Recruitment to medical specialties during the implementation of new curricula in Medicine

A guidance note for trainees

The introduction of new curricula is often complex as legacy programmes are phased out and the programmes using the new curricula are introduced. We know that trainees will need to make critical decisions about their future careers and we will share this important information as soon as we can.

The Internal Medicine Stage one (IMS1) curriculum launched for new trainees in August 2019. Unlike CMT, this is a three-year programme with the first ‘graduates’ exiting in 2022 from the full programme. The curricula and programmes for Group 1 specialties will become active in 2022 and Group 2 specialties will become active and recruit in 2021.

In 2021 there will be the possibility to recruit to legacy Group 1 programmes at a time when there will be no output from IMS1. Recruitment to some Group 1 specialties (GUM, Palliative Care Medicine and Neurology) together with some Cardiology posts, may need to be treated differently.

We are currently developing guidance to cover the following circumstances:

  • Routes by which previous trainees who left CMT but did not enter a higher specialty training programme can be supported back in to training
  • Whether recruitment to legacy programmes should occur in 2021 for some or all specialties in Group 1. Under the existing guidelines if such recruitment was to occur trainees would have to move to the new curricula when these are approved by the GMC. Such programmes would be only open to those who attained an Outcome 6 (or equivalent) from CMT.

We will carefully consider the number of posts that may be available for recruitment in 2021 and the specialties of these posts. This will depend on the number of trainees who have previously completed CMT and who wish to return to training and the number of posts required for Internal Medicine Year 3 for those in the IMS1 programme.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will also be available soon.

The physican specialty recruitment office (PSRO) team based at Health Education England works closely with us to coordinate recruitment to UK medical specialty training programmes.

IMT recruitment

The specialty recruitment process includes recruitment to posts in the training programmes of:

  • Acute care common stem: acute medicine (ACCS-AM)
  • Internal medical training (IMT)

This includes all posts in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Recruitment to both programmes is combined in the single process, so candidates wishing to be considered for these programmes will complete the same application form and attend a single interview.

Recruitment to core medical training (CMT) has now ceased.

For further information visit the IMT Recruitment website.

ST3 recruitment

There are 24 specialties included in the coordinated recruitment process at ST3 level. The processes recruits to national training numbers (NTN) for these specialties in England, Scotland and Wales, and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts in Scotland and Wales; with Northern Ireland also participating in the specialties of clinical genetics, medical oncology and palliative medicine.

Many specialties include dual training with general internal medicine (GIM) in the majority of programmes. It is not usually possible to apply for GIM without dual certifying with another specialty. 

The curricula and training pathways for specialties are changing and recruitment will change accordingly from 2021. For further information please see the new internal medicine webpage.

For further information on the current recruitment process to higher medical training visit the ST3 Recrutiment website.

Useful links

Careers resources

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has developed an online Medical Careers Resource.

The Royal College of Physicians, London has careers resources tailored for core and specialty trainees.