Medical students are fortunate in having an almost 100% guarantee of employment in the NHS as an F1 doctor if they successfully graduate from an undergraduate medical course. However, the selection process is highly competitive, and expanding student numbers may well increase that competition. Securing the right foundation posts can be important in their future career choice within medicine, and may also affect how they experience starting out on working life as a doctor. For students to have the best chances of success in this process they need access to high quality and timely information. In addition, some students may have atypical career intentions or prospects, and for them guidance is equally if not more important.
All clinical and academic teachers have a responsibility to support students to access information and make rational choices. However it is unrealistic to expect everyone to have a comprehensive knowledge of all the choices and processes, so MED has several sources of information and guidance:
- A careers module on Blackboard, available to both students and staff, with resources about careers in and beyond medicine
- A number of careers-focused events both within and without the formal curriculum aimed at students at varying stages of progression through the course
- UEA’s Careers Service, based at CareerCentral on the Street, with a dedicated Careers Adviser linked to MED (Isla Hosking)
- A lead for careers and employability within MED is Dickie Young, who is also primary care teaching lead. Dickie is very happy to advise students and staff on any area, or to signpost to other resources and advisors.
It is worth pointing out that CareerCentral provides services that all medical students can benefit from, not just those who might be seeking wider or alternative opportunities. These services include support with applications and interviews, including to intercalated degrees and the Academic Foundation Programme, plus a supportive space in which to discuss careers-related questions or concerns.