Applying for Radiology

Overview

MSRA

Interviews

Resources

Application Overview

Selection to Clinical Radiology ST1 is conducted on a national basis. The London Deanery co-ordinates all applications in the country, The recruitment cycle begins in November each year, where applicants must register for an Oriel account and submit their applications on the online portal. 

Usually, there are approximately 1300 applicants for 300 places. Applications are initially screened for eligibility and then the candidates are ranked based on their MSRA score. The top 600 MSRA scorers are invited to interview.  At interview, there are multiple stations - some portfolio-based and some interview based. The total score for interview, portfolio and MSRA are added to determine the final ranking of candidates. The highest scoring candidate will get their top preference training scheme, followed by the next highest applicant, and so on until all spots have been filled.  

 

The application cycle for 2021 entry has changed due to the effects of the COVID19 pandemic. The top 55 MSRA scorers will skip interviews and will be ranked on their MSRA + portfolio score (weightings yet to be determined) and will recieve the top 55 ranks in the country. The remaining applicants who meet the MSRA cutoff will be invited to a virtual interview, and will receive national ranks 56 onwards on the basis of their MSRA + portfolio + interview score (weightings to be determined). 

Exact dates will be subject to change year on year. Please see RCR website for more information about the 2020 recruitment process:  https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/careers-recruitment/specialty-recruitment.

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Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment

After applying in November, the next step will be preparing for and undertaking the Multiple Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) in January.

 

The MSRA is an examination that the Royal College of Radiologists use to determine who receives an interview. It is therefore essential to spend time preparing for this. It is used by multiple specialties in different ways to help differentiate candidates more easily. It has been around for a number of years, and there are many resources and books which can guide you on how to prepare.

 

On average over the last few years, around 1000 people apply for radiology each year. The MSRA is used to rank these candidates, and the top 600 candidates are offered interviews based purely on MSRA scores. Furthermore, after interviews have been conducted, interview scores are combined with MSRA scores in a ratio of 2:1 to give a combined score. Therefore, your MSRA score bears weight on your pre-interview score and your post-interview score. Of the 600 candidates interviewed, 250 applicants are offered radiology jobs around the country. Therefore, the competition ratio is around 4:1.

 

Please see the RCR website for more detailed statistics at this link: https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/careers-recruitment/specialty-recruitment/statistical-summary-previous-rounds

Structure of MSRA:

 

Section 1 – Situational Judgement Test/Professional Dilemmas – 58 questions in 110 minutes

  • This includes questions similar to the SJT done at the end of medical school, where you are given a clinical scenario and asked what you would do in particular situations

  • Of the 58 questions, only 50 are scored and the other 8 are for piloting purposes

  • There are two types of questions:

    1. Ranking questions – rank 5 different options in order of appropriateness

    2. Multiple best answer questions – choose the most appropriate 3 responses

 

Section 2 – Clinical Problem Solving – 97 questions in 75 minutes

  • These are more like the typical clinical questions you would have done as part of medical school finals. As the examination was founded by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the style of question is focused on GP consultations/presentations

  • Of the 97 questions, 86 are scored and 11 are again used for piloting

  • There are two types of questions:

    1. Single best answer questions (SBAs)

    2. Extended matching questions (EMQs)

Interviews

Structure of the interview:

The current Clinical Radiology recruitment interview consists of 10 minutes preparation time followed by 2 ten-minute stations. Each station has two interviewers who mark you separately.

 

  • 10 minutes preparation– portfolio scoring

    • You are asked to scoreyourselfon 5 different categories:

      1. Research into a career in radiology

      2. Academic achievements

      3. Audit/Quality Improvement Projects

      4. Teaching

      5. Research achievements

  • Specific scoring criteria can be seen in the table.
    N.B. We would likely to heavily emphasise that this is only a guide and so may not be 100% accurate and is also likely to change year on year

Scoring Criteria.png
 
 
 

First 10 minute station – verified portfolio score and global impression score
 

  • During this station, the interviewer will ask for evidence for everything you have self-scored on your form. You will have to show them certificates/posters/letters etc directly from your portfolio. They may also probe and ask questions about each achievement, and generate an impression score. You should know your portfolio inside out, as it can be difficult to find individual pieces of work under pressure

  • Each interviewer will give you a maximum of 10 marks for the specified portfolio criteria and 10 marks for a general impression/how you answer questions. Therefore, the maximum mark for this station is 40

Second 10 minute station – commitment to specialty station
 

  • The scope of this station can be very broad

  • Have knowledge of the current trends and latest breakthroughs in radiology – what have you read about recently?

  • You could be asked questions about your experiences in a radiology departmente.g. taster weeks, electives

  • Also have knowledge of other important radiology topics all doctors should be aware of: e.g. radiation safety, safety with contrast

  • And prepare for general interview questions, such as greatest strengths and weaknesses as these are all possible questions too

  • Each interviewer provides a score out of twenty. Therefore, the maximum mark for this station is also 40

 

Station 1 and 2 are therefore scored out of a maximum of 40 marks each, giving a total of 80. The MSRA is also scaled to a mark out of 40 and combined with your interview score to give a total out of 120. Of all 600 candidates interviewed, everyone is ranked based on their score /120. The top 250 candidates are then offered jobs, with higher ranking candidates being offered their preliminary job choices.

Preferencing Jobs

For job preferencing, candidates are asked to rank training schemes from first to last. You can rank as many as you want. However, the major difference is the trusts are slightly different to FPAS, with London trusts being more divided and therefore smaller. In essence, you are applying for a base hospital which will then send you to other hospitals for short placements. We are in the process of setting up a ‘Where to apply’ page which will provide more information on this.

Resources

General Resources 

  • Radiology Cafe. The most comprehensive resource on the Radiology application & a must read for all applicants. 

 MSRA question banks

  • Passmedicine

  • MCQ Bank

  • EMedica 

  • Pastest 

 

Interview courses

  • Hammersmith Radiology ST1 Interview Preparation Courses

  • RadiologyInterview.com

  • Radiology Recipes

Interview books

  • Radiology Interview: The Definitive Guide With Over 500 Interview Questions For ST Radiology Training Interviews: Volume 4 (CT/ST Medical Interview Guides)

  • Medical Interviews - A Comprehensive Guide to CT, ST and Registrar Interview Skills (Third Edition)  Over 120 Medical Interview Questions, Techniques, and NHS Topics Explained

Please note that the application process and information is subject to change year on year. Furthermore, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the application process for 2020-2021 may change significantly so please review the RCR website for up to date information.

 

Good luck!