These are some of the questions most frequently asked by Foundation and other doctors in training. It is not intended to be exhaustive and will be updated to reflect points in the year when some activities are imminent e.g. applications for specialty posts. If you cannot find the answer here, please speak to your Educational Supervisor, Clinical Tutor or email the Deanery Careers Adviser.
I have heard it is possible to train flexibly but is it true? If I want to do that how do I find out about it?
Yes it is possible to train flexibly but you do need to establish that you have “well founded personal reasons”. The Flexible Training Policies and Procedures section of the Severn Deanery website has more information.
I am in my F1 year and want to do my second year in Australia. I have already got the application forms but have heard I need to be released from my Foundation Training here. Is that right and how do I do this?
For anyone considering completing all or part of their Foundation Programme abroad, the first place to start is a discussion with your Educational Supervisor and/ or Foundation Programme Manager. In order to check the criteria against which competencies obtained abroad can be accredited for Foundation, visit the Foundation Programme website (www.foundationprogramme.nhs.uk). Follow the link under Key Documents to the Operational Framework document.
I haven’t decided when, but I do want to take some time out to work abroad. I may want to do this at the end of F2 before starting on specialty training, or after my first year of Core or Specialty. What is the process, when is the best time to go?
There are set processes in place which you will need to follow and this is particularly important if you want to have your experience accredited. The Out of Programme Experience section of Policies and Procedures has further information and useful links. When you go depends entirely on your personal preference although there is rarely an ideal or ‘best’ time to take time out. You should discuss this before making a final decision with your Educational Supervisor, Foundation Programme manager or Deanery Careers Adviser to ensure you are aware of the implications.
I’m not sure I want to carry on with medicine. I think I want to take some time out travelling - can I do this? What if I decide I do want to continue my medical training when I get back?
First things first: talk to your Educational Supervisor, Clinical Supervisor or Deanery Careers Adviser to talk through the reasons why you are considering changing your career. Rest assured you will not be forced into doing something you don’t want to do, but as you have invested so much time and energy into a career in medicine, you need to be sure why you are considering a change and also be aware of your transferable skills in order to help you to identify alternative careers. The processes and procedures which apply to Out of Programme Experience will also apply- follow the link in the question above.
I’m confused - what study leave can I get and is this restricted to certain courses?
The Severn Deanery website has a clear policy on Study Leave. For more information click on the Study Leave Policies and Procedures section of the Deanery website. If you are still not sure, speak to your Educational or Clinical Supervisor.
Everyone in my FY2 wants to be a consultant, but I’m not sure I want that as I don’t want to commit myself to that level of responsibility and the impact on my life outside work. Will this go against me if I tell my Educational Supervisor? I don’t think I’m any less committed to my patients than anyone else but I’m worried my references will mention ‘lack of commitment/motivation/aspiration’. Is this true?
No it won’t go against you and it is highly unlikely your references would mention lack of commitment and motivation unless there were serious issues- and you should already be aware of such issues if this were the case. Not everyone wants or is suited to hold consultant posts and hospitals rely on good doctors regardless of their career aspirations. Your patients will certainly value your commitment.
You can find out more about being a specialty doctor here
I want to apply for General Practice. Where can I find out more about the application process and timescales? Where can find out what to expect?
The GP recruitment website (www.gprecruitment.org.uk) has all the information regarding timescales and processes. Although there will be local variation regarding the dates of the Stage 3 Selection Centre, this will take place within the national window. Check Deanery websites for the specific information. Some Trusts will also arrange workshops and/or information sessions regarding the GP recruitment. The Postgraduate Centre Managers may be able to advise you regarding this.
Where can I find out the timescale for specialty recruitment?
The application process for training posts in specialty and General Practice to start in August usually commences in November of the preceding year. The application window usually runs from November through to December, with interviews and assessment centres taking place the following January through to February. Offers are usually made in early March. Depending upon vacancies a second round of recruitment may take place from April. Detailed information regarding this process is made available on the MMC website (www.mmc.nhs.uk) and for General Practice, on the GP recruitment website: www.gprecruitment.org.uk. Deanery websites also have information and are updated regularly.