Nuclear Medicine is the specialty responsible for the administration of unsealed radioactive substances to patients for the purposes of diagnosis, therapy or research. Nuclear medicine trainees will be expected to combine their skills as a physician with that of a physiological imager to solve diagnostic problems. They will provide a unique insight into the pathophysiology of disease and where appropriate offer a radionuclide therapeutic option for treatment. Trainees will require appropriate instruction in the clinical, scientific and legal aspects of the specialty.
Specialists in Nuclear Medicine have ultimate responsibility for Nuclear Medicine services and must hold the appropriate certificate from Health Ministers to administer radioactive substances.
Entry into Nuclear Medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Nuclear Medicine training:
- Core Medical Training (CMT)
- Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)
New training programme from August 2015
In the last 10 years there have been significant developments in hybrid imaging which combines functional imaging using radionuclides and radiological anatomic imaging. Technology now allows machines to be built which combine functional imaging using radionuclides and radiological anatomic imaging - these machines include SPECT/CT, PET/CT and PET/MR. The 2010 Nuclear Medicine curriculum was reviewed and 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 in patients undergoing radionuclide studies, and to present and discuss a broad range of imaging studies within multidisciplinary meetings.
Trainees entering Nuclear Medicine training from August 2015 will undertake core level Clinical Radiology training and complete FRCR during the first 3 years of training. In the latter 3 years trainees will undertake higher Nuclear Medicine training and complete the Diploma in Nuclear Medicine. This model of training extends the training programme from four to six 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 reverting 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 such as PET/CT, PET/MRI or paediatric nuclear medicine, therapeutic Nuclear Medicine or Nuclear Medicine research.
Please see the forms and guidance section for advice on enrolment and ePortfolio use for the new training pathway.
The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.
Trainees starting in programme in August 2015, and those transferring from earlier versions of the curriculum, will use the Nuclear Medicine curriculum approved by the GMC in 2014. The 2014 curriculum was updated in October 2016 with administrative changes to clarify the route to registration in Clinical Radiology. Trainees who are not transferring to the new curriculum should continue to use the 2010 curriculum.
Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. Trainees on the 2010 curriculum should refer to the 2010 ARCP decision aid and trainees on the 2014 curriculum should use the 2014 ARCP decision aid. The 2014 decision aid was updated in October 2016 with a minor administrative change.