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Summary

This on-demand teaching session is a great opportunity for medical professionals interested in the SFP program to learn about its many advantages and how best to apply. It will cover an overview of the SFP, different types of programs available, the application process, competition ratios, and tips on how to make your application stand out. It's the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to get valuable guidance on academic programs available to them and the best way to ensure success.
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Description

In our introduction to the specialised foundation programme, we will guide you through what the SFP is and the different types, discuss the pros and cons of applying and walk you through the process including top tips for the application form and white space questions

Learning objectives

Learning objectives: 1. Identify the components of the SFP program and the range of specialties that can be undertaken as part of the program. 2. Examine the various advantages and disadvantages of engaging in an SFP. 3. Explain the application process for admissions into the SFP program. 4. Compare and contrast the competition ratio of the different units of application. 5. Demonstrate preparation of a UKFPO application with respect to academic achievements.
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The following transcript was generated automatically from the content and has not been checked or corrected manually.

Ok, so, hi everyone. Um Welcome to the mind, the introduction to the SFP program. Um My name is Jan B. I'm currently in F one in Northeast London um planning to do a SFP in academic critical care and I'll let Niraj. Yeah, thanks for joining everyone. My name's Niraj. Um I'm an academic F one in North West London doing the academic meds in rotation with. OK, so welcome to the introduction. Um Just a quick agenda for today. So today is very much an introduction just to get everyone familiar with what the SFP involves kind of the application process and what you need to do starting from now. Um And then we'll just go through a little bit about the white space questions and then what the other webinars coming in the future and other support that mind people will have to help everyone with their SFP applications. So just a quick disclaimer before we get started, all the information that we're going to do today and throughout all the other webinars is all based on our own and other people's experiences. Um we can divulge any specific information about the marking criteria mainly because we don't know ourselves um also about the interview process. Um but we can give you a good overview of everything we went through and we're happy to answer any questions. Anything you guys have just pop it in the chat and we'll get to it at the end. So just a very quick introduction. So the SFP program used to be known as the academic foundation program, but now it involves not only post with research, but you can also do teaching leadership and management um courses as well and you can kind of do it in anything you really want. And depending on the dean, things vary quite a bit. Um It's also, so it's normally a four month rotation in your F two year. Um and that means that you get one less clinical rotation, some deaneries do do it differently and you do like you either do every Friday of the week or every Thursday and Friday and it really varies, but the majority, you do a four month block um in your F two year. So kind of why do SFP and what the pros and the cons? Um So it's excellent if you are interested in research because it gives you a nice supported environment to kind of focus just on research and develop that time to academia, you also get the opportunity to kind of develop your portfolio. So get some publications, presentations out of it um as well as develop the skills that you might not have had a chance to do in medical school. You also get a chance to find out what an academic career involves because you'll be around a lot of academics and normally we don't see that many and that gives you loads of networking kind of mentorship opportunities and you meet loads of different people that you wouldn't do. Normally, you also get a chance if you're very specific on what specialty you want to do, you can really focus on that and get some special time dedicated just to that specialty. One of the real pros of doing an SFP is that the offers come out about a month or two before the actual uh national FP places. What that means is that you have all of your jobs ready, you know exactly what you're going to do months before everyone else. You know the area you're going to be in a lot earlier. And also you kind of, there's nothing to lose by doing it because you can just get, if you get it offered depose, you can just reject it and you go back to the national uh group anyway. So you kind of have that option of taking it or not taking it. Some of the um SFP programs kind of give you the opportunity to do postgraduate qualifications. So some of them will build in like a PG cert and medical education and things like that. But you do have to look into that before you apply. You also have a lot more control over your location because you don't rank well, you rank areas, but then within that area, you rank specific jobs that you want to do. But we'll come on to that later and like I said, there's nothing to lose you. Kind of, if you go for a worst case, you don't get it and you get put back into the national pool of people. The only thing to consider before applying is some of the cons. So you do get four months less clinical time um out of all of your other peers, you also get fewer clinical rotations. So what that means is you don't get as many specialties as maybe other people will. So for example, I don't really have a surgical specialty in all my jobs whereas everyone else will have one. So it's things like that, that you just have to consider. You also have less time to complete all your competencies, which isn't really a big problem because everyone will get them done. But you do get a little bit more pressure that you have to do them in your other clinical rotations because you won't be able to in your academic block, you also potentially get paid less during that. So it's