Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students
  

Building your career

Moonlighters Big Band rehearsing in the Music Rehearsal Hall

It’s important to balance your time spent studying with focusing on your own personal and professional development. A range of activities outside of your course can develop your transferable skills, provide some relaxation time and support future applications.

Medicine is increasingly competitive and medical graduates are finding that having excellent academic and clinical skills may not be quite enough to secure the specialty of their choice.

Outcomes for Graduates 2018 sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that new UK medical graduates must be able to show.

You have the opportunity to develop yourself within both your pre-clinical and clinical years, as well as through extracurricular activities.

 

Opportunities within the Medical School

Pre-clinical years

This is an ideal time to explore what's available, get involved with societies and broaden your skills with work experience or summer placements.

Watch Sharon's vlog - What I did on my winter placement

Clinical years

As you become immersed in clinical practice you will start to get a better idea of the different areas of medicine. You will have opportunities to talk to doctors at all levels to gain an insight into their daily routines and the pros and cons of their specialty. You could offer to undertake an audit to gain further insight into that area of work.

During the Clinical Phase of your degree you will have the opportunity to go on placement in a specialty and country of your choice. You can use this opportunity to gain invaluable and different experience to further develop your skills.

Making the most of your Clinical Phase.

Hear from two F2 doctors, a fourth-year student and a consultant who offer advice about the importance of the Clinical Phase - how to build your CV, develop your self-awareness, network with colleagues and understand the demands of a specialty.

 

Special Study Module(s)

During your Clinical Phase you will undertake a number of Special Study Modules (SSMs). These are a great opportunity to pursue your interests, develop your research and presentation skills, and explore smaller specialties that you might not have encountered in earlier years.

Pick from a list of specialties provided by the school ranging from surgery and emergency medicine to modern languages, across multiple sites.

Medical student - selected components

Final year elective

While your final year elective gives you the chance to experience a different healthcare system and a specialty of your choice, it can also be a great chance to learn more about yourself and where you’d like to be in the future.

You can choose to do your six-week elective at home or overseas; wherever you go make the most of the opportunity to develop your skills, knowledge and networks.

Choosing electivesMoodle - Planning your elective

Clinical Audits

Clinical audits help to assess whether patients are getting the best treatment from their service and compare current practice with guidelines for improved practice.

Getting involved in an audit can show your interest in a specialty and help build networks with senior colleagues. In applications for Specialty Training (and the Academic Foundation Programme) there is an expectation that you will have carried out an audit.

Getting involved in clinical audits

 
 

Opportunities beyond your studies

Competition and prizes

As you progress through your medical training and career there will be numerous opportunities to compete for medical prizes and awards. Such competitions are generally held by medical research, training, specialty or associated bodies, by charities or by educational institutions with an interest in particular aspects of medicine.

Awards and prizes differ in topic and type of award, as well as in the level of work and original research required.

Some prizes will be well advertised through the Medical School, others will require more initiative to find. Also talk to tutors and use the web.

Sources of competitions and prizes
 

 

Summer jobs and part time work

Part-time work and summer jobs in any setting (not just healthcare-related) can provide you with opportunities to develop skills such as communication, organisation and leadership.

It can also provide a valuable income, but be careful not to over commit yourself during term time.

Advice from NHS Health CareersApply to Unitemps, our recruitment service

 

Work shadowing

In this video Sharon dicusses her winter placement and the experience she gained.

 

Work shadowing can provide a great insight into a particular specialty including the type of work involved, how that work impacts patients and the kinds of decisions and dilemmas faced.

It may take time to organise a work shadowing opportunity, so the earlier you can start planning the better. Remember to keep a reflective log or journal that you can look back on later as this may provide useful evidence of the skills and knowledge you have gained.

 

 

Work shadowing

Work shadowing can provide a great insight into a particular specialty including the type of work involved, how that work impacts patients and the kinds of decisions and dilemmas faced.

It may take time to organise a work shadowing opportunity, so the earlier you can start planning the better. Remember to keep a reflective log or journal that you can look back on later as this may provide useful evidence of the skills and knowledge you have gained.

Volunteering

Volunteering can demonstrate and build a number of skills, as well as provide a feel-good factor during your studies. There are volunteer opportunities in healthcare and non-healthcare settings for a range of different interests and courses.

The Student Volunteer Centre have a number of projects, and within MedSoc you may find other opportunities to volunteer your time and knowledge.

Student societies and committee membership

Taking part in student societies, or undertaking a committee position can develop transferable skills such as time management, leadership and event planning.

The Students' Union has more than 200 societies including MedSoc and sports clubs so there's plenty to choose from!

Go to our events and medical societies 

Participating in Career Mentoring

Having a mentor could be useful if you would like guidance from a more experienced individual.

A mentor can be someone to discuss your future choices with, generate ideas with and explore your strengths and weaknesses with. You can either set up your own informal relationship with a mentor or be mentored by a Nottingham alumni through our Career Mentoring scheme.

You may find it helpful to be mentored by someone who is not a doctor but who can offer you a different perspective, particularly around leadership

Our Career Mentoring scheme

 

Your CV and portfolio

It is important to identify what your out-of-curriculum activities have given you in terms of skills and experience.

Capturing what you've gained from your experiences is helpful in building your self awareness which is the first stage of career planning. Being able to provide evidence of your skills and capturing this on paper is key for future training and job applications.

 

 

 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk