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Careers Advice

UCL Medical School:

Careers events are timetabled in each year of the programme and Medical Student Support Tutors are available to give advice at Student Support Clinics 

  • Dr Paul Dilworth is the lead Student Support Tutor for Careers & Foundation School Transition
  • Student Support Clinic appointments are booked via: medsch.student-support@ucl.ac.uk

UCL:

Careers advice is accessed via the UCL Careers Service.

SLMS:

BMA:

NHS:

 

Foundation School Transition

UCL Medical School:

Foundation School transition is supported by the Years 4-6 Team who run the SJT and EPM rankings

Foundation Training

UKFPO: The national application process for Foundation School training is managed by: UKFPO

Information about UK Foundation Schools can be found on their website  

Contact details for the London and South East Healthcare Education Team (LaSe HET) are:

Careers Advice

UCL Medical Careers Advisor and Services

Elaine Denniss
Medical Careers Consultant, UCL Careers Service

Elaine is based in the UCL Careers Service, located on the fourth floor of the Student Central Building, and works closely with the UCL Medical School where she provides 1:1 career counselling and career education talks for each stage of the MBBS programme.  Furthermore, Elaine works with the Psychology and Language Science Department at UCL.

In addition to working with medical students, Elaine has experience of working with doctors at all stages of their careers through her work with the BMA and Health Education England, running career and professional skills workshops and providing 1:1 confidential career counselling.

Elaine offers advice on:

  • career choice
  • applying for electives
  • part-time working
  • cv checking
  • interview skills
  • leaving medicine

One Hour Guidance Discussion with Elaine

These sessions are for a more in-depth discussion of particular issues related to studying medicine or medical career options; they are not suitable for cv checks

To book for an hour session you need to email: careers@ucl.ac.uk with the word ‘MEDIC’ in the title. Elaine will then send you an email to arrange a convenient time and date for your session.

For shorter appointments, go onto the UCL careers website www.ucl.ac.uk/careers, click on MyUCLCareers and from there you can book an appointment. Using the online booking system enables you to book an appointment up to seven days in advance, select the Career Consultant that you would like to see and, if available, choose Medical Student appointment from the ‘type of appointment’ drop down menu. If no Medical Student appointments have been scheduled, you can select one of the central appointments (eg Short Guidance, Long Guidance, Application Advice).

 

    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. (Refer to the Careers Service website for further details)

    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?
    Developing your CV

    Whilst many medical programmes and jobs use application forms, maintaining an up-to-date CV throughout your medical career can still be useful and valuable. During your MBBS, you may also find a CV a useful format to record your skills and experiences throughout the course. Indeed a CV is sometimes needed when applying for certain electives, for example.

    Remember, there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ CV; the most effective CVs are those that are tailored towards a specific role and employer. However there are ways of presenting information in a more coherent, clear and persuasive manner.

    Furthermore, medical CVs tend to be more prescriptive in the information that is required, hence medical CVs have no real length limit unlike other professional areas. Nevertheless, a CV suitable for a Foundation doctor is unlikely to be longer than 2 or 3 pages.

    Advice on Content:

    The main sections of a medical CV are usually as follows:

    Personal

    Name
    Contact details
    GMC registration number and registration date (add once achieved!)
    Medical Defence Union

     

    Qualifications

    University

    • MBBSAwards
    • Clinical Grades
    • Prizes & Scholarships
    • Intercalated Degree/Previous degrees

    School A-levels & GCSEs
    Prizes & Awards

    Research

    Can be either SSC or IBSc project. Include subject, date, supervisor’s name, summary of content, publications and presentations (if applicable)


    Electives/SSC

    When, where, what, who with – brief description, highlight key skills gained both clinical and transferable


    Work Experience

    Medically related
    Additional


    Additional Skills

    Languages,
    IT Skills


    Interests

    Think about headlining different types of activity, e.g. Sport, Music etc. 
    Also indicate your level of achievement, e.g. Vice-captain, Grade 8 etc.


