Accident and Emergency films during the first year, following a course of teaching and a practical assessment.

Trainees will be expected to sit the First part of the FRCR examination in March. Under normal circumstances only three attempts at this exam are permitted.

Modular training in the various subspecialties also commences in the first year to fulfil the Core part of the Curriculum and in preparation for the FRCR 2A and B exams.

Speciality Training Year 2 and 3

Basic training is based upon sub-specialty attachments, each of 3 months duration.

Sub-specialities include the following: Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, Chest and CVS, Paediatric, Musculoskeletal, Neuroradiology, Breast and Nuclear medicine. A further 3 month attachment in general interventional radiology also be undertaken. During each attachment, trainees will obtain hands-on practical experience in all radiological techniques, and yet remain under close Consultant supervision, which is a one-to-one ratio within the Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire (EBH) training scheme.

Each training block is made up of 5 or 6 sessions devoted to that particular sub-specialty, with 1 session for study and research. The remaining sessions will include supervised plain film reporting, general screening, ultrasound, CT and MRI reporting.

The Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire (EBH) radiology training programme has close ties with other schemes and trusts in the East of England, particularly that of Norfolk and Norwich and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. This allows trainees in the EBH scheme to organise and facilitate modular training that may not be available in with in the EBH scheme. Examples of this include, musculoskeletal training in the NNUH, Neuroradiology training at Addenbrooke’s hospital or Paediatric radiology at the Luton and Dunstable Trust.

Trainees who pass the First Part FRCR will be expected to sit the six part A modules (written section) of the FRCR Part 2 examination during the second and third years and once successful go on to sit the Part 2 B (Final FRCR) examination. Under the new regulations, candidates will be expected to have completed three years of training before attempting the Part 2 B examination.

On-call Commitments

There is a slight variation in on-call commitments from trust to trust in the EBH scheme, but generally on-call training starts in the second half of the first year. On-calls within the EBH scheme are usually consultant lead, and there is direct one-to-one supervision in year 1 and 2. In a typical on-call pattern trainees will usually 'shadow’ on-call from 5pm-9pm weekdays, and from 9am-5pm at weekend, with a senior trainee or Consultant to close at hand to supervise work and give advice.

With progression to year 3 more independence is given. Complete independence with on-call is expected following the success in the final FRCR part 2B exam. 

Higher Specialist Training

The fourth and fifth years are focussed on higher radiological training. Trainees will complete their training through attachments which will be tailored, as far as possible, to the specialist interests of each trainee. They should expect to develop considerable experience and have significant responsibility.

At the end of Year 5 trainees will be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). At this stage they will enter the "Gap" and be expected to apply for Consultant posts. Rotations at this stage will be determined by individual consultation with the Training Programme Director, the College Tutor for the appropriate Hospital, and relevant Consultants.

Training Meetings

In order to facilitate the smooth running of the training programme and to ensure good communication between consultant trainers and trainees there are regular meetings which provide a platform for both trainers and trainees to bring forward issues directly related to training and to reach a mutually agreed resolution. Trainees have repeatedly commended the provision of such interaction with the trainers. In addition, the process of organisation of these meetings provides senior trainees with valuable management experience.

A trainee and JRF representatives are appointed on an annual basis to further enhance this process.