Medical Oncology ST3: Interview Guide 2024
Medical Oncology 23rd January 2024

Medical Oncology ST3: Interview Guide 2024

Are you looking for a 2024 Medical Oncology ST3 interview guide to help you with your application? Our guide covers everything relating to the application process, including the recruitment timeline, the interview format and how it’s scored.

Last year’s competition ratio will give you an idea of what you’ll be up against in the upcoming recruitment round. In round 2 of 2023, there were 187 applications for 92 posts. This resulted in a competition ratio of 2.03, meaning around two people applied for each post. We created this Medical Oncology ST3 interview guide to help you beat the competition.

Medical Oncology ST3 Application

The Medical Oncology ST3 recruitment process occurs twice a year. For August 2024 start dates, the application window opens on 16 November and runs until 7 December 2023.

The Medical Oncology ST3 eligibility criteria varies depending on your training background. For example, if you have a medical background, you must have completed the internal medicine training (IMT) stage 1 programme or equivalent and MRCP(UK) to be eligible. This includes finishing MRCP Part 1 by the time of application and MRCP Part 2 by the offer day.

More information on the eligibility criteria can be found in the 2024 Medical Oncology ST3 person specification.

Medical Oncology ST3 Application Scoring

Part of the Medical Oncology ST3 application form requires you to answer self-assessment questions. A total of 48 points are available across the following domains:

Assessment area Maximum score available
Postgraduate degrees and qualifications 4
Additional achievements 3
MRCP(UK) 8
Presentations / posters 7
Publications 8
Teaching 6
Quality improvement 5
Leadership and management 4

You’ll also be assessed on your commitment to specialty as part of the shortlisting process. The Physician Higher Specialty Training Recruitment website provides further information on how your commitment to specialty will be scored.

Later in the process, you’ll have to provide evidence to support your claims in the self-assessment section. The assessors will then use these documents to verify your self-assessment scores. How well your documents are organised will also be assessed, with a further 2 marks available for well-organised evidence. However, if the presentation of your documents isn’t clear, your application might not be shortlisted.

You can find more information about the Medical Oncology ST3 application scoring and evidence verification on the Physician Higher Specialty Training Recruitment website.

Medical Oncology ST3 Recruitment Timeline

The 2024 recruitment dates for round 1 of Medical Oncology ST3 are as follows:

Stage Date
Application window 16 November – 7 December 2023
Interviews 25 – 26 March 2023
First offers deadline 18 April 2024
Offer holding deadline 23 April 2024
Offer upgrade deadline 24 April 2024
Interview Feedback release date 25 April 2024
Posts commencing from date 7 August 2024

Medical Oncology ST3 Interview Format

The Medical Oncology ST3 interview is split across two stations. Each station consists of two questions, which take 5-7 minutes to complete. With each station taking 12 minutes, when you include the time between the stations, you can expect the interview to take around 30-35 minutes.

You can find more information on the interview stations below, allowing you to see what each question entails:

Station 1 Question 1 – Clinical Scenario

You’ll receive a clinical scenario at the start of the interview, which will only be a few sentences long. You’ll have a short time to review the scenario before facing 7 minutes of interview questions.

The clinical scenario will describe a hypothetical situation in which you’ve become involved. To prepare for the discussion, you should think about the following points:

  • Your next steps
  • The potential treatments
  • How you would communicate with other people involved in the scenario
  • Any further information you would collect
  • Any other factors you consider to be significant based on your experience

Station 1 Question 2 – Professionalism and Governance

This part of the interview assesses your understanding of professionalism and governance in a specific situation and will last approximately 5 minutes. Unlike the previous part of the interview, you won’t receive a brief before the question, but rather verbally, once you’ve finished the clinical scenario. The assessment will be underpinned by the principles of the GMC’s Good Medical Practice, so it’s recommended that you refresh your knowledge of this.

Station 2 Question 1 – Academic/research

Station 2 begins with a general discussion about research and academic medicine. You don’t receive any specific information in advance for this question. But, it’s worth getting to grips with how medical research takes place, so you have an idea of the costs, challenges and benefits of conducting research. You can also look into areas of research that interest you. This question will last approximately 6 minutes.

Station 2 Question 2 – Suitability and commitment

The final part of the interview focuses on your suitability and commitment to Medical Oncology ST3 training. This question will last approximately 6 minutes and is an opportunity to build on the information you provided in the application form.

Medical Oncology ST3 Interview Scoring

Two separate assessors will score each question in your Medical Oncology ST3 interview. The scoring framework used to determine the scores you’ll be awarded is in the table below:

Mark Rating Assessment
1 Poor Not appointable
2 Area for concern Performed below the expected level – the ability to progress depends on performance in other areas
3 Satisfactory Performed at the expected level – the candidate is suitable for the next level of specialty training
4 Good Performed above the expected level – the candidate is suitable for the next level of specialty training
5 Excellent High-performing candidate – the candidate is suitable for the next level of specialty training

Once your performance has been assessed, you’ll receive a raw interview score (RIS). This figure is the total of all eight of your interview scores. With the interviewers marking each question between 1 and 5, your RIS can range from 8 to 40.

Before you can be considered an appointable candidate and progress to the next stage, you must meet the following criteria:

  • None of your eight interview scores can be 1/5
  • No more than two of your scores can be 2/5
  • Your RIS must be 24 or higher

If you meet the above criteria, your application will be deemed appointable, and you will progress to be considered for post offers. For the purpose of post offering, your raw interview scores and application score will have a weighting applied, before being combined to give your total score, which will be used to rank you. Posts are then offered in rank order.

You can find more information about the Medical Oncology ST3 interview scoring for 2024 on the Physician Higher Specialty Training Recruitment website.

Good luck!

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