UCL Medical School


Career Planning and Management

Whilst you are studying for your MBBS, there are various aspects of career management which you can be thinking about and exploring.

Some people have very clear ideas of what sort of medical career they want after they have finished their MBBS, others are less sure and some have no idea yet the direction they want to take. All of three states of career decision making are fine and understandable!

Wherever you currently are on the ‘know exactly where I’m heading’/ ‘where am I?’ continuum of career management, there are various things to be thinking about at each stage of your MBBS to help with your career direction.

Here’s a brief guide outlining some useful questions to ask yourself at each stage of the MBBS and some activities you might like to explore whilst studying for your MBBS.

Year 1

  • What attracted me to studying medicine in the first place?
  • What would I say are my main strengths? What do I want to be better at?
  • Are my expectations about the course and my career realistic?
  • How aware am I of the diverse range of careers within medicine on a scale of 0-10?
  • Attend MBTI workshop, organised by UCL Careers Service throughout the year, to understand more about your personality type and associated strengths and preferences. (See Refer to the Careers Service website for further details at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/skills/mbti)

Year 2

  • At this very early stage, what is quite important to me in a career?
  • Which subjects have I enjoyed the most so far and why?
  • Which parts of the course do I find less rewarding and why?
  • Which skills am I taking longer to develop than others?
  • What am I most looking forward to in my later clinical years and why?

Year 3/IBSc

  • Which of the IBSc courses that are available appeal to you and why?
  • How might this course help develop you as a doctor and practitioner?
  • How might this course also develop you as both a scholar and as a scientist?
  • Which skills do you feel you will particularly develop during your IBSc and why?
  • How confident are you in your application skills needed to secure a place on your choice of IBSc?

Year 4

  • Is clinical medicine what I expected or not?
  • How much do I enjoy research and is academic medicine interesting to me?
  • How could I use my SSCs and firms to explore my main career options?
  • In what ways would keeping a self-reflective journal during my clinical years help me in my careers thinking?
  • Which specialities am I starting to become vaguely more interested in and why?
  • How up-to-date is my CV and what could I add to it to improve it?

Year 5

  • How could I learn more from my clinical colleagues about their specialty? (e.g. interviewing, observing)
  • Which core competencies or skills, such as coping with pressure, am I developing and how?
  • How clear is my understanding of the various career paths within medicine?
  • Where else could I find different information on specialties?
  • How might my choice of elective be useful in developing my career management?
  • How confident am I that I could complete the Foundation Programme application form effectively on a scale of 0-10?
  • How up-to-date is my CV now and what could I add to it to improve it?

Year 6

  • Which environments (e.g. Primary Care, hospital-based) do I prefer working in?
  • Is it the actual specialty that I like or rather the particular consultant or firm?
  • What has each rotation taught me about what is important to me in my career?
  • Which aspect of the Foundation Programme am I most looking forward to and why?
  • How would I describe my decision-making style, in terms of my career?
  • How up-to-date is my CV now and what could I add to it to improve it?