Specialty Training Advice Requests

What exactly do you mean by "research/professional development and training"? It's a rather nebulous descriptor there - hard to know what you have in mind.


From my impression, there are two main categories of things that seem to stand out to registrarship programs. No. 1 being writing or performing some research and No. 2 being extracurricular training sessions to do with the field. The reason my question may seem nebulous is because the information out there regarding becoming a registrar is really nebulous, dense, and hard to find. The main point of my question is, what can a medical student do to set themselves apart and have a higher chance of getting into a registrar program.
 

Benjamin

ICU Reg (JCU)
Emeritus Staff
The main point of my question is, what can a medical student do to set themselves apart and have a higher chance of getting into a registrar program.

The answer to this depends heavily on what specialty you are aiming for & the easiest answer is going to be to try and look at the C.V. marking criteria for specific training programs.

In terms of research most of them have a time limit requirement, i.e. only research done in the last 5 years and only with yourself as first author are counted towards C.V. marks. Similarly, most will only accept research within the field that you're trying to get into.

Generally most medical students don't have a 100% clear idea of what they want to do and even if they are certain this often changes a lot over their medical school years & during their time as a junior doctor. The risk with doing research specifically for getting into a training program then is that you commit a lot of time and effort into something that doesn't achieve your goal either due to not being in the field or missing out on time.

That perspective though largely discounts all the other immaterial benefits that come from doing research other than just points on a C.V. Research usually gets you heavy exposure to senior staff, gives you insight into the specialty, teaches you how to critically approach problems as well as fostering an ability to enact change and improvement.

Above all the most important thing when doing research of any kind is that it's on something you are interested in - if it isn't then the entire thing will be a grind and it will probably put you off forever.

If you are purely looking for something that will help you get onto training programs then my suggestion is to do volunteer work and/or leadership / executive committee work. A lot of competitive specialties have this as part of their marking criteria for the C.V., it is usually a relatively flexible arrangement (for volunteering) and it also gives you experience that is both useful in real life and can be talked about in interviews.

A couple C.V. marking criteria are linked below for reference

Surgery -- all are on here with a couple clicks: Specialty specific eligibility criteria & selection processes

ICU: https://www.cicm.org.au/CICM_Media/...ured-Scored-Curriculum-Vitae-2021-Scoring.pdf

O&G: https://ranzcog.edu.au/RANZCOG_SITE...ng/CV-application-scoring-guidelines-2021.pdf

Physician -- doesn't list a scoring system.

Anaesthetics -- doesn't list a scoring system but their selection criteria are outlined on page 8 of this document https://www.anzca.edu.au/resources/all-handbooks-and-curriculums/anzca-training-handbook
 

chinaski

Regular Member
Physician -- doesn't list a scoring system.
...Because one does not exist to be listed.

To the OP, your question was nebulous because it was asking when you learn about "research" in medical school. Essentially, there is no way to "learn research" - it's not something that can be covered with a few lectures and hints about "how to". I'd suggest attending to the basics first. Most med schools will include in their curricula the basics of Evidence Based Medicine, which should cover the fundamentals of how to read, appraise and apply research. I think it's actually pretty hard to think about doing more advanced things (eg being directly involved in trials, studies, papers etc) before you have a firm grasp on things like how to critically read a paper and how study designs work. Learn to walk before you start thinking about how to run - that's what you should be concentrating upon in med school (rather than worrying about how to become a registrar).
 
Learn to walk before you start thinking about how to run - that's what you should be concentrating upon in med school (rather than worrying about how to become a registrar).
Yeah this is a good point, I know it’s very far ahead but I can’t help but be concerned when I hear stories of how difficult registrar programs are to get into. Stories of poor working conditions and the like for very senior residents who’ve missed out repeatedly on becoming a registrar. I know it’s very far ahead but since the decision to take on the medical journey happens so early, in my opinion it’s wise to at least be aware of how these processes work.


Surgery -- all are on here with a couple clicks: Specialty specific eligibility criteria & selection processes

ICU: https://www.cicm.org.au/CICM_Media/...ured-Scored-Curriculum-Vitae-2021-Scoring.pdf

O&G: https://ranzcog.edu.au/RANZCOG_SITE...ng/CV-application-scoring-guidelines-2021.pdf

Physician -- doesn't list a scoring system.

Anaesthetics -- doesn't list a scoring system but their selection criteria are outlined on page 8 of this document https://www.anzca.edu.au/resources/all-handbooks-and-curriculums/anzca-training-handbook
Also thank you to Benjamin for the comprehensive answer.
 

chinaski

Regular Member
Absolutely agree you should be aware of the obstacles further down the road (note: these extend beyond the point of getting onto a training program). However, don't concentrate on those obstacles to the point of neglecting the basics you need to cover first. Med school is a time wherein you get to focus on getting the fundamental bedrock of medicine down - you need that to build on. Everything else stacks on top of that.
 
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