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Diagnostic Radiology

​NHG Diagnostic Radiology Residency Programme

Resident's Talk

“Radiology is the perfect combination of my interests in technology and medicine…. It gives us a window into the human body and to find out what ails it.”

Dr Alvin Soon
Senior Resident


The programme is divided into five distinct phases of training, each being one year in duration:

Residency Year 1 (R1): The R1 year is further divided into two distinct halves.
In the first half, the resident learns basic plain film interpretation as well as how to perform barium and Intravenous Urogram (IVU) studies. He/she also learns some basic procedures such as Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) insertion, lumbar puncture, and insertion of naso-gastric and naso-jejunal tubes under fluoroscopic guidance.

The second half of R1 is a short introduction to advanced modalities such as CT, MR, and Mammography as well as practical coaching in basic Ultrasonography.

Once an R1 resident passes a National Plain Film Exam held in January, he/she can start doing calls in February. The resident’s duties involve live reporting of emergency films and some inpatient films. The next morning, he/she has to participate in the departmental teaching but will have the rest of the day off.

Residency Year 2(R2):
The R2 year sees a transition from a radiology-based form of teaching to a clinical-based experience. The R2 resident will join the Thoracic and Abdominal (Body) and Musculoskeletal (MSK) teams in their daily work in CT and MRI, as well as participate in the clinico-radiological conferences and discussions with clinicians. Each R2 resident also gets a 3-month rotation to Neuro-Radiology at the National Neuroscience Institute as well as their first 2-month rotation to Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR).

Residency Year 3(R3):
The R3 resident begins some in-depth exposure to highly specialised rotations. These include three months of Paediatic Radiology and three months of Women’s Imaging at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), three months of Breast Imaging with the breast teams at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), one month of Cardiac Imaging, and one month of Head and Neck Imaging. The resident must clear the Combined Fellowship Exam of the Royal College of Radiology, UK (FRCR) and the Master of Medicine, Singapore (MMed Radiology) examinations in R3 before he/she qualifies for promotion to the Senior Residency training.

Residency Year 4 (R4):
The R4 resident functions within the various teams as a junior consultant providing consultation and advice to clinicians on various platforms. He/she does this under close supervision. Training in the R4 year centers on practical and interventional procedures. During the Breast rotation, the resident learns how to perform biopsies and how to insert localisation wires prior to surgery. During the MSK rotation, he/she learns a variety of joint injections, provocative tests, and biopsies. The R4 resident does a second 2-month rotation in VIR performing Perm Cath insertions and assisting the Interventional Radiologists in advanced procedures, like vascular stenting, embolisation and aortic stent-graft repair. He/she also does a full-time 3-month rotation to Nuclear Medicine at Singapore General Hospital (SGH). There, the resident learns Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning and the full range of radio-nuclide imaging.

Residency Year 5 (R5):
The R5 year is a purely elective year consisting of four 3-month rotations. The resident can choose to subspecialise in one particular discipline of radiology or may choose to plan his/her own refresher course in any of the disciplines. He/she also has a chance to out-rotate to a SingHealth or NUHS department to further broaden his/her experience. Popular rotations include Cancer Imaging at the National Cancer Centre (NCC), Paediatric Imaging at KKH, and Abdominal Imaging at SGH.
The NHG Diagnostic Radiology Residency Programme ensures all residents receive the same teaching and experience. Each resident spends a significant portion of his/her training outside of the parent institution, TTSH, with at least 12 to 15 months in KTPH, six months in KKH, three months in NNI, and three months in Nuclear Medicine at SGH.
Each resident has ample opportunity to participate in overseas conferences, as well as opportunities to obtain funding for the 4-week American Institute of Radiologic Pathology (AIRP) in Washington, USA from R2 onwards.


For the NHG programme, the resident needs to clear the FRCR examinations before he/she enters the R4 year. In R4, there will be an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) MCQ paper that the resident needs to pass by the R5 year. At the end of the R5 year, there will be an OSCE style exit examination before he/she is certified with specialist qualifications.