Please liaise with firstname.lastname@example.org for advice about careers and foundation school transition.
1. Careers Advice and Developing your CV
UCL Medical School:
UCL Medical School holds careers events in each year of the programme with the aim of supporting students in developing their CVs, beginning to consider different medical specialities, and preparing their Foundation School applications. Workshop and presentation slides and resources are made available to students in Moodle after each session.
- Dr Aroon Lal, Deputy Head of MBBS Programme (Years 4-6), is the MBBS lead for Careers & Foundation School Transition
- The Year 6 Team is available to help you with queries about the application process - email@example.com
- Medical Student Support Tutors may also be approached for general advice about careers and you can book an appointment at a time to suit you
UCL Careers provides bespoke support to UCL medical students through the work of David Clegg, a Careers Consultant who specialises in medical careers. See the drop down menu below for further details.
- Support for Medical Students from UCL Careers
David Clegg, a Careers Consultant who specialises in medical careers, works with UCL Careers to provide one to one appointments and a number of timetabled careers seminars through the academic year for specific year groups.
Medical Careers appointments are available two afternoons each month and last up to thirty minutes. David is happy to discuss all aspects of medical career planning and progression. He can also provide advice to those who might be considering other options.
Appointments with David are available to book online via the UCL Careers online booking system MyUCLCareers
Appointments are delivered remotely using Microsoft Teams video conferencing software.
If you have any questions about this service, or other ways that UCL Careers can support you, please contact our Information Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
For general information about UCL Careers
- Managing your medical career - links and resources
- Reflective practice through the MBBS programme
Reflective practice is an important part of medical undergraduate and postgraduate training. As you progress through your career, you will need to be able to demonstrate self awareness and a growth mindset as well as being able to provide examples of how you have developed core skills and competencies. These skills include the ability to work well in a team, management and leadership, prioritisation and decision making skills, the ability to cope under pressure and the ability to demonstrate empathy and sensitivity.
It is important, therefore, to identify tools or approaches that will help you to reflect effectively on your work and your professional development. Keeping a reflective diary in your portfolio during your MBBS can be useful in helping to record and track your progress and development over time. There are a range of ways that you may choose to organise your reflective diary and you need to choose the method that best suits you and that will be most use to you when you come to apply for specialty training posts.
Ways of organising a reflective diary
- Focus on what is meant by the ‘core competencies’, e.g. communication skills, ability to work well in a team, professional behaviour, prioritisation skills, and an ability to cope under pressure, which we know are likely to be assessed during the specialty training application process and beyond.
- Use these ‘core competencies’ as headings under which you can list particular examples which demonstrate that skill set.
- Alternatively, you might want to start by reflecting on particularly positive (or negative!) experiences which you have had during your clinical training which you can then ‘unpick’ or analyse in terms of particular skills and competencies.
- Remember, there is no ‘one right way’ to keep a reflective diary. It is your document and you need to make the experience as practical, useful and relevant to you as possible.
Learning from seeing and doing – A reflective tool
Reflection often tends to focus on the negatives. This model, based on counterfactual thinking (Rose 1997) is a reflective tool that encourages reflection on both the negative and positive elements of a situation.
Positive Actions Negative Actions What could have been better?
Was something missed out?
What else might be done?
What would you do more of?
What should have been avoided?
What was unnecessary?
What mistakes were made?
What would you do less of?
What could have been worse?
What could have been forgotten?
What would have caused problems if neglected?
What can you learn from?
What mistakes could have been made?
How were mistakes avoided?
What could you have done to do a worse job?
- UCL Medical School Career Events
Year 1 - November
- Introduction to Careers (CIF Week A)
Year 2 - February
- Careers in Medicine and Transition to the Clinical Years (CIF Week B)
Year 4 - September
- Introduction to the Career Management process and information on Foundation School application process (IOM)
Year 5 - September
- Careers and the Foundation School applications (IOM)
- Specialty workshops (IOM)
- Specialised Foundation Programme
Year 6 - July of Year 5
- Foundation Training (IOM)
- Foundation Programme Application Process (IOM)
- The Situational Judgment Test and Workshops (IOM)
- Alternative Careers
The vast majority of MBBS graduates go on to train within one of over 60 medical specialities.
Medicine is such an extraordinarily varied profession that the likelihood of finding a specialty that suits your interests, skills and preference is very high.
Nevertheless each year some doctors choose to move away from practising medicine to work within one of the many alternative careers available.
