A guide to the 2024 Internal Medicine Training (IMT) Applications
Internal Medicine Training (IMT) applications are fast approaching!
As we’re sure you already know, IMT is a competitive specialty. In 2023, 4406 people applied for the 1633 vacancies; making a competition ratio of 2.69, this is an increase on 2022. So, you don’t want to waste any time, start thinking about what job you want and where you want it.
IMT applications are run through Oriel, and it is worth setting up an account before it opens so you receive updates and don’t miss the date. The application period lasts for around a month, but it’s best to start your application early as it can take some time to complete the whole thing.
We recommend familiarising yourself with the timetable for internal medicine training recruitment:
|Timeline for 2024 IMT recruitment round 1|
|Vacancies published||By 5pm Wednesday 25 October 2023|
|Applications open||At 10am Thursday 26 October 2023|
|Applications close||At 4pm Thursday 23 November 2023|
|Longlisting confirmed||By Tuesday 19 December 2023|
|Shortlisting||By Wednesday 20 December 2023|
|Invitation to interview by||Thursday 21 December 2023|
|Interview booking deadline||Thursday 28 December 2023 (first invites)
Tuesday 2 January 2024 (second invites)
|Interviews held||Tuesday 2 January to Friday 16 February 2024|
|Rankings released||Tuesday 27 February 2024|
|Programme preferences||Tuesday 27 February to Monday 18 March 2024|
|Offers made||Tuesday 19 March 2024|
|Hold deadline||At 1pm on Thursday 4 April 2024|
|Upgrade deadline||At 4pm on Tuesday 9 April 2024|
|Scoresheet feedback released||Thursday 4 April 2024|
|Post start date||Wednesday 7 August 2024|
Further information on these dates can be found here on the IMT recruitment page.
The IMT application is divided into several sections, but these can basically be split into the eligibility section and the evidence section (this is where you score your points).
What is the eligibility section of your IMT application?
This is essentially your right to work in a training program in the UK. If you are applying from overseas, you will need evidence of your visa status.
In this section, you will have to show that you have completed FY2 or are currently training as an FY2. Again, if you are applying from overseas, you will need to show your equivalent training completion.
You will need details of your Degree and your GMC registration – these should then be stored in your IMT eligibility folder.
Finally, you will need to provide a list of each place you have worked and the level of each rotation. This is the time laborious bit! Once this is all entered, you will then need to provide three referees. These referees are simply to confirm that you are a doctor who has no training concerns. One must be your current educational supervisor or equivalent, and the other two you can choose.
All of this information can take time to put together, so get it sorted now and you’ll breeze through the application process, giving you more time to prepare for the actual interview. We’ve designed the Internal Medicine Training Interview Question Bank to help you with that.
How important is the evidence section of your IMT application?
This is the bit of your IMT application that counts, and where the score for your shortlisting comes from. You should have evidence for everything that you include in your IMT application. That’s easy when it comes to a paper you have written or a poster you have presented, but it can get harder when you are asked to show evidence for teaching that you have done or a leadership course you have attended. Certificates are obviously a good source of evidence, so make sure you collect them after each course and keep them safe. Letters, written and signed by a consultant, are also a good form of evidence, particularly for those harder to prove things – for example, setting up a ward-based teaching program or leadership experience. The main thing is that you think about these things early and get them in place.
How is my IMT application score decided?
- Postgraduate: You either score here or you don’t (don’t worry if you don’t – it’s definitely not essential and you’ll claw back the marks later on). MRCP(UK) does not count in this section. Make sure you have your degree certificate in your portfolio!
- Additional Achievements: This relates to awards and prizes obtained during medical school or after graduating. It also includes people who received honours for their medical degree. Check your medical degree transcript; if you scored a few merits in a few exams, that’s enough to get application points, so make sure you include it in your portfolio.
- Presentations/Posters: Talk to your supervisor and find out what projects they have on the horizon; can you help with an abstract submission for an upcoming conference, for example? You can score points here if you’re the first or second author on a poster, even if you’re not the one to present it! Remember, there’s a separate section for Quality Improvement, so you can’t include posters you have presented for QI projects here.
- Publications: You’ll score the most points in this section if you’re the first author on one or more PubMed cited papers. However, you can pick up points for any publication you’ve been involved in, so it’s always worth including them. If you’re lacking in this area, ask your consultant about writing a case report or see if you can write a piece for a journal, as even conference reviews will score you some points! Remember, you must be prepared to talk about any publications you include during your interview.
- Teaching: The points here are gained for showing that you can develop and deliver your own teaching program; this can be as simple as starting a ward-based teaching program for the whole MDT. Start the sessions, collect your feedback (put it in the appendix of your portfolio) and make sure you get a letter from your supervisor or consultant saying what you’ve done to score well. Teaching medical students is good, but be the one to create the program, and you’ll score the best! Evidence of teaching courses attended is all useful and good to talk about in the ‘Portfolio’ Station and you can learn more about Teach the Teacher courses here.
- Quality Improvement: This section used to be called ‘Audits’, but now it’s QI, and getting full marks should be straightforward. You can design a QI project tomorrow – follow the PDSA Methodology and capture two cycles, present it and you’re done. No excuse for not hitting the 10 points on offer! (Remember: Unfortunately, you cannot claim a presentation of your quality improvement project in the presentation section of the application form; presentations relating to audits or quality improvement projects must be detailed here as the scoring system is set up to include this.)
- Leadership and Management: You’ll score application points for being a trainee representative on a committee. The number of points you’ll receive will depend on the level of the committee, with the national committees scoring you the most. Of course, that’s not always possible, but you can easily pick up points by volunteering as a local training rep or member of the Junior Doctors Forum. Just remember to get your letter! Unfortunately, you won’t score points for evidence of Leadership Development and Management Courses, but these are still great talking points, so it’s worth including them.
These 7 topics are what will ultimately make up your IMT application score. Start thinking about them now and where you can pick up easy points. You can learn more in our guide to maximise points in the 2024 Internal Medicine Training (IMT) Application.
Achievements must have been completed before they can be claimed, so ensure you have your documentary evidence available when you apply.
There are sections to include any relevant training courses you have attended and MRCP examinations you’ve successfully completed. Note that this is not an essential requirement for IMT; however, completing MRCP Part 1 is desirable.
Commitment to Specialty
There is also a section at the end of the IMT application form where applicants are encouraged to write a few words discussing their commitment to medicine. This comprises of two questions: the first asks you to describe why you have applied; the second focuses on what you’ve done to prepare. Each question has a limited word count of only 150.
In previous years, this was only rarely reviewed, and generally discussed as a question in the portfolio stage of the interview. However, since the cancellation of the portfolio station, more emphasis has been placed on this. If you’re invited to interview, you can expect a significant focus on commitment to specialty, and your answers in this section will likely be discussed.
Therefore, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Take time to think and write about why you want to apply for internal medicine, what you enjoy, what you want to get out of it, and most importantly, what you can offer to your consultant colleagues that would make them want to choose you (this is ultimately what it’s all about!).
Good luck with your Internal Medicine Training application!
Check out all our Internal Medicine Training (IMT) Interview Resources.
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