How to Prepare for Foundation Trainees .
Anaesthesia is a speciality that receives minimal exposure to as a Foundation Doctor. There are variations of posts offered that include anaesthesia and/or Critical Care.
Foundation Doctors who consider entering anaesthesia as a career can ‘prepare’ in advance of application after foundation Years by doing the following:
1. Discuss with College Tutors in Anaesthesia that are present at every Local Education provider ( aka Trusts). They will not mind being contacted and should be able to give advice on Anaesthesia as a career, help you make up your mind, and provide details of opportunities available in your Trust (see point 6 below regarding “taster days”).
2. Whilst working in any trust, in any speciality, approach the department Clinical Governance Lead to request involvement in ongoing Audit or Quality Assurance projects. Audits and Clinical Governance projects are usually part of the portfolio scoring. They do not necessarily need to be Anaesthesia related (though this may help) but the deeper you involvement in the project the more useful it is likely to be, both for portfolio and for interview.
4. These Audit and Quality projects can usually be presented to departmental meetings and may progress to poster presentations that can be done at local, regional or national conferences. These do not need to be large expansive research, but can often be done in a course of a placement, if early communication is made with department.
5. On application for Foundation programme, choose a rotation that includes anaesthesia and/or critical care. This is not essential but will be desirable, as well as to demonstrate interest in speciality and will also help you decide if it is the correct speciality for you.
6. Request a period of Work experience within anaesthesia and Critical year. There is provision in Foundation Programme for 5 days paid placement within anaesthetics and/or critical care that are known as ‘taster sessions’. This is not essential but will be desirable, as well as to demonstrate interest in speciality and will also help you decide if it is the correct speciality for you. To organise this you should contact the Anaesthetic College Tutor. You will have to apply for study leave from your current post, hence ensure you leave plenty of time to arrange this. It is sensible to keep a reflective log of your experience during taster days, and ensure you get a feedback form from your supervisors as proof of attendance.
7. Higher degrees such as Masters and PhDs, will increase score at interview.
8. Teaching of medical students, nurses etc, will increase score at interview. The deeper your involvement in the teaching (organisation, co-ordination of a teaching programme etc) the higher you are likely to score. Additionally, always request formal written feedback from the people you teach. This will allow you to improve your teaching style and demonstrate development and reflection.
9. To maximise your score at interview we would recommend 3 or more courses attended (including ATLS, BASICS, IMPACT, APLS, EPLS, College and Simulator Courses) (or similar)
10. Look closely at self assessment scoring system available on Anro for ACCS or Core Anaesthesia application to determine how portfolios arewhat scored. This wills what, to maximise your competitive placement. This cannot be emphasised enough! If you look at the self scoring early you will have plenty of time to direct your portfolio appropriately. See Link below .
11. Make contact with existing Anaesthesia trainees at Core or ACCS level to discuss the interview process and possible questions. Like all interviews, preparation and practice in advance pay dividends on the day. The Anaesthetic College Tutor may well be able to help provide advice for interview preparation