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I am a qualified gynaecologist from India and I suffered a stroke recently, which has affected my left arm (I am right handed) and am now incapable of working as a gynaecologist. What are my chances of getting a training post in radiology after I clear part 1 of the FRCR exam? Also will my disability come in the way of my career as a radiologist?

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 25 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:s122
  1. Alan Denison, specialist registrar radiology
  1. NHS (North East Scotland Deanery)


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Your honesty and positive approach to what must have been a devastating event is admirable. You don't give your reasons for choosing radiology as an alternative career. Although it is illegal to reject an applicant for a post because of disability, selection committees will be looking for a genuine interest for your choice of radiology rather than other career options. Success in FRCR part 1 will show evidence of commitment, but increasing numbers of applicants will also have this. Speak to as many radiologists as you can to get a flavour of this exciting specialty.

If you are currently in the United Kingdom, you should speak with the local regional adviser in radiology and perhaps also your local occupational health service, which will almost certainly have encountered people in a similar situation to yours and might be able to offer support with your applications. You should also contact your local postgraduate dean for advice on retraining. The Royal College of Radiologists is the other key organisation to contact (—the college has experience in the issues generated by disabilities in radiology trainees.

Radiology offers many careers. Although your disability would clearly make some fields difficult (such as interventional work), plenty of other areas would require minimal or no adaptation to accommodate your needs (subject to a formal needs assessment).

The next round of specialist registrar posts will be advertised in the winter. Use the time between now and then to become involved in a radiological audit, or perhaps try to arrange shadowing in a radiology department close to you. Good luck.


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