similar to like a community job that you do, which is 9 to 5. So you don't get any additional pay for doing any out of hours work any weekends, any nights, which is great in that you come home at five o'clock every day, but your pay will take quite a big hit. So it's just something to consider. And also in, if you're really serious about doing an SFP will come on to it. But most places have an interview after your application and you need to kind of, er, spend a decent amount of time revising for that. And some people do have finals. I know in December and January. So you just have to balance everything and make sure that your finals don't suffer as a result of prepping for your SFP interview. Did you have anything to add the narrow? And now I think you've covered it pretty well. Perfect. Um Yeah, thank you very much, Andy. So, um we thought we'd tell you a bit more about sort of the application process as a sort of general overview um of the whole kind of, of the whole program. We will go into more specifics later and we'll also be setting up some webinars to do with each of these deaneries, but just to give you an idea, these are the places that you can apply to. So, um these are all of the specialized units of application or SOAS and you can see that there are quite a few across the country, so there are 16 in total. Some of them will only do certain types of programs. So if you look at London. London only does academic programs. I don't think there are any leadership or sorry, leadership or education programs available, whereas there is an EO a in the east of England dedicated to medical education. So if you are thinking about sort of geography and where to apply to just make sure that you have a good look on the UK FPO website. There's a really good spreadsheet there and it tells you how many of each type of program there are in each of these units of application, you can apply to two of these at a maximum. So uh choose carefully in terms of where you uh where you want to apply. And I thought I would just add a little slide here on the competition ratios. So I don't really want to dwell on this because the application process, as you probably know, has changed in the past year with the removal of E PM. Um If you just go back one more, Javi. Um So the application process has the next one, the one with the competition issues. Um So the application process has changed. Um And that means that we're not sure what will happen in terms of people's behaviors in applying for the SFP. It might be the case that more people apply for the SFP this year. Um because of the sort of the preference based allocation that's coming in with the Standard FP. Uh But just to show you, there are some there are some Suoas which are more competitive than others. Uh This is the most recent data that we have available from the 2021 application cycle. So do take it with a pinch of salt. There have been some reconfigurations as well in terms of the units of application. But just to give you a bit of an overview about the competitiveness of each of them if we can move on to the next slide. Um And so just a bit about the application process. So you apply on ori uh when you apply for your standard, your standard foundation program application, you'll have options to apply for the specialized foundation program and also the foundation priority program. So I would recommend having a read of the applicant guidance on the UK FPO website for further information about that. Um As I said, you can choose up to two of the Seoas to apply to and each one of those will have its own short listing and interview criteria. So it's a good idea to do some research into what each of yours A s are looking for and apply sort of wisely. It might be the case that one of them, one of them lends more weight onto the interview and another one lends more weight onto kind of portfolio points. And if you want to have a good, you getting an SFP, you might apply to um sort of 22 that are looking for slightly different things. Or if you're really confident that your portfolio is excellent, then you might want to apply to two where your portfolio points are the main thing that they're looking at. So just have a look at the Seoas and also at, when they do their interviews. Now when you fill out your RN application, um you have to fill out all of your academic achievements then so don't submit your application until you've got all of that sort of sorted out. And what I would do is actually as soon as you have your ORI account set up by your medical school, I would just go into it and start to populate as much as you can of your application and just save it as a draft because the last thing you want to do is have your, you know, like a week before the applications close, you're trying to figure out what all of your posters were or all of your prizes or presentations or whatever it is. So definitely sort of start your application early. You don't need to submit it just so you can have a few iterations of it and keep it updated with all of your achievements. Um We won't say much really in terms of what scores points in terms of presentations and publications because as Jan V said, that does, it varies by. So a and we will have specific guidance for each one later on. But what I would say is definitely put down everything you've done. There's no negative marking when you're putting down all of your achievements, but just bear in mind that some of the A S will say, you know, we'll only count the first five things you put or the 1st 10 things you put. So just be smart with how you're doing it. Um This year, the E PM is not being used, it used to be used to a varying degree in the past. Um But because it's been taken out of the normal Foundation program, it's also now been taken out of the SFP application scoring. That means there are no E PM cutoffs and it doesn't count in terms of your ranking. And the selection process, as it says on the slide lasts from the fourth of October until the 29th of December. So that's sort of the interviews, the short listing, et cetera and the first round of offers comes out on the 10th of January. So I think there are four rounds of offers and they sort of work in a cascade in a cascade system. So the first round of offers come out, some people will reject their offers. Some people will get offers to multiple suas and they'll