General Practise (GP) applications for 2020 are opening soon and it’s important to remember that succeeding in your application for UK GP training requires preparation and practice. Don’t underestimate how important this application is for your future as a GP trainee. Your score not only determines whether you get into GP training, but also determines whether you get your top preference for location and rotations during your training. So no pressure! Our Medibuddy GP resources will help you to succeed and achieve the best marks possible to set you up for your future career in General Practice. Good luck!
GP Training Application Stage 1 – Longlisting
This is the easy bit, submit your application electronically via Oriel. The application for longlisting contains only factual information about yourself i.e.name, DOB, address and information about your previous employment history.
- Remember to apply before the closing date, there is a 2-week window to apply and late applications will not be considered, so make sure you press ‘submit’ in plenty of time.
- Generally,the applications for Round 1 (startdatein August) open in October/November of the year before and the applications for Round 2 (start datein February) open in July/August of the year before.
- As long as you meet the eligibility criteria you will progress to Stage 2. Full eligibilitycriteria can be found at the General Practice ST1 Person Specificationand the Targeted GP Training Person Specification.
GP Training Application Stage 2 – Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)
This is the stage which assesses both your clinical knowledge and your ability to problem solve with the professional dilemma section. It is a computer-based exam comprising both clinical and professional dilemma multiple choice questions. Your total score for this stage makes up 60% of your overall GP training score.
- Professional dilemma paper – 58 Situational Judgement Test questions (110 minutes). 20% of total overall score.
- Clinical problem-solving paper – 97 clinical questions (75 minutes). 40% of overall score.
If you score in the top 10% of the cohort (usually a score of >575 points), you will be given a direct offer and do not need to complete the next stage in the process (Selection Centre Interview- Stage 3).
GP Training Application Stage 3 – Selection Centre Interview
Congratulations! You have been invited to selection centre for your interview, you have reached the last stage of the GP application. All your hard work is about to pay off and you will soon be a RCGP trainee.
In addition to the information below, our UK GP training material will provide you with both the content and the structure to ensure you get maximum points at interview.
What to expect on the day
This is the face to face ‘interview.’ Don’t be fooled though, this is not a standard interview where you are asked to explain why you have chosen to pursue a career in General Practice or present a portfolio.
Instead there are 3x simulated consultation stations with actors and one written prioritisation question.
- 1x essay style written prioritisation question (30 minutes)
- 3x simulated consultation scenarios (10 minutes each). 1x patient, 1x relative/carer and 1x colleague (non-doctor) scenario.
The written prioritisation question is conducted in a room with the other candidates, you will each have a desk with a question booklet, your answers are hand written. The simulated consultations are held in individual rooms, with an examiner and the actor. The emphasisin these scenariosis on communication skills, not clinical knowledge, which can throw some candidates.
The interview makes up 40% of your overall score and will determine your ranking within the cohort.
Each selection centre is equivocal, they are usually in generic office buildings or sports stadiums. The rooms are non-clinical and you will not need to examine a patient.
Dress in clinical, smart clothes.
How it is assessed
The marking scheme from the NRO (National Recruitment Office) assesses 4 competencies in Stage 3:
- Empathy & Sensitivity – Capacity and motivation to take in others’ perspectives and to treat others with understanding.
- Communication Skills – Capacity to adjust behaviour and language as appropriate to needs of differing situations.
- Conceptual Thinking & Problem Solving – Capacity to think beyond the obvious, with analytical and flexible mind.
- Professional Integrity – Capacity and motivation to take responsibility for own actions and demonstrate respect for all.
All four areas are assessed in the written prioritisation question. The simulated consultation scenarios assesses all but professional integrity.
How to prepare for the GP Stage 3 selection centre
Practice, practice, practice!
You will not be able to score highly in this interview if you do not prepare. The simulated consultation scenarios are meant to be reflective of your everyday practice, but you are required to hit all areas of the mark scheme to score highly, this skill takes practice.
Our Medibuddy General Practice Selection Centre Interview (Stage 3) material has 50 written prioritisation questions with high scoring model answers and 18 simulated consultation scenario questions with both excellent and average performing consultation videos, helping you to get the marks you deserve and rank as ‘excellent’ in your own interview.
Tips for scoring highly at the GP interview
Remember, unlike the Multi-Speciality Recruitment Assessment (MSRA/ Stage 2), the Selection Centre Interview (Stage 3) focusses on your communication skills, not your clinical knowledge. This is where a lot of candidates can get into difficulty, focussing their attention on the clinical management, rather than exploring the underlying issues.
You can get more tips on preparing for the selection centre here.
- GP National Recruitment Office. Guidance for Applicants. (2019). Webpage available at: https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/Applicant-Guidance
- General Medical Council. GMC. (2013). Good Medical Practice. Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/Good_medical_practice___English_1215.pdf_51527435.pdf