Training and development (SEM)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

The full training programme for sport and exercise medicine lasts a minimum of six years. Trainees must apply on completion of foundation programmes to one of three different ST1-2 training routes as detailed below each lasts a minimum of two years:

  • 2 years of core medical training obtaining membership of the royal college of physicians (MRCP) 2 years of Anaesthetics and Emergency training obtaining membership of the royal college of emergency medicine (MRCEM )
  • the GP training programme obtaining membership of the royal college of general practitioners (MRCGP).

Trainees undertaking CMT or ACCS as their core training programme are required to obtain full MRCP (UK) before entry into specialty training at ST3. Following completion of ST1 and ST2 years, the trainees must then apply for the SEM specialty training starting at ST3.  The SEM specific training lasts four years.

Trainees can complete the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine Diploma Exam from ST3 onwards in passing the Diploma exam a doctor can also apply to the Faculty for membership of the faculty of sports and exercise medicine (MFSEM) status.

The British Association of Sport and Exercise (BASEM) run a revision course for parts 1 and 2 of the Diploma in SEM, On completion of SEM training, doctors will be able to enter the specialist register and apply to the Faculty for FFSEM status.

Getting in tips

These tips will give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Whether you're a medical student, foundation trainee or doing your core specialty training, there's information below to help you.

    • opportunities in medical training to visit SEM departments is limited so make an effort to find out about this specialty
    • join your university medical society or SEM society
    • attend conferences for medical students – many are free – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues. The FSEM and BASEM run a joint annual conference every year.
    • get involved with the GMC (General Medical Council), eg medical students can participate in visits to medical schools as part of the GMC’s quality assurance process
    • consider joining the specialist society for your chosen specialty as a student member, eg the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine
    • consider becoming a student member of the BMA (The British Medical Association is the trade union and professional association for doctors and provides careers advice)
    • make your specialty decisions in good time so that you can test it out before committing yourself, e.g. by using hospital visits and clinical placements arranged as part of your course to ask questions and observe people at work
    • choose the topic of your supervised research project carefully to test out your career thinking
    • remember your first priority is to demonstrate that you have developed the personal, learning, clinical, practical and management skills needed by all doctors
    • think laterally when applying for rotations – vacancies may not be available in SEM so apply for a rotation in a related field i.e. A&E, GP, acute medicine, muscularskeletal medicine or rehabilitation medicine
    •  join one of the growing number of undergraduate Sport and Exercise Medicine societies across the UK
    • talk to your clinical and educational supervisors about particular areas of interest to explore
    • use full placements to experience specialties that you might be interested in or apply for taster experiences if you can’t get a placement
    • talk with your peers about their career ideas and experiences – you may be able to help each other
    • listen to information and advice from more experienced doctors but make your own decisions
    • taking part in a clinical audit is important for your development as a doctor but you may be able to choose an audit project related to a specialty that interests you
    • ensure your Foundation e-portfolio has plenty of medical evidence and that this is kept properly up-to-date
    • try to gain teaching and management experience
    • look at competition ratios (ie the number of applicants to places) critically. Find out what is happening this year and spot any regional differences in competition ratios
    • view the careers resources on the Foundation Programme website
    • write case reports or make presentations (in acute medicine, for instance) with an SEM focus
    • enter essay prizes and competitions
    • ensure a good grounding in acute general medicine
    • join the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and get help with navigating your way through specialty training
    • speak to consultants about what the role is like
    • read as much information as you can on the websites of relevant professional bodies
    • impress interviewers by showing that your interest in the specialty is intrinsically motivated, i.e. you are drawn to the work and not just attracted by admiration of someone you have shadowed (You will also be happier in your career in that specialty many years later)
    • be prepared to move to where the vacancies are
    • study for the examinations for the membership of your chosen Royal College
    • continue to develop your practical and academic expertise
    • undertake a research project – the FSEM can provide guidance and BASEM award bursaries
    • try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
    • join or start a Journal Club (a group who meet to critically evaluate academic research)
    • teach junior colleagues
    • take on management opportunities you are offered
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