GP training is becoming more and more competitive, and as a result many Deaneries are using structured assessments to help with longlisting and shortlisiting. As a result of recent changes in the training of junior doctors in the UK, 2006 may be the best chance ever to secure a rotation on a GPVTS. This article looks at the reasons why.
Applications to GP Vocational Training Schemes (GPVTS)
Each year, several thousand doctors apply for a GP VTS. The applicants are from varying backgrounds, from PRHOs to those with several years experience in a specialty that have decided that General Practice is the best career choice for them. Last year applicants from UK doctors and overseas graduates were about equal in London Deanery.
Modernising Medical Careers and the Foundation Programme
With the advent of MMC, junior doctors will now have a more streamlined training programme after graduation, with objective competence based assessments at various stages. One of the big changes of MMC is the introduction of the Foundation Schools. All doctors will now spend 2 years in a Foundation Programme before entering specialty training. This is a change for GP training as previously doctors could apply to a 3 year VTS after their PRHO jobs.
The first full batch of Foundation Programmes started in 2005, so this cohort will finish in August 2007 (about 6000 UK graduates).
How will this impact applications to a GP VTS?
These changes means that in 2006, there are several thousand UK graduates who were previously eligible to apply for GP training that CANNOT apply until they finish their Foundation programmes. However, as applications for GP VTS places has increased in recent years from both UK and overseas graduates, the posts will remain highly competitive. What it does mean is that you will be competing with a couple of thousand less doctors than you will be if you apply in 2007!
So how do I apply?
Applications for the Deaneries in England and Wales are advertised in February and August each year (although a few Deaneries only advertise each year). All posts are advertised in the BMJCareers, and on the National Gp Recruitment website
The next round of applications will start on February 3 rd 2006, with a closing date of February 24th. There is a free educational resource for anyone interested in GP training. It has free advice on applying, articles on topics relevant to GP training and free practice MCQs for GPVTS entry assessments. You can visit the site here : www.gpvts.info
Hope this is useful