Academic clinical fellows in radiology: how can we improve success?

Tom Turmezei, Susan Shelmerdine, Abhishek Ashok, Vicky Goh, Royal College of Radiologists' Academic Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To survey past and current radiology academic clinical fellows (ACFs) for feedback on their experiences, academic achievements, challenges faced in balancing academic and clinical responsibilities, and opinion on how to optimise the fellowship programme.

Materials & methods
A 26-question online survey approved by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) Academic Committee was distributed over a 7-month period (June 2021 to January 2022) to current and past radiology ACFs via the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) integrated academic training imaging leads, radiology training programme directors, and social media.

Thirty-five survey responses were received from past or present ACFs. Of the respondents, 42.8% (15/35) entered ACF training from another research post, and most continued their academic interests after ACF training (59.3%, 16/27 that had completed the post). The majority (22/35, 63%) had or were in the process of obtaining a postgraduate research degree. The most common academic outputs were scientific publications and national/international conference presentations. Most (23/35, 66%) would recommend the ACF post to colleagues, although some found it challenging balancing on-call and examination commitments during training.

Entry into the radiology ACF programme is often after a prior academic post. Many ACFs appear to enjoy their fellowship experience and continue academic interests after training, some achieving higher research degrees. Challenges in balancing clinical workload require some flexibility from local clinical and academic supervisors. Suggestions for alternative structuring of the ACF pathway and how to optimise entry into these competitive posts are also outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e300-e310
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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