Think ahead to your future career  
Download the Foundation Career Toolkit, a fantastic, interactive resource that takes all foundation trainees through major career considerations and choices

What are the options

There are 63 specialties, each with subspecialties and options such as academia, flexible working and other “added extras”. You need to start opening your mind to all the options, you need to approach this from various angles:

Broad categories of specialties
Your qualities
Your priorities 
To get you started, the NHS Careers website has provided information on eight main groups of specialty. Have a look at this to see what type of field interests you.

Further information on each of the specialties can be found at this site’s Specialty Information page and on the appropriate Royal College websites.

Get to know yourself

Get more experience – taster sessions
Taster sessions are periods of time, set aside using study leave, in which trainee doctors can experience specialties they have not yet gained experience of. This should help the trainee gain further understanding of and be able to evaluate career options prior to applying for a specialist training programme.

Taster sessions may be arranged in a variety of ways:

2 week block of time gaining experience in one specialty – this is a good period of time to get involved and really understand what the specialty entails, however it can be difficult to get your usual clinical work covered for this period. Often trainees find a happy balance to be 2x 1-week slots to get a handle on a specialty and prevent problems with covering shifts.
Taster days – the following article describes the taster days offered by St George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. De Souza B, Croft RJ. Specialty study days: a necessity for MMC. BMJ Careers. 2007; 334: 182-3. Read this article now

Postgraduate Exams

Once you have qualified the studying does not stop. For those of you who want to be GPs you will have to undertake an entrance exam, if you want to pursue a career in medicine or surgery you will be required to undertake your membership exams during the Foundation Programme or the early stages of this specialty training. Familiarise yourself with with the types of exams you make have to undertake here.