Case study

Consultant radiologist — Huw Roach

Huw highlights the key diagnostic role radiologists play in modern medicine and the need for flexibility and resilience in terms of managing the volume and complexity of image reporting

How did you get your job as a radiologist?

After obtaining my medical degree, I did junior doctor posts at F1 and F2 and core trainee equivalents before starting radiology training at the equivalent of ST1 level. I completed my training and did a one-year post-CCT fellowship before being appointed as a consultant at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

How is your degree relevant?

The increased need for imaging and the constantly evolving technology mean that adequately trained radiologists are crucial for diagnosis, treatment, care and safety of patients.

What's a typical working day as a radiologist like?

Work starts at 8am and often extends beyond 6pm. My work mainly involves interpreting x-rays, ultrasounds, CT and MRI scans, performing fluoroscopic and ultrasound examinations, performing imaging-guided interventions, reviewing scans with my clinical colleagues, and providing radiology input for multidisciplinary team meetings. I also have some managerial, educational and administrative tasks.

What do you enjoy most about being a radiologist?

We are very fortunate to have some of the most high-tech imaging and intervention equipment that we get to use on a daily basis. The workload is varied and interesting and the crucial role of imaging in diagnosis and treatment for so many of our patients reinforces the importance and value of our work.

What are the challenges?

The increasing volume and complexity of imaging means it is very difficult to manage our workload.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

The role of the radiologist has evolved as new techniques and technology have developed, for example reporting from workstations rather than hardcopy films, an increased use of more complex CT, MRI and PET scanning, the larger role of interventional radiology and the evolution of multidisciplinary team working.

My career ambitions are to try to keep up with the constant evolution of my role and be the best radiologist I can be.

What are your top tips for aspiring radiologists?

There are roles in radiology suitable for a range of personalities, working preferences and medical interests. Getting a training place can be extremely competitive.

Make sure you:

  • spend some time in your local radiology department, so that you know exactly what we do
  • study the radiology images and reports on the Picture Archive Communication System (PACS) software as much as you can
  • get some audits, case reports, posters and papers with a radiology angle on to your CV.

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