I am afraid that there does not seem to be a quick and easy way for
you to practise as a specialist in radiology in the UK.
To be recognised as a specialist in clinical radiology in the UK, you
need to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiology. In order to
be placed on the General Medical Council Specialist Register, which is
necessary if you wish to obtain a position as a consultant in the
National Health Service, you will also need to obtain the Certificate
of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST). The CCST requires:
satisfactory completion of each of the five years of a UK structured
training programme in Clinical Oncology or Clinical Radiology,
including acquisition of the Fellowship of the Royal College of
Training may be undertaken only as a substantive Specialist Registrar
(SpR) or Visiting Specialist Registrar (VSpR) within Clinical
Radiology and Clinical Oncology training schemes recognised by the
Royal College of Radiologists. Training in Locum Appointment -
Training (LAT) or Fixed Term Training Appointment (FTTA) posts may
contribute towards the training period provided it has been
satisfactorily completed and a substantive SpR or VSpR post is
obtained prior to completion of the structured training programme.
Training in a supernumerary or honorary capacity (other than in formal
academic or UK military appointments) cannot contribute towards the
structured training programme.
Not less than four of the five years of training should be spent in
full-time clinical posts. Full-time research and experience in related
clinical fields is encouraged but may not necessarily be wholly
approved for training purposes
In Clinical Radiology six months of
full-time research in any aspect of diagnostic imaging is allowed and
at the discretion of the Warden up to one year may be spent in
clinically based research.
The College no longer recognises training undergone in an institution
outside the UK, except for those who had already enrolled with the
College and who had already taken up such a training post before 1999
and have still to complete it:
The Royal College of Radiologists has previously recognised a number
of non-UK training schemes for examination and accreditation purposes.
Such recognition lapsed on 1 January 1999. Trainees who, on 31
December 1998, held a substantive training post in a non-UK recognised
training scheme and had enrolled with the Royal College of
Radiologists may retain training recognition for the tenure of the
Information from Regulations for Training in Clinical Oncology and
Clinical Radiology Royal College of Radiology
With respect to the Fellowship Examination, exemption from the first
examination used to be granted to candidates who had obtained a
diploma or certificate from the appropriate body in Ireland, South
Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or USA and had at least two
years of acceptable clinical experience. However, the revised
examination formats, which came into force in 2002 do not permit any
exemptions from the first examination on the basis of success in any
other examination. There were never any exemptions from the final
It is possible for a foreign-trained radiologist to obtain the
Fellowship, and the College does have International Members. However,
in order to obtain the CCST, you will have to go through the 5-year UK
In order to enter the UK training: Trainees entering a radiology
training programme are required to have a minimum of two years of
appropriate clinical experience. In the UK this would comprise one
year of pre-registration and one year of post-registration clinical
From: Structured Training in Clinical Radiology. Third Edition, which
contains details of the training involved
Doctors need to be registered with the GMC if they wish to practise
medicine in the UK.
The type of work that requires doctors to be registered includes:
working in the National Health Service (NHS)
Doctors wishing to work in private practice in the UK will also need
to register with the GMC because the major private health hospitals
and insurers only recognise registered doctors.
The process for gaining registration generally depends on the country
where you obtained your primary medical qualification and your
Other than those qualified in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the West Indies: doctors who
qualify in other countries not listed above may be eligible for
limited and full registration.
Doctors need full registration for unsupervised medical practice in
the NHS or private practice in the UK. They may also need specialist
registration if they wish to take up a consultant post (other than a
locum consultant post) within the NHS.
Limited registration can be granted only for supervised employment in
training posts in the NHS. The maximum period that a doctor can hold
limited registration is five years.
Generally speaking, doctors who hold, or have held limited
registration may be granted full registration when they have
demonstrated the knowledge, skills and attitudes equal to those which
would be expected of a competent senior house officer (SHO) and
satisfy the GMC of their good character.
It is not possible to hold specialist registration without also
holding full, limited or temporary registration.
Although not a legal requirement, generally speaking, doctors wishing
to work unsupervised in private practice in the UK will also need to
hold specialist registration.
From: Registration general information for doctors, General Medical
Limited Registration has the following requirements:
1. Primary medical qualification accepted for the purpose of limited
This includes all qualifications awarded by universities listed in the
World Directory of Medical Schools
The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion Medical School,
Haifa is listed in this Directory.