reject one of them and accept one of them and then whatever offers are unused or not taken up, will go into the second cascade of offers and so on and so forth until they get to the end. So I just touched on this a bit. So your extra education achievements. So this includes your degrees, publications, presentations and prizes and as it says on the slides, don't worry yourself too much about trying to score the maximum points, but definitely put down everything you've done. Even if you're unsure about whether it counts and you're unsure about whether something counts as a national conference or a student led conference or not, a student led conference. I would put it down because it's the job of the assessors to look through your evidence and appraise it and decide whether it scores points or not. You're not going to lose anything by um by putting everything you've done down. Obviously don't put down anything you haven't done. Um and don't exaggerate things you've done because there are checks on the portfolio. You don't need to upload any certificates or anything as far as I'm aware that hasn't changed this year, but you might, you might be asked for evidence of these things. So alongside putting them on Oriole early, make sure that you've compiled all of the evidence so that if you are asked by, um you know, by the un of application or the assessors to provide any evidence and you've got it ready and you're not rushing around trying to look for it at the last minute. And I think the last bit from me before I hand back to Jandi is the white space questions So these are sort of free text answers that you can use to tell the assessors a bit more about yourself. Now, not all of the oas use White Space questions London, for example, doesn't use them, they use, they score your portfolio and then they use your interview to allocate points. But some of the other oo A do use these White Space questions um and to further complicate things different. So A s look at different White Space questions. So make sure that you carefully look at the applicant guides for each of your A S and make sure that you're answering all of the questions you need to, but make sure that you don't waste time answering more than you need to and, and you know, because they're not going to look at things, they're not going to look at the questions that they're not interested in. Um There are sometimes different questions if you're applying for the education or the leadership one. So make sure you are, you are aware of that. Now White Space questions are a really good way to shine and to show the assessors that you've done loads of things in medical school and that set you up well to become an academic trainee. So I personally, when I was applying, I applied for one seo A that uses White Space questions. So that was Oxford and one that didn't London and I did that because I wanted to cover myself in terms of, ah, applying to One Deery where they would look at more than just my portfolio and also applying to London where I wanted to be anyway. So, um, I would just bear that in mind when you are applying, some of them will look for White Space questions and that's where you can really shine. I would say it's worth starting early. And in fact, starting now, if you go on the UK FPO website, this year's white space questions have actually been published. So there's no harm in just downloading the document, drafting them, getting some feedback from your peers and from your supervisors on um what you could include or how best you could structure your answers. So again, when it comes to actually putting through your application, you've got a few solid drafts uh in the bag and make sure that you answer the question and be very specific because they are character limited. Um I can't remember what exactly the car, what, what the limit exactly is, but if you look on or it should tell you. Um And again, as it says on the last point there, make sure that you're showing off um why you should get the job um and get an interview. OK, same to you. Thanks, Nourish. Um So in terms of ranking jobs, so how it works is it's slightly different to the National um foundation program process. So in the National Foundation program, you rank areas and then once you get allocated to an area, you then rank your jobs. Whereas this one, you only rank the jobs and all six kind of rotations, it's already been announced before you apply. What that means is um you can kind of just pick and choose the jobs you want to do. So think about what you want to get out of the SFP. But also remember that your actual academic blog is only four months out of two years. So also look at the other jobs in a lot of detail. Um and make sure those are actually jobs you'd be happy to do because that's the majority of your time is going to be spent doing those. Um Also think about location like we said, and kind of look around at what are different options you have. Um The main thing I would recommend with ranking jobs is only rank the jobs that you would be happy to accept. So don't rank anything that you would not take mainly because there's a few reasons firstly, you might get a job that you don't really want to do. And then you have to think really hard. Should I accept it? Should I reject it? What should I do? I don't really want to do it. But why did I apply anyway? The second reason is, and this kind of answers, some of the questions that have been asked the way it works is you get, they announce the places you then have 48 hours to accept or reject. And if you, um, if someone else rejects a job, this then goes into clearing and if you're the next highest ranked person, you end up getting that job. So what that means is you may end up doing you. If you accept a job you don't really want to do, you may have got the job you always wanted to do anyway because that might get passed down to you. I hope that makes sense. But just let me know if it doesn't. Um And that's why even if so, for example, in, in London, there's around 100 jobs but loads of people only rank say half of them or even less than that. So you really pick and choose if of course you really want to do SFP and location or job doesn't matter to you, then rank them all you've got nothing to lose um in terms of the interviews. So most of the SAS will require an interview. I think nearly all of them do. Um And the