Radiology training in the Netherlands

Radiology training in the Netherlands is a five-year programme overseen by the Dutch Association for Radiology (in Dutch: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Radiologie, NVvR).

Radiology training can start after completion of the general six-year medical training programme, which is awarded with the degree of physician (in Dutch: artsdiploma), roughly equivalent to Doctor of Medicine (MD).

There are accredited training sites throughout the Netherlands, which are clustered around one of the eight academic hospitals. At least one year has to be completed at an academic hospital. Otherwise, there is some variation allowed in the division of years over academic and non-academic hospitals. However, training is normally completed in a total of two hospitals, i.e. an academic and a non-academic hospital. 

Structure

The training programme comprises two phases:

  • common trunk phase: years 1-3
    • general radiology training
  • differentiation phase: years 4 and 5
    • advanced radiology training with 50% of time dedicated to a radiology subspecialty if desired

The recognised subspecialties for differentiation are:

  • neuroradiology/head and neck radiology
  • abdominal radiology
  • chest/cardiovascular radiology
  • musculoskeletal radiology
  • mammography
  • interventional radiology
  • paediatric radiology
  • nuclear medicine: proposed subspecialty; training programmes of radiology and nuclear medicine used to be separate, but are in the process of fusing

Of these subspecialties some are considered to be more time-consuming than others, resulting in the possibility to combine more than one subspecialty.

Assessments
Progress test

Every six months all radiology residents take a digital progress test (in Dutch: voortgangstoets, VGT) consisting of 180 questions to assess radiological knowledge. Over recent years there have been adjustments, including the introduction of digital examination and scrollable image stacks. Questions are of several types including yes/no, multiple choice and open questions.

Results are presented in absolute numbers and in relation to peers and are meant to be indicative of a resident's progress.

Other assessments

In addition to the Progress Test, a variety of other assessments are required to be completed, and are bundled in a personal portfolio that is addressed during interim appraisal meetings with the hospital's radiology training supervisor. These include:

  • short practical judgement (korte praktijkbeoordeling, KPB)
    • trainees are given feedback in response to a given occasion (reports, meeting, presentation etc.) based on the CanMEDs model of competencies
  • objective structured assessment of technical skill (OSATS)
    • trainees are observed performing a procedure by a supervisor (consultant, sonographer etc.)
  • critically appraised topics (CATs)
    • trainees complete a critically appraised review of the literature surrounding a clinical research question, and present this for assessment
  • multisource feedback
    • assessment of trainee communication and behaviour in and around the department, and requires completion by staff from a number of different levels (e.g. radiologists, radiographers, sonographers, nurses, administration staff etc.)
  • experiential requirements
    • a listing of numbers of reported imaging investigations is required for each imaging modality

Note: details correct at time of writing. Please check with NVvR for updated details. 

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