Getting the specialist training job you want

When I was starting out in medical oncology my colleagues used to fret about there not being any jobs when we finished training. This wasn’t the case but it is starting to be true now. Although there are some early signs of exit block into consultant positions the emerging gap seems to be in advanced training positions. The reality seems to be that there are more potential trainees than jobs and this is starting to be a problem for all specialities. So if you want to progress from basic training to an advanced training position here are a few tips:

(1) Obviously pass the exams

(2) Treat every day as a job interview: you may not know who your future employers are

(3) Make your interests known but don’t be cocky or overbearing

(4) Do your due diligence – find out about the department you are interested in: talks to registrars already doing the job

(5) Pre-interview – meet your potential future supervisor

(6) Do something that makes you different from the rest of the pack: don’t just be somebody who has been to medical school and passed exams.

(7) Tell the interviewers about what makes you special

(8) Find out what types of question are asked at the interview and think of good responses

(9) At the interview always use personal anecdotes and experience in response to the questions

(10) Have a back up plan

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