This page contains information on the specialty of nuclear medicine, a higher medical specialty recruiting to ST3-level vacancies.

Please note - nuclear medicine is not participating in the JRCPTB ST3 recruitment process.

Recruitment to nuclear medicine is being coordinated by London and South East (LaSE) Recruitment.


The specialty

The core role of a nuclear medicine physician is to run and develop a clinical nuclear medicine service working as part of a multidisciplinary team. Image reporting, administration of radionuclide therapies, collaboration with referring clinicians and radiologists 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.

Nuclear Medicine is a constantly evolving and innovative specialty. In the past 10 years there have been significant developments in hybrid imaging which combines functional imaging using radionuclides and radiological anatomic imaging – these machines include SPECT/CT, PET/CT and PET/MRI .  The specialty training curriculum was rewritten in 2014 to ensure that nuclear medicine trainees would be equipped with the skills required to confidently interpret hybrid imaging studies, to review and interpret diagnostic imaging studies such as CT and MRI, and to present and discuss a broad range of imaging studies within multidisciplinary meetings. For further information please see www.jrcptb.org.uk


Nuclear medicine trainee characteristics

Nuclear medicine will particularly suit trainees who have:

  • a sound grasp of general medicine

  • 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

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


Working in nuclear medicine

Trainees entering Nuclear Medicine training from August 2015 will be required to undertake core level Clinical Radiology training and complete FRCR by the end of the first 3 years of training.  In the latter 3 years trainees will undertake higher Nuclear Medicine training and complete the Postgraduate Diploma Nuclear Medicine run by Kings College London (the specialty knowledge based assessment) which offers a significant taught programme and an opportunity for regular engagement with fellow trainees.  Opportunity exists to enrol for the Kings College London MSc Nuclear Medicine.

This model of training extends the training programme from 4 to 6 years but will enable trainees to apply for entry to the specialist register in both Nuclear Medicine (CCT) and Clinical Radiology (CESR). During the first 3 years trainees will 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 will include the opportunity to take on a specialised field of study such as advanced Nuclear Medicine imaging techniques (examples here would be PET/CT, PET/MR and paediatric nuclear medicine), therapeutic nuclear medicine or nuclear medicine research.

Entry is  possible from the medical specialties as well as from surgery and paediatrics. MRCP, MRCPCH  or MRCS together with 24 months experience (not including Foundation modules) in one of the qualifying specialties and experience of managing patients on unselected take are essential criteria for entry.  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 SpRs tend to be based at a single hospital for the majority of their Nuclear Medicine training – they may be required to rotate to other hospitals for paediatric nuclear medicine, PET/CT and specialised therapy attachments where these are not available locally.  Rotations for the core radiology component of training will vary from post to post according to local arrangements as will requirements for out of hours working. 

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