The NHS England (NHSE) Wessex School of Radiology provides high quality training aligned with the clinical and interventional radiology curricula of the Royal College of Radiologists. There are 59 funded posts and all doctors in training (DiT) are affiliated to either the Portsmouth or Southampton training schemes. As a relatively small School comprising only two schemes we offer a traditional apprenticeship style training approach tailored to each trainee’s needs with support from experienced supervisors and trainers.
Our aim is to produce Consultant radiologists with a sound grasp of imaging fundamentals but also with established excellence in particular areas of imaging or intervention. We want our DiT to be able to think their way around clinical problems so that by the time they complete their training they can provide advice and expert opinion/management to referring clinical teams and their patients.
Comprehensive core training comprises 3 years and is followed by 2 years consolidating and developing general radiology skills alongside an area (or areas) of sub-specialty interest. The School has training expertise to a very high standard across a very broad range of subspecialties including chest, GI, GU, musculoskeletal, oncological imaging and neuroradiology and has a good track record of training for shortage areas such as paediatric and breast radiology and radionuclide imaging. There is provision for run-through ST4-ST6 training in interventional radiology and interventional neuroradiology, with a competitive local selection process at ST3 when these popular posts are oversubscribed.
Wessex DiT are well prepared and perform well in the RCR examinations. There is a part 1 lecture course for physics and anatomy and a series of modular teaching days support preparation for the FRCR part 2a with viva-type practice ahead of the 2B examination. The School benefits from regional teaching from enthusiastic consultants and visiting RCR professors, in addition to a programme of regular daily and weekly educational activities in the department in which they are based.
The school supports DiT extracurricular development with quality improvement, patient safety, audit, teaching and academic and research activity. There are ample opportunities for leadership and management experience and DiT are actively involved in shaping their training through a robust feedback process and representation at educational committee meetings. The importance of work-life balance to well-being and resilience is recognised and training flexibility (such as less than full time) is supported.
Many Wessex radiology DiT take up consultant positions in hospitals in the region while others have been extremely successful in applying for post-CCT fellowships and substantive posts both nationally and internationally.