The Specialist Radiographer - Does the role justify the title?

Peter White, Janice C. McKay

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose In the medical profession, training in a medical specialty is introduced at post-graduate level. This is generally mirrored in radiography whereby, at undergraduate level, the student is furnished with a broad overview of the relevant factors which make them competent to practise in general radiography. There is an increasing realisation that to be effective and competent in practice, radiographers need to pursue some form of post-graduate specialisation. However, this needs to be balanced against the needs of the health service where multi-competent practitioners, who can perform competently in crossover fields, are seen as a greater asset to the department. If practitioners claim to be specialists, then a robust model should be developed for ensuring that individuals are able to reach, and then maintain, a level of competence which is reflective of their level of practice. A system for demonstrating competence needs to consider many factors in order to give an all round indication of ability. Methods This review article sets out to define specialist practice in radiography and outlines the requirements which are commensurate with the privilege of attainment of the specialist title. Specific guidelines and recommendations are provided, based on an extensive literature review. Results and conclusions This article sets out criteria for determining specialist status, by considering role development, specialisation and multi-competence in radiography, based on the international perspective. Specialist practice is defined and it is suggested that specialists must be the elite few who act as leaders in their field and who have gained recognition from within and outside the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004


  • Multi-competence
  • Radiography
  • Role development
  • Specialisation
  • specialist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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