    References

    Also ask permission from your potential referees, such as Tutors or Consultants from your SSC, Electives or rotations.

     

    Advice on layout

    Use CAPITALS, Bold and italics to emphasise your points; but use them sparingly and remember underlining can look a bit outdated.
    Font size is usually between 10 and 12 for readability and clarity and use a simple font, such as Arial; you want the content, not the layout, to capture their attention.

     

    Visit UCL Careers Service for a 15-minute ‘quick query’ for individual feedback on your CV.

    There will also be an opportunity to develop your CV throughout your MBBS course as part of your ongoing portfolio activities.

     

      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 ActionsNegative 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 and Presentations

      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)
      • Academic Foundation Programme

      Year 6 - July of Year 5

      • Foundation Training (IOM)
      • Foundation Programme Application Process (IOM)
      • The Situational Judgment Test and Workshops (IOM)

      Career Presentations

      • Y1 CIF Week A: Introduction to Careers (slides)
      • Y2 CIF Week B: Careers in Medicine and Transition to the Clinical Years (slides)
      • Y5 IOM: Career Planning – Now, During the Foundation Programme and Beyond (September 2016) - Ms Elaine Denniss (slides)
      • Y5 IOM: Situational Judgement Test / Educational Performance Measure (September 2014) - Dr Paul Dilworth (slides)
      • Y5 IOM: Academic Foundation Programme (September 2016) – Prof Paul Griffiths (slides)
      • Y6 IOM: Foundation Training (August 2016) - Dr Hynes (slides)
      • Y6 IOM: Foundation Programme Application Process (August 2016) - Dr Paul Dilworth (slides)
      • Y6 IOM: The Situational Judgment Test (August 2015) - Ms Elaine Denniss (slides
      • Y6 IOM: Situational Judgment Test Workshop (August 2016) - UCL Careers Service (slides)
      • Y6 IOM: The Experience of Applying for Foundation Last Year (August 2016) – F1 Trainees (slides)
      • Y6 IOM: Academic Foundation Programme application support (August 2015) - Drs Swerdlow and Smith (slides)
      • Y6: GMC Provisional Registration Event (October 2015) - Ms Emma Reuben (slides)
      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

       

      External Resources

      Professional Bodies and Professional Organisations

      PG Medical & Dental Education in London and the South East

      Support for Doctors:

      Online resilience training

      Career Information 

      Application to Foundation Training

      Application to Specialty

      Academic Medicine and Research

      Integrated Academic Pathways for Doctors and Dentists

      The Academy of Medical Sciences

      Women in Medicine

      Working outside the UK

       

      Foundation Training

      Foundation School Applications: The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) at UCL Medical School

      Information about the SJT can be found on the UKFPO website

      All UCL Medical School students take the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) at the December sitting except for those who are taking an SSC abroad or a remote GP placement at that time.

      Local arrangements for UCL Medical School students to sit the SJT are made by the Medical School Year 6 team, who will disseminate information as it becomes available and send reporting instructions during the autumn term.

      Foundation School Applications: The Education Performance Measure (EPM) at UCL Medical School

      Information about the EPM can be found on the UKFPO website. The Foundation School application process requires Medical Schools to rank their students by decile.

      At UCL Medical School, decile ranks are calculated on the basis of marks achieved in the summative examinations in Year 4 and Year 5 (penultimate year) with a 50:50 weighting. 

      For MBPhD students who entered the shortened MBPhD programme prior to and including July 2012, decile ranks are normally based on Year 5 marks only because these cohorts took their Year 4 examinations formatively, but may be based on Year 4 and Year 5 where it is in the student’s favour to do so. 

      The calculation currently excludes marks from the earlier years of the programme to enable all students, including our large transfer entry into Year 4, to be ranked against the same basket of UCL Medical School, assessments.

