Education and training

From August 2015, trainees entering nuclear medicine undertake 6 years higher specialist training, including core level clinical radiology training, and complete the Fellowship Examination of the Royal College of Radiologists during the first 3 years. In the final 3 years trainees undertake higher nuclear medicine training and complete the postgraduate diploma in nuclear medicine. For the first 3 years trainees spend 80% of their time in radiology and 20% in nuclear medicine, changing to 20% radiology and 80% nuclear medicine thereafter. The final year of training includes the opportunity to take on a specialised field of study such as advanced nuclear medicine imaging techniques (PET/CT, PET/MRI), paediatric nuclear medicine, therapeutic nuclear medicine or nuclear medicine research. 

Trainees are encouraged to undertake 'teach the teacher' and management/leadership courses in their final years of training. Completion of the 6-year training programme will enable trainees to apply for entry to the specialist register in both nuclear medicine (CCT) and clinical radiology (CESR CP). Nuclear medicine trainees support out-of-hours working in clinical radiology rather than directly supporting medical unselected take. Dual accredited nuclear medicine consultants joining the workforce from 2021 will be able to support out-of-hours working in clinical radiology as well as providing nuclear medicine services. While it is possible to train flexibly in nuclear medicine, the need to join group-based teaching for the FRCR examinations affects programme start dates and specialty training has now been extended from 4 to 6 years for those in full-time training.  

Physicians must demonstrate CME/CPD across the full spectrum of their clinical practice. This is available through the British Nuclear Medicine Society (BNMS) annual meeting and autumn education programme, and through joint meetings of BNMS/British Institute of Radiology and of the BNMS/Royal Society of Medicine. The Royal College of Radiologists runs an annual radionuclide radiology training day and there is CPD available at the annual UK radiology congress. CME/CPD obtained abroad is recognised as part of CME/CPD and UK nuclear medicine specialists regularly attend and participate in the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and Society of Nuclear Medicine Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) annual congresses and the European School of Nuclear Medicine. Further information is given in an article on nuclear medicine training and practice. 

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) has produced a cost of training document setting out the mandatory costs of training involved in college enrolment fees, examination costs and GMC fees. Published in October 2017, it has been compiled to help pre-specialty doctors make fully informed career selections, with a clear understanding of the mandatory costs of their future training pathway.