How can I make best use of my remaining year before CCT - what leadership and educational opportunities are there?

Our best advice is to take some time to think about the type of leader / educator you aspire to be. You might identify one or two role models whom you think best capture the qualities and experience you would like to develop within yourself. Obviously you could email them and/or speak with them to find out what they did to get to where they are and what they would advise you to do. There is no single path, however, and the most effective route is the one which is designed around your personal strengths.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my strengths, ie those things which I’m not only strong at, but that also make me feel strong?
  • What am I particularly good at?
  • What do others respect or admire in me?
  • What do I notice others come to me for time and again?
  • What are my natural aptitudes?
  • What areas am I yearning to develop in myself?
  • What are my core values?


Asking yourself these questions will point you in the direction of opportunities most suited to you.

What support is there to help me prepare for my consultant interviews?

Follow this link to the Careers Unit’s downloadable booklet on Preparing for Consultant Interviews. It’s packed with useful information and practical exercises which have helped hundreds of trainees in the lead up to their consultant interviews. The sooner you get started, the more confident you will be.

How can I best deal with the transition to Med Reg role after maternity leave given that I still see myself as ‘one of them’ (junior trainees) but am supposed to be taking greater responsibility for their progression / training / learning / competencies?

This question flags up the issue of how to update or refresh the image you have of yourself so that it is more in line with the new role. It’s very much a matter of putting on a new ‘hat’, ie the one which suits the new role that you’ve stepped into. The idea is not to reinvent yourself, but rather to consider what aspects of yourself (eg qualities, behaviours, strengths, attitudes) can be emphasised, amplified or used to better effect in the workplace. For example:  …….

Now that I’ve stepped into a more senior role, how do I give my colleagues critical / constructive feedback without coming across as confrontational?

Think about the clinical skills you have when working with patients and their families (eg motivational interviewing, active listening, reflecting back, building rapport and asking open rather than closed questions). Your job is to use these highly developed skills in other contexts, eg when helping colleagues to understand and gain insight to how they work. Questions which start with What, How and When, for instance, can be valuable starting points when your aim is to help a colleague to reflect on and learn from a mistake or recent situation. Generally it’s good practice to avoid asking Why? This can close down thinking as the colleague may become defensive as they try to justify what they did. Asking reflective rather than leading questions is another excellent way to help someone discover for themselves what could be done differently. So rather than saying: You do realise that your lack of attention to detail is what caused this complication, don’t you?  You might ask: What do you think happened? What might you do differently next time?  These types of questions will facilitate more generative thinking which can empower your colleague as they find their own solutions to their issues and think for themselves, instead of relying on you to come up with the answers.