Writer Icon

THE MED ED APPLICATION

Author: Dr Alex Gordon

The guide to the Med Ed Application & Interview

 

Why the Med Ed AFP?

Medical education AFP allows you to begin to explore what a longer term career in medical education might look like. You can engage with both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training programmes, as well as getting very involved with your hospital’s medical education team. This allows you to gain oversight of issues in postgraduate training, and how this is co-ordinated, benefitting you as a future educator if you want to go in that direction, or simply give you a better insight into training in future.

 

THE APPLICATION

This goes for pretty much any AFP application – highlight your relevant experience, but also use it to sell yourself as a good candidate. It is no good saying you have done hundreds of teaching sessions if you can’t reflect how this has developed you as an educator, and academic foundation trainee. If you can, demonstrate engagement with any national education projects as an undergraduate (e.g., AMECS, or JASME) this will also stand you in good stead. However, this is not essential; any longstanding engagement with education as an undergraduate will make your application stronger.

Think about what you’ve done, what qualities it has developed in you, and how that will make you a good AFP candidate. A good way of doing this is to look at the person specification for AFP and try to link your personal experience to the traits they state they are looking for (as you can see, I not so subtly did this in the example above). Remember, it is often not going to be the same people interviewing as the ones marking the white space questions – it may simply be admin staff looking to tick boxes to see who scores enough points according to the person specification to be asked to interview.

 

THE INTERVIEW

You will need to prepare for generic questions that would be expected in any academic interview. Don’t forget that you will also likely need to prepare for (1) critical appraisal stations (these may be education-specific academic papers), and (2) clinical stations. To do this we can ask ourselves what is our core motivation for pursuing the AFP. 

The key with all AFP interviews, but particularly with education, is selling yourself as a long term investment for the deanery. Often they will be looking for educators who will go on to fulfil long term roles within the medical schools/ postgraduate schools. Therefore think about not only what you want to do during your education AFP, but also what you want to do beyond this.

Four things that are essential to understand about yourself before the interview:

1. Think about what experiences and interests you have in education

Focus on what your motivation is within education; the most helpful way I found to do this during my AFP application was focus on:

(1) what you have valued in other educators’ during your undergraduate experiences,

(2) how this has influenced your own educational practice, as well as any other influences, and

(3) how the previous two points have influenced your career aims within medical education.


This will allow your answer to be individualised and make you more likely to stand out as an interview candidate.

2. Think about why you want to do the AFP

Very similar to the previous statement - the difference is that you should make this relevant to the academic unit of application; what is it specifically about their AFP?


For me, what attracted me to Peninsula was that a PGCert allows me to formally develop my teaching ability, as well as enabling me to go on to do a PG Dip later which would involve modules on simulation (my area of interest).


Also, don’t be afraid to bring in personal and clinical reasons; after all you have to live in the deanery, and a large amount of your time will be spent doing clinical work!

3. Think about what you want to get out of the AFP

This is another opportunity to show that you are a good investment for the deanery. As with research, educational professional profiles should be available through the website of the university that your AFP will be based at.


Think about what your educational interests are, and link this to the work of one of the supervisors at the university. If you are a local applicant, you may also have the advantage of knowing the undergraduate curriculum and be able to make specific suggestions about what specific aspects of this you would like to work with.

4. Think about why the AFP suited to your career plans

Remember; sell yourself as a long-term investment beyond the AFP. Often many deaneries/ hospitals have clinical teaching fellow posts where you will have either a full-time teaching role or a significant amount of time blocked out for education; sell yourself as someone who wants to go on to do this within their deanery, referencing specific job roles that are offered. T


This would also be an opportunity to go on to build upon whatever project it is you want to do as an AFP.

 

GOOD LUCK!