The U.K's Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has published new guidelines for appointments to associate specialist and specialty doctor positions in the U.K.
Since 2008, specialty doctors have been permitted to contribute to service delivery and patient care within a defined specialty as a member of a multispecialty team, the RCR stated.
Specialty doctors are defined as doctors who have completed four years of postgraduate training, and are neither in a deanery-approved training post or nor are consultants. They are integrated members of a medical team working within their area. Their appointments should be made by an appointment panel, ideally including an RCR representative. They should be familiar with the relevant employment recommendations, and follow the recommendations for specialty doctor contracts, the RCR said.
There should be a job description, and an RCR regional adviser should be involved in new job planning, which should ideally include two programmed activities per week to ensure sufficient time to allow supporting professional activities that enable revalidation. Doctors should register for continuing professional development as soon as they are appointed. "Robust and appropriate" supervision should be available depending on the complexity of the work and the skills of the trainee, the RCR added.
For work in clinical oncology or clinical radiology, the RCR recommends becoming an associate member. A PDF file containing all of the recommendations can be accessed here.