On Saturday (26/02) I went to Liverpool Medical School to attend their Surgical Careers Open Day and I must say it had the most depressing start ever! We had an ENT surgeon do a brief introduction about being a surgeon and the mood of the entire room just shot down through the floor. Essentially his view was in order to become a surgeon you MUST do a BMedSci and get lots of publications. And even if you do those things you won't get into your surgical specialty. I understand surgery is quite competitive but we all attend the surgical open day because we are excited about it honestly there is a less harsher way of putting reality into context. Instead of scaring our pants off and being a black cloud...how about just introduce the steps and the possible downfalls that could happen along the way...instead of just hammering on about how difficult it is and that we can mess up our career if we don't show any sort of progress while doing a masters degree if we don't get into CST. Wayyyyy to start the morning off. Essentially from what I can tell the mood was grim.
We had talks from an ENT surgeon, paediatric surgeon, plastic surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, and a transplant surgeon. Most interesting/well done presentation was done by the Orthopaedic surgeon as it was short and concise. It gave us a good overview of the career and what it involves. After the talk I talked to the Orthopaedic surgeon to ask him about his view on BMedSci and how recruiting works if you're an international student.
What I gather from our short conversation was that if you are not interested in doing a BMedSci do not force yourself into doing one. If you're interested - good do one! And there was a bit of a mention how some people are doing it just for the sake of getting brownie points for their application forms and what matters most is your pure interest in the specialty. He also mentioned about making your CV stand out. If you had to take all your friends' CV and compare it with yours - yours should stand out if you want to make it into surgery.
Now with international students it seems like we are not discriminated anymore for specialty selection. Once we have registered after foundation year (if that will even happen in the future) we will be placed on the same level as local students as we have gone through the UK medical education system. The tough part is just getting your Visa. I was pretty glad to find out that we will be treated like the local students as that evens the playing field a bit more. Shame nothing has really been released about the new immigration scheme as that will be the biggest obstacle.
Overall the careers day was alright. It wasn't anything special. Came home pretty much shattered due to the early wake up to catch the train to Liverpool. It was nice talking to the Orthopaedic surgeon though. :)