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RCR initiatives empower medical students

Article by: Mr Michael Stephanou

As students we often dread the inevitable “so what do you want to specialise in” question from
friends and family. This is because we often haven’t had the opportunity to truly experience the
plethora of jobs on offer. Moreover, the thought of making a career decision at such a young age
that will impact the rest of your life can be quite daunting, so we keep on postponing.

My society, the Oxford Radiology Society, was recently the recipient of the RCR Undergraduate Radiology Society of the Year Award for 2023. This is an award we never knew existed until a helpful radiology consultant pointed us in the right direction and urged us to apply just before the deadline.

Not only did the award come with a £200 stipend to spend on future society activities but the RCR also gave us the opportunity to make a video detailing our activities that would be posted on the RCR website. This wasn’t just a token award but a real opportunity to engage with the radiology community and have our voices heard.

Other student focused RCR initiatives include the Clinical Radiology Undergraduate Essay and Research Prizes, as well as the  Undergraduate Education Innovation and Excellence Award, both of
which come with their own accolades. These competitions open next month in November, so I would implore all of you all as radiologists to spread the word to interested students and lend them a helping hand if you can. From my own experience, I know that any sort of mentorship goes a long way in motivating and encouraging students.

Furthermore, the RCR offers £300 bursaries to students undertaking electives in clinical radiology ether in the UK or abroad. This is another fantastic opportunity which actively supports medical students engaging with clinical radiology and one that can help set the  foundations of their future careers. This is all the more important when we consider the immense lack of radiology teaching and experience offered by most medical schools. The RCR has also made efforts to acknowledge this through the formation of a clinical radiology undergraduate committee, bringing together students as well as junior and senior radiologists with the aim of increasing radiology teaching, promoting the speciality to students and supporting local societies.

All in all, the RCR does a great job of championing medical student involvement in radiology. Moving forward we can all play our role in promoting this wonderful speciality and creating a synergistic relationship with students to foster the future of radiology in the UK.

Article by:

Mr Michael Stephanou

Final-year Graduate-entry Medicine Student, University of Oxford, Green Templeton College

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