August Fun Facts!
The meaning of August– respected and impressive
August was once the sixth month of the year and has changed its number of days multiple times!
- 1 – 7 August: World Breastfeeding Awareness week
- 6 August: Cycle to Work Day
I’m using this slot in the bulletin this month to welcome all our new Foundation doctors. For the F1s, congratulations on passing your PMQ and welcome to the world of postgraduate training. For those entering at F2, congratulations on obtaining a place on the programme.
I’m aware that, for some of you, the new role must feel daunting. We know that about a third of our new doctors say they don’t feel ready for the new role but we also know that most of you will complete the year successfully and progress to your next level of training. It is natural for all of us to feel anxious in new roles and the term ‘imposter syndrome’ often gets used in these cases. However, none of you are imposters, you’ve all been selected on merit to enter medical school and completed your undergraduate course successfully.
Having said this, the world of postgraduate training is a little different. For a start, there is the concept of working for a living which many of you may not have experienced before; the responsibility of coming to work every day, of arriving on time to facilitate handover and organising yourself because what you are doing now actually makes a difference to patients and the other healthcare professionals you are working alongside. (There’s also the advantage that you get paid for it).
However, you are still in training and we all understand that. You don’t know everything (though you know a lot) and the purpose of the Foundation programme is to embed all that knowledge you have gained and skills you have learnt; to practice the behaviours and demonstrate the attitudes expected of a medical professional. Like all training programmes, Foundation has a curriculum stating what you need to do to pass out at the other end (two years in most cases for the full programme, but longer for those working LTFT) and, while this might seem like a long way off, it will come round surprisingly quickly.
The full 2021 Foundation curriculum, like the training itself, can appear daunting. However, to save you wading through all 111 pages when you’re trying to learn everything else, it can be summarised by saying there are 3 strands (Higher Level Outcomes – HLOs): your clinical performance, your ability to work among a team of healthcare professionals and your fulfilment of professional duties
To pass the programme, you have to assemble an e-portfolio of evidence (Horus in England and Turas everywhere else) showing what you can do and satisfy your training programme directors by your performance in the workplace. More details about exactly what this involves are shown on pages 71-79 of the curriculum and a summary of exactly what is required at the end of the year (for your ‘ARCP’ – the final review of your portfolio) is found on pages 49 and 50. (I strongly suggest you look at your new portfolio soon and, if you don’t understand something, ask an F2 who has been using it for the last year.)
As you work, you will be supported by a variety of healthcare professionals, many of whom will form your ‘Placement Supervision Group’ (PSG) and, at the end of the placement contribute to your end of placement report. Watching over you in each placement will be a named Clinical Supervisor who should meet you at the start of the placement (if you don’t know who they are ask your Postgraduate team and email them to arrange a meeting). Your CS should support and guide you through the placement and will complete a report on your progress in your e-portfolio at the end.
You will also have been assigned an Educational Supervisor who, in most places, will support your training for a full year (and may be your CS for one of the placements).
Your supervisors are there to support you and guide your training – use them. If you find yourself struggling, speak to them.
If you don’t tell them of any concerns you have, they may not know about them. There is a common misconception that asking for help (with work or non-work issues) is a sign of weakness and will reflect badly on you; this is simply not true. What does reflect badly is when you let problems in your life affect patient care! If you don’t feel you can approach your supervisors, speak to your postgraduate team or your Foundation Programme Training Director (FPTD). You can also access support from your hospital’s (or Trust’s/Health Board’s) Occupational Health and most Foundation Schools have information on support services on their website which are usually confidential.
If you are lucky, you will have been assigned a ‘buddy’ – a near peer who can help you with day-to-day issues.
We know that many of you will be working away from home and away from existing support networks, friends and family; we know that starting a new job, possibly in a new country, may feel difficult so please ask for help if you need it.
Finally, it is important to remind you all that medicine is a great and rewarding career and part of Foundation training is planning that career – use your time to explore career options both in terms of specialty choice (in which I include GP) and other opportunities – medical leadership, academia, education, journalism, armed forces/reserves, overseas fellowships, overseas aid via MSF…
As always, there is information on all this on the website. You can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Choules, Operational Advisor to the UKFPO
What are the things you are most looking forward to in your new year of training?
Have you seen our ‘Preparing for F1’ page?
2023/24 UKFPO Fellows
Hello! My name is Doanna Daoud, and I am currently a UKFPO fellow based at the University Hospital of North Durham, and I am a proud graduate of the University of Khartoum. As a Sudanese-Canadian, I am thoroughly enjoying my time in the UK, embracing all it offers!
My pursuit of medicine in a country where healthcare is a cherished privilege has instilled in me a commitment to giving back. I am determined to contribute wherever possible throughout my medical career. Beyond medicine, I have worked in tech, which taught me the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Being a POC and IMG, I hold a deep passion for advocating for inclusivity, not only within the foundation programme but also throughout my medical journey.
I firmly believe that as healthcare professionals, it is our responsibility to champion inclusivity actively. Every day, we interact with diverse populations, and addressing our unconscious biases is essential to providing the best possible care. I am thrilled to collaborate with the UKFPO and embrace the opportunity to develop leadership skills within medicine. My aspiration is to become an agent of positive change, both during my fellowship and in the future beyond it.
My name is Aysha Nijamudeen and I’m an academic F2 doctor working in Manchester; I applied to the UKFPO fellow post as I saw it as an excellent opportunity to help improve training opportunities for Foundation Doctors and understand the processes in the higher organisations that influence training and progression for doctors.
Prior to medicine, I was a qualified dentist and worked in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for a number of years; having been through a different training programme has given me an interesting perspective with some areas I know we can work on to improve the Foundation Training experience for doctors. My main goal this year is to reduce inequalities in attainment of core/specialty training posts and post-graduate examinations by improving access to training and portfolio activities on your rotas, and I look forward to working with the organisations to make this happen. Outside of work, I love cooking (and eating!), keeping fit and watersports. I’m looking forward to taking on the challenges of this role and being able to represent my colleagues and influence our experiences on a national level!
Thank You and Farewell!
The UKFPO say farewell and big thank you to Anna Harvey and Raza Naqvi, our outgoing UKFPO Fellows, and warm welcome to the new 2024 UKFPO Fellows Doanna Daoud and Aysha Nijamudeen. Congratulations Doanna and Aysha on your recent appointment as the UKFPO Fellows, starting August 2023.
E-learning for Health Update
Please click here to view the August Safe prescribing: Foundation Update.
All FY1 doctors are invited to complete the F1 induction survey 2023. This survey is part of a long-term project to identify any concerns/anxieties you may have about starting your F1 post. The information you provide will help to develop a realistic evaluation of induction programmes and help us to improve working life for future doctors in postgraduate training.
Access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/F1inductionsurvey2023 or via QR code below