It’s worth remembering that up to 60% of graduate-level jobs are open to all degree disciplines, including medicine. Therefore, if you treat your MBBS like any other degree you can see that you have a wide range of options available to you.
If you are interested in alternative careers to being a doctor, first ask yourself whether you still want to work ‘within medicine’ in some capacity, or whether you’re more interested at looking at opportunities ‘beyond medicine’. This will help to clarify what it is you are looking for and why you are considering leaving the profession.
It can also be valuable to reflect on what parts of your MBBS you have most enjoyed and which parts of the course have you found more challenging. This will give you an insight into alternative options that would suit your preferences and interests. For example, some students really enjoy the problem-solving or analytical aspects of medicine, whilst others get most satisfaction from working closely with patients.
You may find talking things through with a careers adviser or educational adviser may help you to clarify your ideas and generate options to explore further.
To aid your reflection, below are some suggestions of roles which are either linked to medicine in some way or those with are less connected to the field. Remember, these are a few starting points to reflect on; some of these roles will require additional study and training.
Career Alternatives within Medicine examples:
Health policy, medical journalism, medico-legal work, medical (NHS + beyond) management, health economics, medical photography/illustration, medical education, medical statistics, humanitarian relief work, clinical trial management, translational research and development
Career Alternatives beyond Medicine examples:
Management consultancy, psychotherapy, publishing, accountancy, social work, solicitor/barrister work, pharmaceutical research and development, forensic work, public affairs, banking, teaching, central/local government roles.
Resources and Further Information
- The NHS Medical Careers website has a useful section on alternative careers: www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/i-am/working-health/information-doctors/alternative-roles-doctors
- UCL Moodle – Careers in Health Science. Provides information on career options, internships, jobs, PhD opportunities within Health Science. https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk
- Careerstagged.co.uk is a comprehensive career resource from The Careers Group, University of London with links to professional bodies, occupational profiles, relevant jobs boards, organisational websites.
- Prospects.ac.uk is a graduate careers site with occupational profiles, case studies, sector information, links to professional bodies etc.
- Target Jobs and Inside Careers – graduate jobs sites https://targetjobs.co.uk/
- Contact UCL careers service to book a medical student appointment with a careers adviser on 020 3549 5900 or email email@example.com
- External Resources
Professional Bodies and Professional Organisations
- The British Medical Association (BMA) (Need to register)
- Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans
- The Postgraduate Medical Education & Training Board
- The General Medical Council (GMC)
- Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
- Medical School Council
PG Medical & Dental Education in London and the South East
Support for Doctors:
- Brief psychological interventions for postgraduate medical and dental trainees
- The Doctors’ Support Network
- Medical Defence Union
- The British Medical Association – Employment Advice
Online resilience training
- The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board
- Health Education England - careers website for health professionals (includes information on all speciality pathways)
- BMJ Careers
Application to Foundation Training
- Oriel - UK wide portal for recruitment to postgraduate medical, dental, public health and healthcare science training programmes www.oriel.nhs.uk
- UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) – information on how to apply to the Foundation Programme and the F1/F2 stand-alone programmes
- Situational Judgement Tests Practice/Advice
- Messly – online tool and blog - rates hospitals and rotations nationally (based on GMC survey data) plus qualitative feedback from trainees
Application to Specialty
- NHS/Health Education England - speciality training website
- Oriel - UK wide portal for recruitment to postgraduate medical, dental, public health and healthcare science training programmes.
- Core medical training and Acute Care Common Stem - detailed information to help you when applying for CT1 posts
- GP Recruitment
- Messly – online tool and blog - rates hospitals and rotations nationally (based on GMC survey data
Academic Medicine and Research
Integrated Academic Pathways for Doctors and Dentists
- National Institute for Health Research
- The Academy of Medical Sciences
- Medical Research Council
- Association of Medical Research Charities
- Wellcome Trust
- Acamedics (opportunities for research projects)
- Clinical Academic Training and Careers Hub (CATCH)
Women in Medicine
Working outside the UK
- BMA (British Medical Association International Department)
- Medics Travel
- US Association of Medical Schools
- American Medical Association
- Australian Medical Association
- Canadian Medical Association
- Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
- Doctors of the World
- Voluntary Services Overseas
- Guidestar - database of charities working overseas
- International Health Exchange
- London International Development Centre
2. UKFPO - The National Foundation School Application Process
The application process is managed by the UK Foundation Programme Office and all information and guidance is published on the UKFPO website.
UCLH, The Royal Free and The Whittington Hospital Trusts are within the North and Central London Foundation School which is managed by Health Education England (London and South East). Information about this and other UK Foundation Schools can be found via HEE’s website
3. The Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
The SJT is an online examination taken in December or January of Year 6 as part of the application process for the Foundation Programme.
All information about the SJT can be found on the UKFPO website.
4. The Educational Performance Measure (EPM)
Information about the EPM can be found on the UKFPO website.
Notification of EPM outcomes is sent to students in September of Year 6 by the Year 6 Manager.
In summary, Medical Schools are required to rank their students’ performance in local assessments into deciles following national rules, which:
- exclude pass/fail outcomes
- are calculated for the cohort entering Year 6 (i.e. not by reference to the original cohorts in which students took their Year 4 or 5 exams)
- carry forward original rankings for students who have delayed their application to Foundation training*
- carry forward original rankings for finalists who resit out of cohort (as the contributing marks are drawn from assessments taken up to the time of FS application)*
*(these rankings are appended to the new cohort list after the new cohort rankings have been determined)
Students in the Year 6 cohort at UCLMS will be ranked according to their overall score and allocated into deciles based on the following national rules:
- each student will have a rank place between 1 (highest scoring) and n (lowest scoring)
- students with the same score will share the same rank place
- where x students share the same rank place, the next x-1 rank places will remain empty
- the rank places will be allocated in order (from 1 to n) to ten equal-sized groups, rounded up or down to the nearest whole number
At UCLMS, scores used to calculate the EPM are based on 1st entry examination results
Z scores are used at UCLMS to calculate the EPM for Foundation School applications. The z score used to calculate the EPM is based on performance in Year 4 and Year 5 for the cohort entering Year 6 with the scores from each year weighted 50:50.
Z-scores are a means of comparing each student’s mark with the mean mark for their cohort and are expressed as the number of standard deviations from the mean. The formula for calculating a z-score is z = (x-μ)/σ, where x is the raw score, μ is the mean, and σ is the standard deviation.
In 2019-20 the rankings will be calculated on the basis of Year 4 examinations (written and clinical) and Year 5 examinations (written) weighted 70:30 to reflect the Covid-19 adjustments made to the Year 5 examinations in July 2020.
In 2020-21 the decile rankings will be calculated on the basis of Year 4 examinations (written) and Year 5 examinations (written and clinical) weighted 30:70 to reflect the Covid-19 adjustments made to the Year 4 examinations in July 2020.
From 2021-22 onwards, the decile rankings for students who took their Year 4 examinations in summer 2020 will continue to be calculated on the basis of Year 4 (written) and Year 5 (written and clinical) examinations weighted 30:70 to reflect the Covid19 adjustments made to the Year 4 examinations in June 2020.
For students who took their Year 4 exam prior to 2020 the ratio remains at 50:50.
5. Your Medical School Referee
UKFPO will ask you to name one referee from your Medical School when you submit your application in September of Year 6. Your Medical School referee will be your Personal Tutor unless i) you are pre-allocated to a Student Support Tutor or ii) your Personal Tutor has left the Medical School, in which case a Student Support Tutor will provide your reference for you. The Year 6 team will notify you who you should name as your referee in late August of Year 6 with your EPM ranking.
The Medical School reference is used primarily for pre-employment checks and has a series of drop down boxes for the referee to confirm that a student is in good standing and satisfactory/not satisfactory in specified areas. This reference does not require in-depth personal knowledge and the information required can be drawn from your medical school academic record, your e-portfolio and/or a CV. Personal Tutors and Student Support Tutors are well placed to provide these references on behalf of the Medical School. Please refer to the UKFPO Applicants’ Handbook for more information about referees.
The Medical School will also notify your Personal Tutor or your allocated Student Support Tutor of your decile ranking and examination results in early September. Students whose references are to be provided by their Personal Tutor are advised to contact their tutor before naming them in their application to discuss whether the tutor would like to meet prior to providing the reference and whether they would like you to provide e-portfolio items and a CV. Referees will be asked to submit their reference online in March.
6. Foundation Training in Singapore
Since the transfer of the North Central Thames Foundation School from the Medical School to Health Education England in April 2018, we are no longer able to support Singaporean graduates who have chosen to return to Singapore for foundation training in seeking for full GMC registration.