Introducing careers in radiology and oncology to the next generation of doctors

Wednesday 17 July 2019

For a second consecutive year, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust recently hosted a summer school event in conjunction with Imperial College London’s Pathways to Medicine outreach programme and The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR). 

Approximately 50 students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education, who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing medicine as a career, were introduced to clinical radiology and clinical oncology through a series of interactive workshops and talks. The event took place on Wednesday 3 July at Charing Cross Hospital and was organised by clinical radiology registrars Dr Susan Hesni and Dr Mitesh Naik, and clinical oncology registrar Dr Thomas Charlton.

Following the success of last year’s event, RCR President Dr Nicola Strickland once again delivered a keynote speech to engage the students and convey her passion for the RCR’s specialities.  She described her own path through medical school and postgraduate training, and expressed exactly why she gets so much satisfaction from her career in radiology, before taking questions from the students.

The students gained practical exposure to imaging by performing ultrasound scans on volunteers.  They were able to perform a basic abdominal ultrasound study as well as assess the major vessels in the forearm.  The students’ were also eager to try a more complex neck ultrasound.  

Thanks to equipment donated by Cordis, the students were given the opportunity to learn about aortic aneurysms with the aid of a simulator. They were even able to perform simulated aneurysm repairs themselves. The final radiology workshop involved reviewing on-call trauma cases, including penetrating traumatic injuries and acute intracranial emergencies.

The clinical oncology session involved several multidisciplinary talks and practical sessions aimed at giving students an insight into this exciting and rapidly developing career option.  Clinical oncology registrar Dr Catherine Blake took students through a typical day and shared novel developments in radiotherapy and biological agents. 

Radiographers led a session on planning and worked through a series of simulated cases. The students also had a tour of the radiotherapy suite, which facilitated discussions with physicists. 

The event was hugely successful in motivating the students to consider medicine as a career and also gain a deeper understanding of the RCR and its specialties.

Thanks to all those who helped make this event work so well: Catherine Blake (SpR), Thomas Charlton, Sindy Singh and her team of radiographers, Peter Dunn and his physics team, Anish Raithatha, Jadesola Ekpe, Taufiq Dawood, Aisling Fagan, Deborah Olakunbi, Piers Osborne, Susan Hesni, Mitesh Naik, Neeral Patel and all radiology registrars at Imperial.