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Skills for Foundation Doctors

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In addition to meeting the outcomes and competences of the FP Curriculum, the skills below have been taken directly from the criteria of the latest person specifications. Please note that each specialty has its own person specification (see our article on making sense of person specifications) and you must refer directly to these. This guide is intended to supplement these documents with further ideas of how to achieve these skills.

It is wise to be aware of these criteria early on in your F1 year – the person specifications are updated annually.

Below are some pointers to help you develop your skills base:

  • Person specifications are commonly divided into essential and desirable columns. Using this information, think about how you can make yourself more desirable although you must be realistic: it may not be possible to meet every aspect in the desirable criteria.
  • Think about how you can demonstrate your skills during the recruitment process. Remember in an application, CV, or interview, it is always good to have a few examples that you can talk about, so you don’t keep repeating the same experience. Use cases from your working experience in the hospital or the community to demonstrate relevant skills.
  • Keeping your e-Portfolio up-to-date will make it easier to reflect on your learning as you complete your application. To help you with this, you can read our article on preparing your portfolio.
  • Above all, employers value self-awareness and self-confidence. Self-awareness is knowing your own strength and weaknesses. This is why a good understanding of your own skills is so important, as well as your ability to describe them.

Below are common skills identified in person specifications. We have highlighted examples of how you could show you have the desired skills. You will find that taking part in one activity, such as teaching students or taking up an audit, can be used to help develop several different and invaluable skills.

NHS Medical Careers would like to thank doctors Vivak Hansrani, Nilima Shah and Ying Teo for reviewing this article and for their suggestions.


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