      The formula used to calculate decile rankings is:  (Year 4 mean)*0.5 + (Year 5 mean)*0.5                     

      The marks contributing to decile rankings are: 

      Year 4 written total: Year 4 OSCE total: Year 5 written total: Year 5 OSCE total:

      In compliance with UKFPO requirements, UCLMS rankings:

      • exclude pass/fail outcomes
      • are based on 1st entry examination results
      • are calculated for the cohort entering Year 6 and not in relation to the original cohorts in which students took Year 4 or Year 5 examinations
      • treat all students as a single cohort
      • include students who have applied to the academic Foundation programme
      • carry forward original rankings for students who have delayed their application to Foundation Training
      • carry forward original rankings for withdrawn or re-sit finalists (as the contributing marks are drawn from assessments taken up to the time of FS application) 
      Foundation School Applications: Medical School References

      UKFPO will ask you to name 2 referees when you submit your application in October. One referee must be from the Medical School and will be your Personal Tutor except where students have been pre-allocated to Student Support Tutors or where a Personal Tutor has left. You will receive notification of the name of your Medical School referee from the Year 6 team in September of Year 6. The reference provided by the Medical School referee is brief as it is used primarily for pre-employment checks. The referee named to you by the Medical School will be sent all the information needed to complete the reference, namely your decile ranking and examination result, towards the end of September. However as a courtesy, students are advised to contact their Personal Tutor before naming him/her in their application to discuss whether their Tutor would like to meet prior to providing the reference.

      You should nominate the second referee yourself, after seeking permission from the person you wish to choose. The second referee should be a consultant or GP who knows you well and is, therefore, in a position to provide a more personal reference.   

      First and second referees will be prompted by UKFPO to submit their reference on-line in March/April.

      Foundation Training in Singapore

      Singaporean students who are due to graduate up to and including 2019 and who are required, or choose, to return to Singapore for foundation training may currently request sign off for full GMC registration through an arrangement between the Medical School and the Postgraduate Office at the Royal Free Hospital.  This arrangement was introduced in 2017 following a restructuring of the London Foundation Schools by Health Education England and remains under review.  

      In addition to their Singaporean training and assessments requirements, students will need to complete all the training and assessments required for a UK F1 Certificate of Completion (F1CC) to be issued on completion of F1. This would lead to UCL submitting a Certificate of Experience (COE) to the GMC for these graduates who could therefore achieve full registration. Singaporean assessments and portfolio requirements are different from UK requirements and so the two must be completed in parallel.  

      Singaporean students entering F1 in 2018 and 2019 will need to follow the steps and timelines below:

      August prior to entering Year 6

      Attend the FS Application Day during the Year 6 IOM for information about UK foundation training requirements.

      Notify the Year 6 team if they intend to take F1 in Singapore or in the UK.

      • All those intending to apply for full registration in the UK will need to be included in the list submitted to the GMC for provisional registration, attend the GMC ID check and apply for provisional registration through the GMC’s online application process.
      • Those intending to apply for F1 in the UK will need to apply through UKFPO in the normal way and sit the SJT.  These students will need to be included in the list submitted to UKFPO to generate an Oriel ID number for SJT entry.  In the event of a subsequent change of plan, students must notify the Year 6 asap and ahead of the UK allocation process so that their names can be withdrawn. 

      The Medical School contact for GMC and UKFPO registration is via: medsch.year6@ucl.ac.uk

      The RF Postgraduate Centre contacts for F1 portfolio requirements and sign off are:

      Dr Phillip Lodge (philip.lodge@nhs.net) and Ms Elaine Colaco ( Elaine.colaco@nhs.net)

      September at end of F1

      Ensure that their NHS portfolio is complete prior to the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) meeting between the RF Director of Medical UG Education and a Foundation School Director, following which the Foundation School Director will issue an F1 Certification of Completion via Health Education England, download the form and  send it to the Medical School. Submit their on line application for full registration in the UK via the GMC’s online system and following instructions sent out by the GMC No ARCP is issued and no return is made to the GMC for trainees whose portfolios do not satisfy outcome 1.

      September – August of F1

      Complete all UK portfolio requirements at the times stipulated and submit them via their NHS e-portfolio for verification by the Royal Free PG Office/Foundation School Director. 

