Ismail Elkashif, ST3 Obstetrics and Gynaecology, West Yorkshire rotation
Obstetrics & gynaecology is one of the most diverse specialities which encompasses strong medical, surgical and radiological components. These aspects make it a very challenging and rewarding career to embark upon.
The different roles to play give rise to a work life that is varied from day to day. You will be working in the wards, general antenatal / gynae clinics, Speciality clinics such as infertility, Labour ward, Elective caesarean section lists, gynae theatre among many more.
Over the years in training you will develop your own interests and focus on these. There is scope for one to become specialized in a certain area or to proceed to become a more general specialist.
The speciality is tied in closely with a number of other disciplines in medicine and you will find yourself working in a close knit team comprising of obstetricians, anaesthetists, paediatricians, midwives and nurses.
Obstetrics and gynaecology is a run-through type training. There is one interview to get in and from then on your progress will depend on gaining certain competencies and evidencing them on your e-portfolio as well as passing both the MRCOG parts at certain specified times.
The training years are basically divided up into 3 phases:
ST1 and 2: Basic training years where you are introduced to the speciality and start to gain basic competencies. The MRCOG part 1 needs to be passed by the end of ST2. These are generally the “SHO”or 1st on call years.
ST3, 4 and 5: Intermediate training years: More experience is gained in these years in all aspects of the speciality. MRCOG part 2 is needed to progress by the end of ST5. From ST3, doctors will be “registrars” or 2nd on call.
ST6 and 7: In these years you will still further the skills already gained in the general field as well as undertaking certain ATSMs (advanced speciality training modules) that you will choose depending on where your interests lie. Overall there are 20 different ATSMs available to choose from.
You may choose to have a sub-speciality or not. For those who wish to undertake it, there are 4 main areas where you can specialize.
- Reproductive medicine
- Maternal and fetal medicine
- Gynaecological oncology
The subspeciality training lasts for 3 years, 2 of these are clinical and 1 year is research based. Subspecialty training can be applied for any time after intermediate training and passing the MRCOG part 2. It helps if you have evidence that you are interested in the area you are applying for from quite early on in your training such as research or a postgraduate degree in the field.
The application process is open each November and applications are through the Oriel website. On the website much information can be found about the process, timeline, interview dates etc.
You will be asked to fill in an application form online which is then assessed. This form will as you about your personal information, education, degrees and quality improvement projects. There are also a number of questions that assess your experience in things like team working and working under pressure. This is a way that you can show that you meet the person specification of the job.
If accepted the next stage is the interview. Following this, successful applicants will be offered jobs.
There is very valuable information on the application process and more on these websites: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/careerstraining/considering-a-career-in-og/applying-for-specialty-training-in-og/
To access the latest person specification for the job you can click the following link:
To be eligible to apply you must:
- Have MBBS or equivalent
- current employment in a UKFPO-affiliated foundation programme OR 12 months’ experience after full GMC registration or equivalent, and evidence of achievement of foundation competences in the three years preceding the intended start date from a UKFPO-affiliated foundation programme or equivalent.
- Be eligible to work in the UK
- Advanced Life Support Certificate from the Resuscitation Council UK or equivalent.
It’s helpful if you can show evidence on your CV or portfolio that you have an interest in obstetrics and gynaecology. This can be by showing them audits / presentations / tasters/ teaching sessions / courses or any other experiences that you have had.
On the application form you will be asked to list any audits / presentations / prizes etc. It is very important that you have evidence of any achievements you have said you have in your portfolio and you may be asked to show them these during the interview.
It is beneficial if you have any presentation at a conference or have undertaken any research projects. It will also be in your favour if you have a postgraduate degree.
For jobs beginning in August 2017, the interview process has changed slightly in the fact that all interviews for jobs in England, Wales and Scotland will take place in one centre – Etihad stadium in Manchester. For those applying to Northern Ireland the interview will be elsewhere.
There will as always be a portfolio station and stations that assess communication and clinical skills.
There is a website that gives good tips and so much information about the obs and gynae interview. You can access it by clicking the following link:
As expected, this changes from year to year. For applications in 2015, there were 238 jobs available and the competition was 2.52 applications for each job
UK, EEA nationals and and doctors whose immigration status allows them to work as doctors in training are eligible to apply.
Other doctors will only be considered for a post if there are no eligible UK or EEA nationals. They will need a tier 2 visa.
For full details issued by health education England, you can follow this link: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/node/2578
You may take the Part 1 examination at any time after medical school. You must have passed Part 1 in order to be eligible for progression beyond ST2. The examination consists of true/false multiple-choice (MCQ) and single best answer (SBA) questions divided into sections on:
Physiology, endocrinology, biochemistry, anatomy, embryology, genetics, biophysics, epidemiology/statistics, pharmacology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, molecular and cell biology, data interpretation, clinical management
MRCOG part 2
is needed to enter ST6 – MRCOG part 2 is itself divided into 2 parts the first part is SBA / Multiple choice and the next part is OSCE. They are not held at the same time and you need to pass the paper to enter the OSCE. If you fail the OSCE you don’t need to re sit the paper.
There are no essential courses needed for entry into the speciality.
Courses that you will take such as CTG training / ALSO and curriculum based teaching will depend on the deanery you enter and they will have specific courses that will be specified.
Depending on the deanery you enter there will be a different number and different nature of hospitals that you will work in. These vary from big tertiary university hospitals and district general hospitals. Each will bring its own kind of experience that you will find useful.
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The take home pay will likely depend on recent negotiations about a new contract for junior doctors.
The MTI scheme is available for obs and gynae. There are certain requirements needed to be eligible:
You need MRCOG 1, Must not have passed MRCOG 2, IELTS score at least 7 in each area, Must not have right of residence in UK or EEA.
You must have four years of supervised postgraduate practice in O&G which has been approved by the RCOG Exams Department towards the Part 2 MRCOG exam
You must not have previously attempted and failed the PLAB
You have been engaged in medical practice for three of the last five years, including the most recent twelve months. Clinical attachments/ observerships do not count.
The royal college of obstetricians and gynaecologists have a prospectus on training that you may find useful, The link to access the prospectus is:
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To be continued