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Celebrating three years of mentoring success with RadReach

Article by: Dr Anu Obaro

The RadReach mentoring scheme was launched in 2021 as a joint venture between the RCR and the Widening Participation Medics Network (WPMN). RadReach seeks to acknowledge and address the institutional and systemic challenges that individuals from widening participation backgrounds face when applying to join our subspecialties. It is founded on the three pillars of mentorship, advocacy and professional development.

Now about to enter its third year, RadReach co-founder Dr Anu Obaro reflects on its progress and success with mentors and mentees.

As we prepare to enter our third year, it’s been an impactful journey for RadReach and the success we’ve enjoyed through three rounds of mentorship. A snapshot of some of our highlights in this short space of time has included:

  • Pairing 43 mentees with mentors for one year of support
  • Launching an article in the Clinical Radiology journal discussing equity of opportunity in radiology and oncology
  • Hosting an impactful leadership training day at the RCR
  • Winning ‘Best Oral Presentation’ at Levelling the Field national conference in 2021.

We’ve also hosted webinars and workshops, collaborations with Interventional Radiology Juniors and given talks at the British Institute of Radiology and the University of Cambridge.

We launched RadReach back in 2021, partly as a response to the social injustice that was spotlighted during that summer and in recognition of the lack of diversity within both clinical radiology (CR) and clinical oncology (CO). Dr Jade Scott-Blagrove, Dr Hannah Tharmalingam and I felt compelled to create an initiative that would widen participation from under-represented groups.

Community of support

RadReach differs from other mentorship schemes, as we strive to support our participants beyond the initial mentoring relationship. We want to promote applications to CR and CO, but also support our trainees to have an enriching training experience.

Too often we hear of trainees leaving our specialty due to a lack of support or understanding. RadReach aims to create a community of support that is sensitive to these issues and equips our mentees to thrive.

Exciting plans

We have lots of exciting plans for the coming year of RadReach. I’m particularly excited to welcome our new members to the Steering Group and thank them for their enthusiasm and commitment to improving the initiative.

As well as developing and improving our mentoring offering, we will be developing new projects and holding a new series of webinars in 2024. We’ve listened to your feedback and will continue working to improve accessibility – ensuring that RadReach serves the groups it was designed to support.

Are you interested in being a mentee or mentor? Our next cohort opens in early 2024! Submit your details to be the first to know when applications open and to hear about our upcoming events and webinars.

Article by
Dr Anu Obaro

Dr Anu Obaro is a consultant radiologist and PhD researcher studying bowel cancer imaging interpretation at St Mark’s Hospital, London. She is the recipient of the John Nichols Prize for Research 2020 and was awarded Diversity Champion - COVID Heart Hero Award 2021 for her COVID vaccine advocacy work. Anu is co-chair of the Independent Staff Insight Group which ensures an inclusive approach to developing Trust-wide strategies at London North West Healthcare Trust.  She is a passionate educator and racial equity advocate having presented talks on racism which have been viewed all over the world. As co-founder of RadReach she has a desire to increase the number of people from under-represented groups in radiology while also ensuring that they have an enriching and supportive training experience.