This page contains information on the specialty of nuclear medicine, a higher medical specialty recruiting to HST-level vacancies.

Please note - nuclear medicine is not participating in the national Physician HST recruitment process but is recruited alongside clinical radiology which is coordinated by London and KSS (LaKSS) Recruitment.


The Nuclear Medicine Specialty

The core role of a nuclear medicine physician is to lead and develop a clinical nuclear medicine services working as part of a multidisciplinary team. Diagnostic functional image protocolling and reporting, administration of radionuclide therapies, collaboration with referring clinicians and other team members at multidisciplinary meetings, and medical care of patients with a broad range of clinical problems within a largely outpatient setting are key aspects of the role. Interested candidates can supplement their local experience by visits to training programmes, attending taster days in the specialty and nuclear medicine careers events.

Nuclear Medicine is a constantly evolving and innovative specialty, covering the widest breadth of pathologies extending from neonates to geriatrics. The relatively recent development of hybrid imaging with SPECT/CT, PET/CT and PET/MRI combining functional imaging using radionuclides and radiological anatomic imaging requires Nuclear Medicine Physicians to have skills in both Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Radiology. Since 2014 Nuclear Medicine Physicians have therefore been dual trained in both Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Radiology, and since 2021 the training has been recognised as a formal dual CCT programme.

The range of diseases which could be successfully treated with radioisotopes was previously relatively limited but this situation has changed with a recent acceleration in the development of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic radioactive tracers, and the combination of these as theragnostics, which can be used in the diagnosis, staging and tailored management of diseases. The Nuclear Medicine community predict a considerable surge in demand for Nuclear Medicine treatments and the number of Nuclear Medicine physicians who are uniquely skilled to provide these.


Nuclear medicine trainee characteristics

Nuclear medicine will particularly suit trainees who have:

  • a sound grasp of general medicine and well-developed clinical skills

  • an interest in diagnostic imaging and treatment via molecular targeting

  • an interest in working with cutting edge technologies

  • scientific curiosity

  • good communication skills, leadership skills

  • enthusiasm for life-long learning

  • a wish to work within a vibrant, stimulating and diverse specialty.

Eligibility

As nuclear medicine physician consultants may run outpatient therapy clinics and may be the admitting consultant for inpatients undergoing therapy, trainees require an advanced level of clinical acumen. The entry requirements for the programme are two years of Internal Medicine Training (IMT) or three years of Acute Care Common Stem – Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) with full MRCP(UK), or three years of Level 1 Paediatrics with full MRCPCH or two years of Core Surgical Training with full MRCS, or equivalent.


Nuclear medicine training

Nuclear Medicine training will be in a dual CCT programme with Clinical Radiology in an indicative six year higher specialty training programme. The training programme will comprise three years of training focussed on Clinical Radiology (80% of the training time) during which the majority of FRCR will be completed. The second period of training (indicative three years) will focus on Nuclear Medicine for 80% of the training time and trainees will complete a postgraduate diploma in Nuclear Medicine which is the specialty knowledge based assessment. This is provided by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and is an online (distance learning) course.

This training pathway will therefore deliver dual training in Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Radiology and trainees will be eligible for a CCT in both specialties.

Nuclear Medicine trainees tend to be based at a single trust for the majority of their Nuclear Medicine training – but may rotate to other hospitals for additional experience for example in paediatric nuclear medicine, cardiothoracic nuclear medicine and specialised therapy attachments where these are not available locally. Nuclear Medicine Physician trainees will join Clinical Radiology trainees in the local Clinical Radiology training programme.


Entry to specialist register and consultant opportunities

Upon confirmation of successful completion of training in both Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Radiology, trainees will be eligible for CCT in both Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Radiology.

NHS consultant appointments to Nuclear Medicine in recent years have broadly matched numbers completing the training scheme. There are opportunities to work as a consultant on a less than full time basis and to organise a job that focuses on your special interests once established in a post.


Further information


In most cases you do not apply directly to general internal medicine (GIM) at ST4 level. Training in GIM will be done in parallel with training in one of the Group 1 physician specialties and access to ST4 training is gained by applying for one of these specialty programmes. Group 1 programmes offer dual accreditation in the specialty and GIM. 

