ST1/2 Learning Goals
It is very easy to get wrapped up in the service commitments of your hospital posts. On call rotas and the steep learning curve to become proficient at your job can dominate. In our experience, the people who enjoy their hospital posts the most are those that take the long view by looking at what the post can offer them for their future career.
Plan your study leave early your study leave while in hospital as there is no funding for leave during the ST3 year. Previous trainees tell us that one of the most useful things you can do early in your rotation is to spend some time at your trainer’s practice. Understanding what you are preparing yourself for will help you get more from your jobs.
Develop lifelong learning
For many trainees, one of the greatest transitions from hospital medicine to independent practice is that of learning to learn for yourself. Admittedly a generalisation, but in school, medical school and often in hospital posts, one is told what to learn. Ahead of you is a career in which you must decide this. Start using your eportfolio to reflect on interesting cases and address real learning needs.
Take the initiative and get to clinics
Hospital jobs are busy but they do have lulls. If you find yourself in a quiet patch, take the initiative and seek out some GP-relevant experience. Usually this can be found in the clinics rather than on the wards.
Develop new friendships and have some fun!
While we don’t think you should be hanging out in the mess when you could be in clinic, we do think you should make the most of it for lunch and coffee breaks. The mess is an important place. Whether you stay local or not, often your colleagues from the wards will be your friends and support network of the future.
Value the busy times too. While recent changes in rotas etc have tried to undermine the value of the “firm”, there is nothing like struggling through the tough patches together to form friendships and give you a real sense of communal achievement. And don’t forget to strike a healthy work-life balance.
Its YOUR career so be proactive about getting the most from your jobs!