Monday, 22 October 2007

The 7 Questions...

You may or may not have already seen the Foundation Programme 2008 application form, either way, here is my breakdown of the questions.

Question 1
Maximum points available: 5 points Limit: 250 words
List your educational achievements

Hmmm, this is the only question which I have no chance of scoring well on. In the notes that accompany the form it states that the marks are available for other degrees or publications in peer-reviewed journals. Now I have neither, when it comes to academic achievements I'm an above average student, but there isn't much that stands me out from anyone else who is above average academically. I do have a couple of things I could put down, however they've not actually happened yet so they'd be pending achievements. So anyway, I don't like this question much at all.

Question 2
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
Give one example of a non-academic achievement explaining both the significance to you and the relevance to foundation training.

Not a very difficult question most people have at least some kind of non-academic achievements. My problem here will be picking something which fits the question and I'm able to explore the significance to myself and foundation training.

Question 3
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
Describe one example (not necessarily clinical) relevant to your medical training where you have felt personally under pressure and/or challenged. What did you do to manage this and what did you learn from this experience that will be relevant to your foundation training?

I have a couple of potential answers to this question. One is rather controversial, another doesn't look particularly favourable towards me but I could reflect very well on it and the others are just a bit boring so I don't really know.

Question 4
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
Describe one example from your undergraduate medical training of your ability to prioritise tasks and information from any clinical or education area. What was the outcome, what have you learned and how will you apply this to foundation training?

I'm not keen on this question either. Surely the entire medical course is about prioritising tasks and information? It will be hard to pick out something original. The explanation and reflection will be the easier aspect of this question in my opinion.

Question 5
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
Describe one example from your own clinical experience that has increased your understanding of the importance of team working. What was your role and contribution to the team? What have you learned and how will you apply this to foundation training?

I was worried this question would come up but I think I've come up with a good situation now which I should be able to work with to get a decent answer to this question. Maybe I should use PBL! haha

Question 6
Maximum points available: 8 points Limit: 150 words
Describe one example of a recent clinical situation where you demonstrated appropriate professional behaviour. What did you do and what have you learned? How will you apply this to foundation training?

Again I have a potentially controversial idea for an answer to this question. I think brushing up on GMC good practice guidelines will be important for this form and this question in particular.

Question 7
Maximum points available: 10 points Limit: 250 words
Compare and contrast the care pathways you have observed or two different patients with similar clinical problems. To what extent did each pathway take the individual needs of the patient into account? What have you learned from these patients that will be relevant to your foundation training?

From the very little talk I've seen on the application form as yet, this seems to be the question which most people dislike the most. Personally I rather like it, I do think it is a bit of a strange question but I like it because I think I have a good example to use which will make interesting reading, be easy to reflect upon and will hopefully score well.

So, overall I'm fairly happy with the form, it could have been much much worse in my opinion. I don't think the system is a great way of doing things but it was always going to happen this way and you just need to think about how you'll be able to answer the questions. Good luck to anyone applying for foundation posts this year and stay tuned to hear how my application goes.


medstudentitis said...

Those questions really remind me of medical school applications. The questions always seem to vague and like it would be impossible to separate one from the next, but I guess it all depends on what you put into it. Controversial answers might help your application stand out, but could also disadvantage you if the individual reading the application doesn't have the same view...

dr_dyb said...

I disagree with you on the first two questions, as a graduate doing medicine who has now had to repeat a year, my publications and BSc are my only sfae points at the moment! Seriously though, the questions seem more bbalanced than in previous yeras, and no matter what anyone thinks of the system, it is the only one we have, so we all need to work with it.

My personal bugbare is that prizes etc can be included. Some Uni's have hundreds of prizes, but most of the ones at my uni were for Anatomy exams etc, and since the introduction of the integrated course, there is no specific Anatomy exam, so no prizes are given!

Anyway, it's good to see you back and blogging medicine again - the summer seemed long with fewer blog posts to read!

the little medic said...

dr_dyb - I suppose everyone will prefer different questions because everyone will have different things for each one and will be more confident on questions that other people might not be confident at all on.

I agree that it is the only system we have and it does look better than last year IMO, it isn't going to change so we just have to make the most of it.

I also agree about the prizes. As far as i'm aware, very few prizes are available from my university. There is only a max of 1 point for prizes though

Anonymous said...

hey LM - gotta agree with you on the last one. Definately one to break from the pack, funny if you think about it 10 points, thats like over a year of med school points, in 250 words?!

AJ said...

This my first time writing here, so hello everyone :)
The questions are fairly easy but the last one gives me nightmares. To be honest, I dont fully understand it and reading the hand book makes things worst and makes me even more lost. Can someone please explain what they want and maybe give me and example.
Thanks. :)