- MBChb (Hons) with intercalated BSc in Physiology, University of Glasgow
Medical Trainee | Christie Hospital, Manchester
I graduated from Glasgow University in 2006 with MBChB (Hons) and an Intercalated BSc in Physiology with first class honours. I am currently working as a core medical trainee in Manchester. In 2009 I will apply for specialist training posts (ST3) in Endocrinology but have no guarantee of continuing employment.
Being a medical graduate in the UK slips you into a highly structured postgraduate scheme with all junior doctors applying for jobs at the same time and changing jobs on the same day each year. This can reduce your freedom of choice somewhat as it is very difficult to move location outside of this process. However, it does create a greater sense of unity with your colleagues, if not a sense of competition.
To date I have been through two national job application events involving filling in forms and structured interviews. Last year this process resulted in my moving from Glasgow to Manchester. I moved because this was the first interview and job offer I received, and if I did not accept within 48 hours of receiving the offer it would be taken away. Applicants were also asked to sign a statement declaring they would not attend any other interviews or accept any other job offer if they took this offer, and that doing so would threaten their GMC membership. I sought some advice from a previous medical supervisor who advised to go for the job, as the job environment had been so unstable the year before, with protests from hundreds of unemployed junior doctors making headlines. I felt there was, quite unfairly, no choice but to accept the first offer.
Looking to the future
I was fortunate to get into one of my top choice tracks that meant my first post was at The Christie’s Endocrine Unit working with Professor Trainer and Professor Brabant. As a long-time endocrinology enthusiast I was delighted to work in this unit and very pleased when Professor Trainer offered to sponsor me to attend the SfE BES 2009. Attending the SfE BES opened my eyes to the world of clinical and scientific research going on in and outside of hospital medicine. My interest has grown and I am very keen to pursue a period of time in research, maybe a PhD. The only difficulty may be the ever-changing UK junior doctors employment programs as there has been a trend away from academic medicine.