Training and development (rheumatology)
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.
You will need to complete core training after your two-year foundation programme. Core training has a choice of two pathways:
- core medical training – CMT, which is a two-year programme
- acute care common stem – ACCS (acute medicine), which is a three-year programme
Programmes generally consist of four to six placements in medical specialties which must include direct involvement in the acute medical take. Trainees record their workplace based assessments (WPBAs) in an ePortfolio which they continue to use in specialty training.
Applicants for specialty training at ST3 should also hold the full MRCP (UK). Not all applicants who meet the required standard to continue will necessarily be offered a post due to the level of competition.
Trainees can enter higher specialty training in neurology at ST3 level. ST3 training takes a minimum of four years.
Some trainees choose to undertake training to achieve a dual CCT with General Internal Medicine (GIM). They will usually complete higher specialty training in five years (ST3-7).
Detailed entry requirements and all essential and desirable criteria are listed in the NHS Person Specification 2016 for Rheumatology ST3.
All 2016 person specifications can be found on the NHS specialty training website. Please note that these documents are updated every year in the autumn before the recruitment round opens.
This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.
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.
- Medical students Expand / Collapse
- join your university medical society
- attend conferences for medical students – many are free – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
- 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 British Society for Rheumatology
- 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, eg 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
- Foundation trainees Expand / Collapse
- 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 rheumatology so apply for a rotation in a related field
- 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 a rheumatology focus
- enter essay prizes and competitions
- Core and specialty trainees Expand / Collapse
- ensure a good grounding in acute general medicine
- join The British Society for Rheumatology 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
- question your own perceptions and possible negative stereotypes of the specialty
- impress interviewers by showing that your interest in the specialty is intrinsically motivated, ie 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
- 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 any management opportunities you are offered