"It offers Residents the widest choice of training centres. These span from tertiary general hospitals to specialised centres which focus only on a particular aspect of medicine - such as neurological disorders or oncology. No other programme provides the same breadth or depth in training."
My exposure to radiology was close to zero during my medical school years in Australia. I knew the specialty existed but was not quite sure what a radiologist did, beyond sitting in a dark room all day! It did not help that I completed my PGY1in a smaller regional Australian hospital with limited radiological resources. I returned to Singapore soon after finishing my PGY1 and serendipitously ended up doing a radiology posting early on. The rest, as they say, is history.
Radiology is integral to modern day medical practice. There are very few parts of the human body that cannot be imaged for the purposes of both diagnosis and therapy. The specialty is also constantly pushing the boundaries of technology, coming up with new ways to diagnose and treat diseases. It is this unique combination of being able to explore the breadth and depth of medicine, whilst utilising cutting-edge technology which particularly appeals to me.
This is also the reason why I chose the SingHealth Diagnostic Radiology Residency Programme. It offers Residents the widest choice of training centres. These span from tertiary general hospitals to specialised centres which focus only on a particular aspect of medicine - such as neurological disorders or oncology. No other programme provides the same breadth or depth in training. The SingHealth Programme also has a strong tradition of involving senior Residents in the education of more junior Residents. This helps to forge a strong sense of camaraderie amongst all Residents.
"The Faculty, as well as the senior Residents in our hospital are approachable and willing to help us along the way in our day-to-day work. The teaching culture has always been a strong tradition in radiology."
My early exposure to radiology started before my medical school days when I was working at a brain tumour lab. Just like any other aspect of science, radiology involves shifting through the available information to find patterns in chaos. Unlike other medical specialities, radiology relies heavily on objective and technical evidence. As a researcher at the time, it fascinated me that one can tell so much information with so little intervention. As a Resident, radiology is one of the few subspecialties that allow me to be a generalist to the specialists and a specialist to the generalists.
SingHealth Diagnostic Radiology Residency is in a unique position as it offers multiple dedicated imaging centres, such as neuroimaging and oncology imaging. As a SingHealth Resident, we have the opportunity to rotate through many hospitals and be exposed to different environments. The training is well-structured with strong emphasis on the Resident’s learning opportunities.
It has always been a challenge for a new Resident to learn radiology due to its broad spectrum of modalities and pathologies. To give structure and guidance to our training, all Residents have a protected timeslot every week for national didactic lectures with their peers across all the healthcare clusters island wide. The Faculty, as well as the senior Residents in our hospital are approachable and willing to help us along the way in our day-to-day work. Self-organised lectures and tutorials for the Residents are a common theme in all the SingHealth hospitals. The teaching culture has always been a strong tradition in radiology. Whereas weekly didactic lectures bring the Residents across the clusters together, intra-hospital teaching brings the senior and junior Residents closer. Despite being spread out across four different campuses (soon to be five), SingHealth radiology has always felt like one big family. We, the Residents, are the gel between them all.
I am in the process of preparing for the final 2B Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiology (FRCR) exam. During this stressful period of time, I find an outpouring of support from all the seniors who have passed the exam from one to even 20 years ago. Everyone makes time out of their busy schedule to give tutorials and share exam tips. For me, this is when the comradely of the radiology family shines. I am excited to complete this part of the journey to move on to the next stage of my training.
"To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a radiology Resident is when you see your radiological input making a difference and help guide clinical practice."
One and a half years of life in SingHealth Residency have flown by just like that. It has been a humbling but also inspiring journey. Every day I learn something new and realise the depth and breadth of medical knowledge is indeed vast. It is stressful at times and the learning curve is unquestionably steep, but this journey has also been tremendously rewarding.
One of the strong points of the SingHealth Residency programme is its curriculum which presents Residents with the opportunity to rotate between various institutions such as NCCS, NNI and KKH. These institutions provide excellent subspecialty teaching and learning opportunities with a wide case-mix and invaluable expertise from the in-house Faculty.
Radiology is an exciting specialty which plays a key role in patient care and management despite the practice often being viewed as a form of ancillary service. Almost all complex cases come through the doors of Radiology – be it a diagnostic dilemma, treatment complications, follow-up etc. To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a radiology Resident is when you see your radiological input making a difference and help guide clinical practice.
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