Each year, fewer UK doctors enter specialty training-posts after completing their foundation years (FY1&2). For many, a desire to gain further experience or develop certain skills is a big factor contributing towards this trend. I was in such a situation towards the end of FY2 and wanted to develop my teaching skills while building my portfolio towards a career in surgery.
I researched a number of educational fellow and anatomy demonstrator roles in the UK, searching for the jobs online and inquiring from colleagues. After weighing up the pros and cons of each post and accounting for personal and geographical preferences, I applied for the role of an anatomy demonstrator at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Aside from improving my teaching and communication skills, the role afforded me the opportunity to enrol onto a Post Graduate Certificate Medical Education to improve my understanding of educational theories. Naturally the role improved my understanding of anatomy and handling instruments and tissues appropriately. The relatively light rota as compared to busier NHS or fellow jobs allowed me to build on missing aspects of my portfolio and helped me gain a core surgical training post.
Some specialty posts in the UK, prefer candidates not to have taken time out of training but if candidates chose to take time out, then it is important to prove on-going professional development. The role’s ability to demonstrate a future trainee’s continuous professional development (CPD) is something that should be highlighted, especially for candidates applying for competitive training jobs.
anatomy, FY3, professional development, teaching
Lockwood AM, Roberts AM. The anatomy demonstrator of the future: an examination of the role of the medically qualified anatomy demonstrator in the context of tomorrow’s doctors and modernizing medical careers. Clin Anat. 2007. 20:455–459.
Gossage JA, Horner B, Ellis H. The anatomy demonstrator has an important role in medical student education. Med Educ. 2003. 37:1056.
Davis RM, Bates AS, Ellis H, Roberts AM. Human Anatomy: let the students tell us how to teach. Anat Sci Educ. 2014. 7:262-272
Smith CF, Gami B, Stanfield N, Davies DC. The role of anatomy demonstrators: A surgical trainees’ perspective. Clin Anat. 2018. 31: 409-416.