formats really, really vary. I think all of them are now online though. So you don't have to go in person, but they really vary and you have to look into exactly what your place does and we'll go into this further when we do the specific um dean webinars. Um But all of them have an aspect of kind of academic interview or critical appraisal and what that normally involves is you get a paper that you read and then you critically appraise it and then you get asked a few more questions afterwards. And this can vary depending like London, for example, is very structured. They always ask the same questions for everyone and they always, everyone gets the same paper. Other places vary a lot. You might just get asked more questions, then you do have to critically appraise. Um You then get given clinical scenarios, there's another interview. Um And the reason for that is they want to make sure that you have the clinical ability because you obviously have one less clinical rotation that you will be able to manage no matter what and what that normally involves is it's different dean to dean again, but it's normally doing an a two week assessment on an unwell patient and kind of seeing how you prioritize jobs and how you treat medical emergencies. Um All interviews will also have varying degrees a sense of personal and motivational questions and normally like, why do you want to do the SFP? Sometimes they ask why do you want to do the specific SFP? Um But it also really depends and other places will have presentations. Um But again, look into that a love of that. Yeah. And just to add to this, um this is a bit further down the line because obviously it's after you do your portfolio stuff and you actually apply to interviews happen, um sort of towards November time really. But if you are successful in getting an interview, make sure you do your homework on what the format is. And as Jan, we said, we will be putting you in touch with SFP trainees in the places that you want to work in and also hosting dean specific webinars. But um the worst thing to do is to not do your homework and then turn up to an interview expecting something and then getting something completely different. And that did happen to a few of my friends who applied for the SFP last year and it wasn't a fun experience for them. And the other thing is just be aware that some of the more specialized ones. So education might require you to do something like teach a um you know, practice show, show the assessors, how you would teach a concept or put together a presentation. So um don't, don't underestimate the interview, definitely do your homework and we'll give you plenty of tips closer to the time in terms of how you can. OK, thanks. Nour. Um So kind of what we've kind of touched on this throughout the whole thing, but what combi the bleep offer, so we're going to hopefully plan to do specific deary webinars and what that will involve is kind of talking more in depth about the scoring of the portfolio and also exactly what these interviews are. Um So how exactly best to prepare and it really varies between each deary. We're also going to set up a mentorship program. Um So we're hoping to put you guys um in contact with people who are already on the SFP program in the last year or two. And what that can mean is that they can give you interview practice, they can look through your white space questions if they can and just answer any questions that you might have. We're also going to prep a list of scenarios, clinical scenarios and academic papers to help you guys with interview prep. And like Neri said, don't focus on that now because the main thing is getting your oral application done and your portfolio. But it's really important that if you're serious about getting an SFP, you need to really, really prep for the interview and we're going to help you give you resources on how to do this. We've put a QR code up there and that's to sign up. We've got a Google form just to sign up with kind of if you're interested in the mentorship program and also asking questions about what you want from Dean specific webinar. So we can tailor it towards you guys. Um So please click on the link, we'll put it in the chat as well and um then we can hopefully put you in touch with the mentor in the next few weeks. Well, I think that's it. So we'll go through the questions and if you don't mind just filling out the feedback form from the QR code. Um So I think the first question was um if you apply to two oas but only get one offer. Can you wait to kind of accept that one? Um So no, you can't. So the offers come out and you have only 48 hours to accept or reject them. If you accept that offer, you get taken out of all the other SFP ones and you get taken out of the national program as well. So you have to kind of make a decision there. And then that's why we say only for the jobs that you actually want to do because you don't want to be left in that situation, being unsure what to do and then you've only got 48 hours to kind of make a really important decision. So yeah, um so the second one, if you apply to a KSFP and get rejected, are you able to switch your foundation school preferences to another one when applying for the normal F PE G London? Um So you actually preference both of these separately. So your preference your SFP preferences, so you can apply for the Kent SFP. That's fine. But that doesn't mean that your normal found your standard foundation preference is Kent as your first choice, you actually do that separately. So when you log into ORI you apply for it all on the same form you'll see it listed as different applications. So you'll see a standard FP application, you'll see an SFP application and if you apply for the foundation priority program, uh which is something else entirely, then you'll also see that application and you rank all of these individually independently of each other. I can't remember exactly ja do you remember if the preferences if the preferencing closed after the SFP offers? I think it, I think it was after. So I think you can get your just double check the time and I think you get your SFP offer on rejection and then the preferencing for the normal deaneries is still open. It's open until like until quite late, I think. Yeah. Um I answered the next one in the chat about whether interviews will be online this year. Um