It is that time of year again. You may be one of the select few who have been invited to short list candidates for registrar posts. When I say invited, I mean sweet-talked, cajoled or frankly bullied.
In the good old days, the pile of CVs could be safely thrown down the stairs, with those alighting near the top being invited to interview. I did hear of an anaesthetist who would simply throw the top half of the pile into the bin, claiming that they were unlucky and that he didn’t want to work with unlucky people.
Nowadays, the application and short-listing process is all anonymous, structured etc but its electronic nature makes it a little bland. For example, the presence of blood, sweat, tears +/- midnight oil-burns on the application form show a degree of effort. Consequently, the allotted two weeks of yet more staring at tiny typeface on a computer screen gets wearing. Especially when trying to differentiate the next generation of radiologists from the increasingly homogenous medical graduates.
Like most CVs, obituaries, research proposals and papers in lesser journals than our beloved Clinical Radiology, these applications contain a certain degree of economy of truth. All candidates, according to their applications, are a bunch of saintly, dedicated, super-human, water-walkers. However, as Oscar Wilde once so neatly didn’t put it, “There are lies, damned lies and radiology reg applications”.
To short-list effectively requires an ability to read between the lines. So, for your edification and use, here is a key to what commonly used phrases actually mean.
My desire to experience a diverse array of clinical pathology attracted me to a career in Radiology: I am rather morbid and sinister individual
Radiology is a career that I think will challenge, interest and stimulate me for the foreseeable future: Radiology looks cool but I may well change my mind on the 1st day of the job
I actively attend x-ray meetings: I sit at the front wearing my red tie and when I fall asleep, I try not to snore.
I enjoy working with my hands: I am a failed surgeon
I hope to pursue a career in interventional radiology: I am a failed surgeon
My interest in radiology grew after completion of each stage of my surgical career: I am a failed surgeon
My understanding of anatomy and pathology will be useful as a radiologist: I am a failed surgeon with MRCS
I have realized that my personality is more suited to radiology: My boss says that I am a liability and should be locked in a dark room away from patients
I am fascinated by the use of advanced technology: I am a nerd
I enjoy physics and the use of imaging technology complements my IT skills: I am a card-carrying über-nerd
I spent some time shadowing a consultant radiologist: Some people called it stalking; curse those pesky restraining orders!
I have spent a lot of time in the radiology department: It is a bit of a maze and I get lost easily
I often accompany my patients to the radiology department: It is en route to the canteen, you see
I have heard great things about the radiology training in your deanery: I have no idea about your scheme but a bit of random flattery can’t harm, can it?
I am confident in interpreting CXRs: I lack insight into my nauseating overconfidence
I have excellent eyesight / grey-scale discrimination / spatial awareness: I really am struggling to pad this out to 150 words
Learning to interpret images is like learning a different language: I really am making it up but I’m desperate for a job