This summer (finger crossed, and wood touched) I will become a doctor. Frightening stuff for both me and the good people of Britain. I'm still unsure as to how I got here without being kicked out...
The first two years out of medschool are called the Foundation Programme, F1 Aand F2. Each year is split into three jobs of four months each. During F1, most rotations include one surgery job, one medicine job, and one other, which may be another med or surg, or something entirely different. F2 is a bit more random in job rotations, and usually they're geared towards a future career, but not always.
To get onto the Foundation Programme, you must apply to a Foundation School (FS). A 'school' is a geographical area with one central office in charge of training. Some are huge and some tiny. My Foundation School, Hereford and Worcester, is one of the smallest, only containing 3 hospitals under 2 trusts. There are approximately 70 F1s there, compared with 800+ in the largest FSs.
After being allocated to a FS, we had to rank the different job rotations in our FS. This was a particularly long and arduous process (and I only had 25 jobs to pick from...) again online, on a very poorly designed site.
Anyway, today was the Big Day when F1 job allocations were released, and we would all know exactly where we'd be spending the next year of our lives.
I got my first choice. Hurrah!
Next year, my rotation is (again, fingers crossed and touching wood):
- Trauma and orthopaedics
- Medical Assessment Unit with general medicine and elderly care
- Accident and Emergency
I'm so ridiculously excited! And scared too. But mostly excited and disbelieving. It's going to be a big big change, but I really glad to have got rotations that are going to test and improve my diagnostic skills and also teach me some real-life patient management skills. Yay!
Most people in my FS were pretty happy with their jobs. Lily, my soon-to-be housemate, also got her first choice job at the same hospital as me, and Mirabelle got her top choice too, which will bring her to our hospital for one 4 month block. Not that I think getting first choice was typical - Lily and I had gone for a rather maligned little DGH, that we love but is considered somewhat dull by others, and Mirabelle has an unfortunate passion for psychiatry (I don't hold it against her, she's my best friend). I don't know anyone who was desperately disappointed though, so the system is apparently working. Seems madness, but is clearly true.
Oh, it's just so big, I can hardly get my head round it. But at least I can really start planning the next year of my life.
And I must also pass my medical finals. Mustn't forget that one last rather important step...