Do you start specialising directly (where and how long does it take)? Or do you go into GP? And then can you specialise later on?
Speciality pathways are quite confusing because they’re all different depending on what you want to specialise in. I’ll try my bets to explain it simply for you here.
Essentially, straight after you finish your 2 foundation years you can enter speciality training if you know what you want to do. A lot of doctors aren’t sure so there’s also an option to take an “F3” where you just prolong your foundation years and can do locum work, focus on other aspects of your career etc.
But let’s say you choose to go into the next stage of your training straight after your 2 foundation years; the main thing that’s going to differentiate your training pathway is whether you choose to go into Medicine, Surgery or General Practice. Here’s what’ll happen after you finish your foundation years…
You’ll do your Core Medical training (2 years).
After that you’ll do your speciality medical training (4-6 years).
And now you’re a Consultant.
You’ll do your Core Surgical Training (2 years)
After that you’ll do your speciality surgical training (4-8 years).
And now you’re a Surgeon.
You’ll do your GP Speciality Training (3 years)
And now you’re a GP.
The gaps in the above table (between core training and speciality training) represent when you’ll have to reapply for training. There are some specialities that offer “run-through training” though meaning you’ll put one application in straight after you finish your foundation years and then you’ll have a huge block of training of around 8 years of speciality training without having to re-apply in between.
In terms of where you’ll do your speciality training, I believe the applications are processed on a national scale, similar to the way you’re allocated for foundation training. So that means you’ll put one application in and select a preference for certain areas of the country and certain hospitals which will be taken in to account when allocating everyone’s places.
I hope that’s clarified it a little.
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