Reflecting on success in 2018

Friday 14 December 2018

The end of the year is a time to reflect. As we look back on 2018, there are many successes and experiences that we can learn from and build on in 2019.

Promoting clinical oncology and clinical radiology as careers

Alongside attendance at various careers fairs, this year we were part of the Pathways to Medicine summer school event. The scheme, aimed at talented secondary school students from low- and middle-income homes and under-represented backgrounds who are interested in a career in medicine, provides experience of different specialties to help with future career choices.

Influencing the healthcare agenda

In February the RCR hosted a meeting of clinical oncologists, allied healthcare professionals, stakeholder organisations and patient and family representatives who discussed the key considerations that should be borne in mind during the reorganisation of paediatric radiotherapy services in the UK.

Artificial intelligence (AI) poses many potential benefits and challenges to our specialties. In May, we hosted an event to discuss these. Leaders in the field spoke about a range of issues and delegates took part in breakout sessions looking at the ethical and practical development of AI in healthcare. Recordings of many of the lectures are available for our Fellows and members to view.  

Public awareness

This year the International Day of Radiology focused on cardiovascular radiology. It was an opportunity to highlight clinical radiologists’ crucial role in the treatment of patients with heart conditions. We released figures on the challenges to provision of cardiovascular services which achieved significant media interest. Dr Deepa Gopalan delivered a fascinating public lecture on how rapidly advancing imaging technologies are revealing new insights into the structure and functions of the heart. A video of the lecture will be made available online.

Radiology referral guidelines iRefer

Pilot schemes for clinical decision support for iRefer, our radiology referral guidelines, are under way both in North West London and New South Wales, Australia. We hope to see pilots for several more UK sites begin in 2019.  

Membership engagement and services

We undertook our bi-annual Membership Engagement Survey in March. We received a lot of positive feedback and some clear messages. We’ve developed an action plan outlining the changes we’re making to better serve the needs of the membership. The results of the survey also guide our strategic planning and influence our future priorities for both clinical oncology and clinical radiology.

In September, we introduced our new e-portfolio, Kaizen, for trainees and trainers. In the months leading up to this we visited training programmes around the country to introduce the system and get feedback.

This year also saw the launch of a new digital platform, Practique, for image-based written components of FRCR Clinical Radiology examinations. This improves the reliability of the assessment; allows for expansion of exam capacity; enables us to run the exams around the UK and internationally; reduces demand on examiners’ time for preparing and marking exams; and reduces the risk of transcription and marking errors.

Our Admission Ceremonies (held in May and November) provided a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the success of our 461 New Fellows across both of our specialties. We very much look forward to supporting them as they take the next step in their careers.

Our online e-learning hub continues to grow  with many new e-learning sessions having been added this year including new videos for trainees. We are pleased to announce that  we ran 15 webinars in 2018, most of which are now available to download and watch off line.

Follwing RCR18 we launched our first podcast series featuring interviews with key speakers at the event. Our most popular feature was the CPD video library with over 7,000 video views, a 50% increase on 2017.

Annual Conference

September saw the return of our annual three-day conference, RCR18, to the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool. New developments this year included two radiotherapy planning workshops which were part of the College’s collaborative project with AQUILAB to develop and implement an online digital radiotherapy planning platform. Delegates had the opportunity to contour before, during and after the workshop. Comparing the anonymised contours performed in the session against the reference standards provided by the workshop leads proved to be a powerful learning experience. RCR18 also hosted our first trainee-specific lecture stream. Feedback from delegates has been hugely positive and we look forward to welcoming many of you to RCR19 at the slightly later date of 14–16 October.

Changes this year include the development of a single exhibition and catering space, providing greater flexibility and capacity for industry attendance along with additional presentation areas and more space for networking.

Getting involved with the College

This year we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our Fellows in volunteering for roles within the RCR; their time and commitment are crucial to the work of the College. At the Annual General Meeting, our two new Medical Directors, Professional Practice, Dr Tom Roques and Professor Mark Callaway took up Office. Both bring a wealth of experience to their roles, between them having been involved with the Professional Support and Standards Boards, Heads of Service, Council and the Scientific Programme Committee, alongside outstanding clinical careers.

Our sincere thanks go to every Fellow and member who has given their time and energy to the College this year and we very much hope to continue working alongside many of you in 2019.

Looking to the future

We have started a fundamental review of the powers and structures of the College. Making the College fit for the future aims to equip the College for several decades ahead. There will be a full consultation exercise next year but if you have any thoughts or ideas please contribute them now or at any time during the review.