The Group 1 programmes which dual accredit with GIM are acute internal medicine, cardiology, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, endicrinology and diabetes, gastroenterology, geriatric medcine, genitourinary medicine, infectious diseases, neurology, palliative medcine, renal medicine, respiratory medicine and rheumatology. 

Single accredited GIM with sub specialty Stroke medicine recruitment

A pilot programme for single accreditation in general internal medicine coupled to sub-specialty stroke medicine is starting in 2024. Programmes may be available in regions throughout the UK. They would comprise two years of GIM and a year of stroke. This would mean successful applicants could go from completion of IM- Stage 1 to CCT after a further three years of training. They could be completed in any order but it is most likely that the middle of final year would be stroke medicine. Recruitment to these programmes will start in the second round of 2024 recruitment and the other tabs in this area of the website relate to the application and interview process. Applicants must have completed IM Stage 1 or have an alternative certificate by the time of interview. 

The specialty

The current GIM curriculum is designed to provide broad training in the key skills which will be required by consultants taking part in the admission and inpatient management of patients with acute medical problems as well as patients with chronic medical conditions. 

The curriculum builds on IMT to allow the trainee to maturate their skills in GIM.

There is a growing demand for high quality GIM skills as the UK population ages and patients develop multiple, complex co-morbidities. Delivering good GIM care will become an increasingly challenging and rewarding part of physician practice. 

General / application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application, or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician specialty recruitment office.

Below are the contact details for the lead region for GIM/Stroke.

Group 1 specialty

This is a Group 1 specialty and requires completion of the internal medicine training (IMT) stage 1 programme or equivalent; all programmes in the specialty will dual specialise with general internal medicine.

Therefore, this specialty uses the standard HST eligibility criteria for Group 1 specialties and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes. Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

Commitment to specialty

The specialty will not be assessing your commitment to specialty as part of the shortlisting process and will score your application purely via the self-assessment scoring framework. Commitment to specialty will be assessed as part of the interview.

This specialty will be participating in round 2 of 2024.

This specialty will be participating in round 2 of 2024.

Indicative post numbers

Indicative vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts. In many cases these will be presented as a range (e.g. 1-4) as it is not always possible for regions to know at this stage how many vacancies there will be.

It is the intention that indicative post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that this table is not likely to be updated subsequent to indicative numbers and actual numbers will be confirmed when programme preferences are opened later in the round.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change as the round progresses.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. In the past, post numbers have risen an average of 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

The interview be split across two separate stations with a separate pair of interviewers scoring you on the areas within their station. There will be five questions, 7.5 minutes each in length. You will be marked on these questions and your communication skills, giving six scored areas in total. The headings below show the question areas and in which station they will be covered, along with information about what will be assessed.

Each station will last 15 minutes, so, including the time between stations, the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.

Please note that this is subject to change and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Scoring framework

The score of 1-5 an interviewer will award you for each assessment area is judged in relation to how well you perform against an expected level. Below is the framework used to award scores at interview, as well as interpretation of what these scores represent:

  

  

  

Mark

  

  

  
  

  

  

 Rating

  

  

  
  

  

  

Assessment

  

  

  

1

poor

not considered appointable

2

area for concern

performed below the level expected from a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas

3

satisfactory

performed at the level expected of a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

4

good

above average ability;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

5

excellent

highly performing trainee;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

As shown in the table, for each of the question areas at interview, 3/5 is considered a satisfactory score; and reflects the level of performance that would be expected of a trainee ready to progress to a specialty training programme.

Should your performance go above and beyond this expected level, interviewers can award marks of 4/5 or 5/5 as appropriate.

Conversely, should your interview performance not reach the expected level, then interviewers can award marks of 1/5 or 2/5, as reflects their level of concern over your performance.


Appointability

Raw interview score (RIS)

The RIS is the sum of all twelve scores awarded to you during your interview, but before any weighting is applied.

As each individual score will be between 1 and 5, your RIS will be between 12 and 60.

Appointability requirements

To be classed as 'appointable', you must meet all three criteria below:

  • none of your twelve interview scores can be 1/5
  • no more than two of your twelve interview scores can be 2/5
  • your RIS must be 36 or above.

If you meet all three requirements, your application will be assessed as appointable, and can progress to be considered for post offers.

However, if you fail to meet any of these requirements, your application must then be assessed as not appointable, and it will progress no further in that round.


As this is a brand new specialty, we have no historic data to share. 

This page will be populated after the recruitment round.