2. Objective evidence of capability for practice in the UK
Normally this involves passing the Professional and Linguistic
Assessments Board (PLAB) test.
A pass in the PLAB test will demonstrate that you have the ability to
practise safely as a senior house officer (SHO) in a first appointment
in a hospital in the UK. This is the standard laid down by the GMC for
granting limited registration.
The test has two parts:
Part 1 is a three-hour Extended Matching Question (EMQ) Examination.
The Examination is confined to core knowledge, skills and attitudes
relating to conditions commonly seen by SHOs, to the generic
management of life-threatening situations, and to rare, but important
Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which
tests clinical and communication skills.
However, it is possible to satisfy this criterion on the following
Sponsorship under quality assured arrangements previously agreed by
This applies to doctors who have been selected for postgraduate
training by a UK medical Royal College or Faculty, or by a small
number of postgraduate institutions.
Completion of basic specialist training in the United Kingdom
This applies to doctors who, in addition to their primary overseas
medical qualification and twelve months internship, can provide
evidence that they have completed basic specialist training
(confirming eligibility to undertake higher specialist training) to
the satisfaction of the appropriate UK Medical Royal College or
Appointment to a Type I Specialist Registrar post (SpR)
We will grant limited registration to cover employment in a Type I SpR
post on receipt of evidence of appointment. The registration will be
restricted to the specialty concerned. A Type I SpR post is a higher
specialist training programme which, if completed satisfactorily, will
lead to the award of the Certificate of Completion of Specialist
This last criterion would cover you, since you would presumably be
coming in via the CCST training route with the Royal College of
3. English language testing
By law, applicants for limited registration must satisfy the GMC that
they have the necessary knowledge of English.
There are exceptions, including one if the spouse is a UK national.
However, this is only valid if your spouse moved to employment in the
EEA or Switzerland and is now moving back to continue employment in
the UK, so it does not apply if you are currently in the US or Israel.
You will need to take the IELTS test, which is administered by the
British Council. The score you need will depend on whether or not you
have also taken the PLAB test mentioned above.
Information on IELTS is available at http://www.ielts.org/
4. Offer of a post
By law you must have been selected for employment before we can grant
you limited registration for the first time.
The type of post you can hold under limited registration:
Doctors granted limited registration through passing the PLAB test
may undertake supervised appointments which are approved for education
and training purposes by both a UK medical Royal College or Faculty or
Joint Higher Training Committee (or, in Scotland, by a Regional
Postgraduate Committee) and the relevant Postgraduate Dean. We
understand that normally only posts in the NHS at the grades of SHO
and SpR are educationally approved in this way.
If you wish to take up a training post within the NHS which does not
have educational and postgraduate deans approval, your prospective
employing authority will need to provide us with further information
about the post before we can confirm whether limited registration may
be granted for such a post.
Doctors with limited registration cannot under any circumstances
undertake any career grade posts such as a staff grade or consultant
The limited registration is granted for 12 or 18 months in the first
place, and then for 2 years at a time, however, by law, the maximum
total time during which you can hold limited registration is 5 years.
From: Applying for limited registration for the first time, General
With respect to general immigration rules for the UK
Spouses of UK citizens may come to the UK, and are able to work as
soon as a visa is granted. However, in order to prevent the abuse of
this category, the Government imposes a number of conditions:
In the first place, a visa will generally be granted for only one
year. At the end of this time, if the marriage subsists, permanent
residence will usually be granted. After a total period of three years
in the UK, a candidate may then apply for UK nationality
The UK citizen must have actually met their non-UK spouse (this is to
prevent arranged marriages)
The couple must intend to live together permanently
The couple must possess sufficient funds to keep themselves and their
dependants without recourse to public funds
Accommodation for the couple, and any dependants, must be available.
Spouses seeking to come to the UK on the basis of marriage to a UK
national should apply for entry clearance before entering the UK.
Search strategy: I already knew that clinical specialisms are overseen
by the respective Royal Colleges, and guessed there would be one to
cover radiology, so my first search was on Royal College of
Radiology. This was followed by searches on: General Medical
Council and: UK immigration spouse.