ST7 year and beyond… | Association of Anaesthetists

ST7 year and beyond…

ST7 year and beyond…

I am sitting here writing this on the last ever shift that I am going to complete as an anaesthetic registrar on what, tonight, has been a rare moment to sit down. Whilst this has been a longer than average time coming (extension to complete my Primary, babies and working ‘less than full time’) I am not sure that I was fully prepared for my ST7 year and how stressful a time it would be. In several aspects it feels as if the training wheels are being shaken loose but I am not sure if I am fully ready to go without them yet.

I have been in the privileged position of having seen many of my fellow core trainee colleagues successfully completing their ST7 year and gaining consultant posts. However, nothing had prepared me for how intense I would find it being on call with my consultant colleagues who I knew would be interviewing me at the end of the week. Working at a hospital during ST7 where you are interested in securing a job seems like a good idea, and often is; however, this does come with the added stress of feeling like you are in a constant job interview. Some people thrive on this, whilst others might find the pressure too much, and it is certainly something to think about when planning your hospital rotations. Having job adverts come out within days of one another, and interview dates all within one week, pose their own dilemmas when deciding what to apply for and then, if successfully short-listed, which interviews to attend. My advice here would be to only apply for jobs if, at that time, you are seriously considering it as an option, and only accept an interview for those you would be willing to accept the job.

Enhance your chances

Not all ST7 trainees decide to go straight into a consultant post, and that is fine. I have successfully secured a post- CCT paediatric fellowship and am currently embracing the upcoming sub-speciality training. If choosing to pursue a fellowship, my advice would be to make sure that it is the correct addition to your training, and that it is going to enhance your chances of securing your desired consultant post. Others may choose to enter their six months grace period either through choice (to further augment their existing training) or because they have not yet secured a consultant post. A further option would be to resign at the end of your training (providing you are on track to complete your anaesthetic training) and do ad-hoc locum shifts. Whatever your decision, it needs to be the correct one for you.

To make the most of your ST7 year it is essential you keep on top of the requirements. Most trainees will be completing their advanced training year during this time and ensuring that this is completed with the required work-place based assessments is essential. The additional advanced domains need to be completed and it is certainly a psychological advantage to go into your final ARCP with all, or nearly all, of the pre-requisites done. Make sure you are aware of what is required in your Deanery as the exact requirements may differ. Did you know that in order to get your CCT you need to have paper and electronic copies of all ARCP outcomes from your training? If training has taken longer than the standard seven years then this can amount to a substantial number of ARCP forms. Even for someone who is as meticulous as I am with keeping paperwork, I needed help to ensure all the years were covered. Your Deanery should be able to provide you with copies of any that you are missing.

To survive your ST7 year and complete your anaesthetic training by gaining your CCT requires a good support network and help from those who understand the additional requirements, stressors and emotions of the year that completes your training. Do not be afraid to talk to those around you, both professionally and personally. You may be amazed how supportive people can be. Most of all try and enjoy part, if not all, of your ST7 year; this is the end of your education to date and then you will start a new chapter.

Katy Miller
Post-CCT Fellow Paediatric Anaesthesia
Elected member Trainee Committee & Trainee Network Lead Officer