1. Commitment to Specialty
In this section, you need to get more than 1 “significant exposures” to radiology. They define a “significant exposure” as at least 3 days in a radiology department doing either:
A taster week is essentially a week in a radiology department, experiencing what life is like for a radiologist. In general, doing taster weeks is valuable not just for the points, but also because it’s the best way to see if you would actually want to do radiology. In addition, you will meet registrars who can help you with your application, such as by getting audits and publications.
To arrange one, simply go to the radiology department in your hospital and ask for the contact details of whoever organises the taster weeks. The radiology training programme director should at least know, so you can always email them.
During the taster week, write short reflections about each day and after the week, email the organiser to ask for a signed letter confirming your attendance at the taster week.
What if you’ve already done your taster week in your current hospital - can you do one at a hospital you’re not employed at? Yes, you can - ask to organise an honorary contract with the trust; this is what I did for my second taster week. I e-mailed the radiology training programme director saying that I was at a district general hospital and wanted experience in a tertiary centre.
If you are still in medical school, organise a radiology SSC and/or elective: by doing them earlier, you have less to stress about later. I would still do a taster week during your foundation years as the radiology trainees can help with application tips.
If you have done a research project related to radiology, then that's also good for points in this section.
The FAST way to get maximum points would be to do 2 taster weeks, one in a tertiary referral hospital and one in a DGH. Interestingly, they actually state that doing 2 taster weeks in different healthcare settings would give you full points for this section.
You might say you don’t have enough study leave days for 10 days of taster week. Well, according to the scoring criteria, you only need to do 3 days for it to count as a “significant exposure”, so 2 taster weeks could theoretically be done in 6 days total. I would, however, recommend a full 5 days if you can manage as you get to know the department and registrars better, potentially giving you access to more opportunities.
To evidence the above, include signed confirmation letters of your attendance, as well as reflections and timetables.