Recruitment

Recruitment during the implementation of new physician curricula

The physician specialty recruitment office (PSRO) team based at Health Education England coordinates recruitment to UK medical specialty training programmes. JRCPTB has provided the guidance below as new curricula are being introduced and we know that trainees will need to make critical decisions about their future careers.

Internal Medicine Training (IMT) is a three year programme which replaced the two year Core Medical Training (CMT) programme in August 2019. New curricula for higher specialty training in the group 1 specialties will be implemented in August 2022 and trainees will be recruited to higher training at ST4 level from the cohort completing the third year of IMT. Doctors who have satisfactorily completed CMT or ACCS-AM plus a stand-alone IMY3 post will also be eligible.

New curricula for group 2 specialties will be implemented a year earlier in August 2021 and trainees will be eligible to apply if they have completed the first two years of IMT or CMT/ACCS-AM.

In 2021, trainees who have completed CMT/ACCS-AM or equivalent will be eligible to apply for limited ST3 posts in some group 1 specialties (Cardiology, GUM, Palliative Care Medicine and Neurology). There will also be recruitment to stand alone IM year 3 (IMY3) posts and guidance is provided on the gap analysis for trainees undertaking IMY3. Doctors who start training in these specialties from August 2021 will be required to transfer to the new curricula from August 2022, except in exceptional circumstances.

The following diagrams show the routes for progression from 2020-2022. Information about the alternative certificate and the recruitment processes for IMT and higher training are given in the sections below. 

Progression options for IMT & CMT trainees and non training doctors 

Progression options for ACCS-AM trainees

Alternative certificate route to higher specialty training from 2022

Modified 15 February 2021

Doctors who have not completed IMT or ACCS-IM can apply for entry to a group 1 Specialty at ST4 via an alternative certificate route. The 2022 alternative certificate is available to download from the ST3 recruitment website.

Critical Care

Applicants will need to demonstrate completed learning outcomes for critical care medicine equivalent to those described in the IMT curriculum. Experience should be post-Foundation level (or equivalent if non-UK) and should have been undertaken within the last three years. The learning outcomes for critical care are described in the Rough Guide to IMT(pages 40-41). It is recognised that the COVID pandemic has provided opportunities for critical care working caring for patients in a medical HDU setting which can be used to demonstrate critical care capabilities. Overseas experience can be considered; if the consultant verifying the capability did not personally observe the doctor at that time they can provide the details of someone who did who may be contacted.

Geriatric Medicine

Applicants will need to demonstrate completed learning outcomes for geriatric medicine equivalent to those described in the IMT curriculum. Experience should be post-Foundation level (or equivalent if non-UK) and should have been undertaken within the last three years. The learning outcomes for geriatric medicine are described in the Rough Guide to IMT(pages 38-39) and can be achieved in a variety of ways. Working in frailty units or peripatetic teams or working within the acute medical take with trained geriatricians can provide useful experience towards capabilities in geriatric medicine. Potential areas for learning experiences should be discussed with the senior doctor who will sign the alternative certificate application to see if they can be used to ratify the capabilities that have been achieved. Overseas experience can be considered; if the consultant verifying the capability did not personally observe the doctor at that time they can provide the details of someone who did who may be contacted.

Why are the requirements for the alternative certificate different from those expected of CMT/ACCS doctors who complete a stand alone IMY3?

Doctors seeking an alternative certificate will have completed all or some of their medical training and experience in a less well supported and regulated educational environment (overseas and/or in UK non-training posts). The capabilities acquired will require sign off by a senior clinician who has first-hand knowledge of the junior doctor’s abilities or has been able to discuss with other senior doctors who can ratify relevant capability acquisition via the alternative certificate. Doctors who have satisfactorily completed CMT or ACCS-AM plus a stand-alone IMY3 post will receive an ARCP outcome 6 and will be eligible to apply for ST4 so do not need an alternative certificate. These doctors will have had appropriate educational and clinical supervision throughout their training and a gap analysis on entry to their IMY3 post to establish specific learning experiences and outcomes that are needed to complete full IMT. 

IMT and ACCS recruitment

The specialty recruitment process includes recruitment to  Internal Medicine Training (IMT) and Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine/Internal Medicine (ACCS-AM) / ACCS-IM) 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.

Higher specialty recruitment

The Physician Specialty Recruitment Office (PSRO) coordinates the national recruitment process to UK higher specialty training programmes and  detailed information is available on the ST3 Recrutiment website. The curricula and training pathways for specialties are changing and recruitment will change accordingly from 2021. For further information please see above and the shape of training and new physician training model webpage

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.