      July of Year 6

      attend a meeting, arranged by the RF Postgraduate Office, with the Royal Free Director of UG Medical Education and a Foundation School Director to confirm your intention to achieve full registration in the UK, to discuss the UK assessments and portfolio requirements and submission deadlines, and to ensure that the RF PG Office has all the information needed to create an ePortfolio account for you. 

      January of Year 6

      Those who are required, or intend, to take F1 in Singapore and wish to achieve full registration in the UK will need to return a completed F1 abroad application form to the Medical School Year 6 team. This form will need to be completed in conjunction with the MOHH in Singapore as it requires information on the placements you through which you will be rotating.  The deadline for return is the beginning of February of Year 6.

       

       

      Singaporean students who are due to graduate up to and including 2019 and who are required, or choose, to return to Singapore for foundation training may currently request sign off for full GMC registration through an arrangement between the Medical School and the Postgraduate Office at the Royal Free Hospital.  This arrangement was introduced in 2017 following a restructuring of the London Foundation Schools by Health Education England and remains under review.  

      In addition to their Singaporean training and assessments requirements, students will need to complete all the training and assessments required for a UK F1 Certificate of Completion (F1CC) to be issued on completion of F1. This would lead to UCL submitting a Certificate of Experience (COE) to the GMC for these graduates who could therefore achieve full registration. Singaporean assessments and portfolio requirements are different from UK requirements and so the two must be completed in parallel.  

      Singaporean students entering F1 in 2018 and 2019 will need to follow the steps and timelines below:

      August prior to entering Year 6

      • Attend the FS Application Day during the Year 6 IOM for information about UK foundation training requirements.
      • Notify the Year 6 team if they intend to take F1 in Singapore or in the UK.

        • All those intending to apply for full registration in the UK will need to be included in the list submitted to the GMC for provisional registration, attend the GMC ID check and apply for provisional registration through the GMC’s online application process.
        • Those intending to apply for F1 in the UK will need to apply through UKFPO in the normal way and sit the SJT.  These students will need to be included in the list submitted to UKFPO to generate an Oriel ID number for SJT entry.  In the event of a subsequent change of plan, students must notify the Year 6 asap and ahead of the UK allocation process so that their names can be withdrawn. 

      January of Year 6

      • Those who are required, or intend, to take F1 in Singapore and wish to achieve full registration in the UK will need to return a completed F1 abroad application form to the Medical School Year 6 team. This form will need to be completed in conjunction with the MOHH in Singapore as it requires information on the placements you through which you will be rotating.  The deadline for return is the beginning of February of Year 6.

      July of Year 6

      • attend a meeting, arranged by the RF Postgraduate Office, with the Royal Free Director of UG Medical Education and a Foundation School Director to confirm your intention to achieve full registration in the UK, to discuss the UK assessments and portfolio requirements and submission deadlines, and to ensure that the RF PG Office has all the information needed to create an ePortfolio account for you. 

      September – August of F1

      • Complete all UK portfolio requirements at the times stipulated and submit them via their NHS e-portfolio for verification by the Royal Free PG Office/Foundation School Director. 

      September at end of F1

      • Ensure that their NHS portfolio is complete prior to the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) meeting between the RF Director of Medical UG Education and a Foundation School Director, following which the Foundation School Director will issue an F1 Certification of Completion via Health Education England, download the form and  send it to the Medical School.
      • Submit their on line application for full registration in the UK via the GMC’s online system and following instructions sent out by the GMC
      • No ARCP is issued and no return is made to the GMC for trainees whose portfolios do not satisfy outcome 1.

      The Medical School contact for GMC and UKFPO registration is via: Medsch.year6@ucl.ac.uk

      The RF Postgraduate Centre contacts for F1 portfolio requirements and sign off are:

      Dr Phillip Lodge (philip.lodge@nhs.net) and Ms Elaine Colaco ( Elaine.colaco@nhs.net)