NHS Medical Careers is a comprehensive online resource that has
been designed to help medical students and junior doctors with
their career planning. The website is based on the four-stage model
of career planning that is widely used in higher education.
Students and junior doctors can use NHS Medical Careers on their
own, or the activities can be incorporated into individual and
group career planning sessions.
This section provides advice for educational supervisors,
mentors, careers advisers and others involved in advising medical
students and doctors in training on how they can help users get the
most from NHS Medical Careers and support them in making good
decisions about their future.
Registering a personal profile
Students and trainees will find it helpful to register
on NHS Medical Careers, so that a personal profile can be created
into which the results of the exercises from the above four stages
will be saved. The personal profile is confidential and only the
student/trainee has access to their online results.
Group career-planning workshops
These are often incorporated into the generic taught foundation
programme. The role of the person running the workshop is to act as
a facilitator; you do not have to be a careers expert.
Many of the basic guidelines about how best to approach the task
of 1:1 careers meetings also apply to the task of group
facilitation. For example, as with a 1:1 meeting, in a group
session it is also important to:
- Outline the overall four-stage career planning framework
- Listen carefully to the points that the trainees are
- Pose challenging questions
In addition in a group situation it is important to take into
account the following:
- Avoid the discussion of highly personal issues (e.g. whether in
the future they want to have a family) in front of the whole group.
Trainees are more likely to discuss these issues in smaller groups
and then when reconvening you can ask for general comments.
- Use pair-work if you are asking trainees to reflect on negative
issues (e.g. what they find stressful, mistakes etc).
- Provide time at the end of the session for trainees to speak to
you about personal issues.
One advantage of a group context is that the
trainees can learn from each other. So if a trainee asks you a
challenging question, if appropriate pose it back to the group for
comments, before you wade in with your own answer. Often the group
will come up with excellent answers, and the trainees find the
support and advice of their peers particularly helpful.
The South West Peninsula Deanery in
conjunction with the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory
Services (AGCAS) have commissioned the DVD ’Selection centres
for speciality training’ which looks at interview and assessment
processes. This should be available through your medical school or
via your Trust library. Alternatively, contact http://www.agcas.org.uk/. We have
teaching notes for using the DVD in a group
career–planning workshop. They are particularly suitable for taking
the trainees through the fourth stage of the career planning
process where they have ‘getting into training’.