And Javi, could you repeat what you were advising about whether to reject your less desired SFP? So it's a bit, it's a bit difficult to explain. So basically how it works is um you, if you get an SFP offer, you either have to accept or reject it, there's no other option. If you reject it, you will be taken out of the SFP process completely. So those are your only options. If you don't get an SFP offer, you get put on a waiting list. And what that means is that if someone else rejects their offer that was higher up, that job then gets dropped down to the next person on the waiting list. So what that means is say you were like, I don't know, 50th in the rankings. Um and you ranked 50 jobs and you get your 50th job. Um then you have to either take it or reject it and then there's no other option. You can't then go back into the SFP POT. Um Whereas if you don't get an offer, but someone higher up rejects it, then you can have that one. Does that make more sense? Um Do we know if SFP interacts with pre allocation? I don't think you can reallocate and get an SFP so you can get your OS FP. You can apply for SFP, say if you want to be in London, you can apply for your SFP in London and um and get it and that's fine. But if you don't get it, then I think you can still be, if you are granted pre allocation for the normal FP, I think you can be pre allocated for the standard one. But I would check that with them just in case, I think the way to two separate things sp job is completely different. Those people do not interact with the national one. It's two separate things. I think that's the best way of thinking about. But obviously, if your circumstances are very specific, I would double check with either your medical school or like most foundation schools have just a chat thing online and you can just chat with them or email them and they're normally quite good at replying. So I would just double check. But obviously if you get your SFP somewhere and you have to be pre allocated somewhere else, then that's not gonna work. Um You won't get pre allocated for SFP. And thank you, Stan. And May who says the deadline for referencing this year is the 14th of Feb? So that means that yeah, so that's after the first round of applications come up. Uh Sorry, it first come out any other questions about anything to do with the um there's one that's so can you apply for two programs if you I'm sure research or education? Um It depends. So like if we go back to this slide, I think you need, it depends on where you're applying. There we go. I think it's only east of England that really splits them up. I think everywhere else you can kind of, yeah, you can just apply for whatever you want, whatever's in that deary. Yeah. So I know that the Luton one. Um I think that's the education one just has education. But if you apply to a Deaner like Northern, which I think has all three types of program, then you can apply for all three types of program. Um But just make sure like you can rank all three different types, but just make sure that you, when you're filling out your application, you click that you want to be considered for those ones? The thing it does ask you, do you want to be considered for research? Do you want to be considered for leadership? Do you want to be considered for education? Yeah. And the last one, am I missing the overall London SFP website? Yeah, I think you are, uh, so on everything on there and then at the bottom of the page I've just sent, there's a PDF with um all the information that we need. There we go. Perfect. Is there any more questions uh feel free to uh write in the chat if you guys think of anything. So I'm jumping between slides a lot. So if you do think of anything in the meantime, you can uh either look on our mind the bleep website, which we do need to update a little bit because of the changes to the foundation program. Um But we'll do that soon. Otherwise you can just email us at SFP at mind the bleep dot com and we'll make sure to reply to you, especially if you've got very specific things you want to ask anything else you wanted to add or? No, not really. Perfect. So just keep an eye on the mind, the bleep uh page on medal and on the website, we'll be advertising all the specific deary webinars soon as well as the interview prep ones um and make sure that you sign up for the mentorship program. If you're interested and we'll put these details as well. Uh One more question. Do you reme I, no, no, I was just gonna say I was gonna say no, but I don't know what you were gonna say. I was also going to say no because you get, but it's tricky because sometimes you don't have very long. I would say personally do your Oriel application get used to finally your medical school. Once you've submitted your Oriel application, I would then start interview prep. And then you, even if you don't get an interview, you haven't wasted too much time doing it. But sometimes I know with like the London one, we found out about the interviews and then I think the first interview was only like 10 days later. Um So I think I would start prepping a little bit early. Don't wait to see if you get one, but also don't start now and prep for the next three months. That's too much. Do the get your, make sure your oral application is done properly? And then I think both of us found when we were preparing as well that there comes a point where you don't really want to do it and you don't, you don't really want to do any more interview prep. And um part of the interview is obviously about being enthusiastic and on, you know, um it's, it's hard to stay enthusiastic for three months. I would say you kind of burn out with interview prep by the end of it, what you can do if you really want to is start to prepare for the clinical aspect and, you know, you're going to need it for medical school anyway, refresh your brain on common medical emergencies if you really want to because they do come up in the interviews. That wouldn't be a bad idea if you really feel like you want to do something. Yeah, I think, yeah, I academic too much but the clinical stuff is always gonna be handy no matter if you get an interview or not. Perfect. So, if there's no more questions, I think we'll probably end it there. But like I said, just keep an eye out for our future webinars. All right. Thank you, everyone for coming. Thank you. Bye.