Training and development (obstetrics and gynaecology)

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.

Specialty training

Training for obstetrics and gynaecology is a run-through training from ST1-7. Once you have been accepted at ST1, you will not need to apply again.

Training normally takes seven years, although some trainees take longer than this. The training is based on achieving different competencies, which takes some people longer than the minimum time of seven years. The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training (LTFT).

You will normally take Part 1 examinations of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (MCROG) by the end of ST2 and Part 2 examinations at the end of ST5 and before progressing to ST6. You will need a demonstrable interest in and understanding of a career in O&G as practised in the UK. Experience of extra-curricular activities, achievements and interests relevant to O&G are also desirable.

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.

You will also need an Advanced Life Support Certificate from the Resuscitation Council UK or equivalent. You also need 18 months’ or less experience in O&G not including foundation modules at the start date. An intercalated degree and or higher academic qualifications (such as a PhD or MD) are also desirable. Relevant experience in other specialties which would complement a career in O&G is also desirable.

The GMC provides information on the curriculum for obstetrics and gynaecology training.

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in obstetrics and gynaecology as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

    • attend conferences on obstetrics and gynaecology – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
    • undertake a placement in O&G
    • undertake a student selected module or project in O&G and choose an elective in this area
    • undertake an elective in O&G – perhaps in the developing world
    • register with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) website – they offer a range of services including careers fairs and academic and medical school events and prizes. Their Junior Careers Officer can also provide advice
    • make contact with O&G department in your hospital and find out how you can get involved
    • aim to get a rotation in O&G
    • try to ensure your e-portfolio has relevant experience with O&G and that this is kept properly up-to-date
    • try to gain teaching and management experience
    • register with the RCOG website as above
    • it is  sometimes possible to take your Part 1 RCOG exams during foundation training – find out if this might work for you
    • study for the examinations for the membership of the RCOG
    • undertake a relevant research project
    • try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
    • teach junior colleagues
    • take on any management opportunities you are offered
    • join the RCOG at the pre-membership trainee grade
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