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Structure of Training in UK

Specialist Registrar (SpR) :

Otherwise known as higher surgical training. The duties of SpR include providing middle grade cover for elective / emergency admissions, conducting clinics and operative sessions. The operative experience centres on supervised performance of regular surgical conditions and assisting major/complex procedures.

Appointment is by open competition. The Calman training programme involves 6-year training programme at this stage. By the end of 4th year the candidate becomes eligible to sit the FRCS part III exam. It allows rotation into 3 centres and allows one year to be spent in research / training abroad. By the end of this training certificate of completion of surgical training (CCST) is awarded and the candidates become eligible to register in specialist register.

Consultant :

Appointment is by open competition. CCST and entry in specialist register are basic requirements. Research leading to special degrees (MD, MSc), publications, active participation in audit and teaching are often included in the desirable criteria. Most of the surgical specialities are consultant led now and consultants are expected to take a lead role in outpatient, inpatient and operative decision-making process.

The Firm:

A typical surgical firm is made of three medical staff: Consultant (Lead), Specialist Registrar (Middle Grade), and Senior House Officer (Junior Grade). The other important members include the secretary, who would be the main point of contact for each consultant and nursing staff.

Appointment Procedures :

The appointments to any of the above posts are by a competitive process. Vacancies are advertised in the British Medical Journal (Classified section) and are available on the website BMJ Applications are often made by curriculum vitae (CV), which provides the important information on the candidates qualifications, training, experience, and academic/other achievements. More details that would be useful for overseas doctors in preparing CV are given below.

Short listed candidates often find it useful to visit the prospective departments or enquire the details of the post by ringing the necessary consultants. Short listed candidates are invited for an Interview (often has 4-6 members who include Local, Deanery, Trust, Royal College representatives in addition to the medical personnel) and appointment is offered for successful candidates by writing.

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