Wednesday, 19 March 2008

You'll never walk alone

It's a long and lonely trail from being a bright eyed medical student to the dizzy heights of becoming a consultant. Luckily the library is here to guide you on your way.

The first obstacle is the Foundation Programme. It has its own dedicated website that explains the mysteries from career path and curriculum to FAQs and a forum to talk to other Foundation newbies.

It's always helpful to have a guidebook when you are going somewhere new, and naturally we have several in the library.

"The Foundation Programme: the medics' practical guide to thriving and surviving" has an introduction from Phil Hammond. It advises on everything from surviving the first few months to life after the programme.

"The Foundation Programme for Doctors: getting in, getting on and getting out" is written by two students and an FY1 doctor. It covers everything from filling out your application forms to developing your portfolio.

"The Foundation Years: a handbook for junior doctors" includes some experiences of a FY2, and looks at writing a CV, and all the nitty gritty around shifts and rotas.

More generally we have books on writing the best CVs and getting through interviews, and if you fancy spending time in exotic locations we have "The Medics' Guide to Work and Electives Around the World". Don't forget to gen up on travel medicine before you go.

If you are looking to clamber further up the greasy pole then consider "The Specialist Registrar and New Consultant Handbook". It offers enlightenment on how the NHS works, clinical governance, training and assessing others, as well as the management skills you will need.

Even those at the top of the tree cannot rest on their laurels (admittedly a slightly mixed metaphor, but at least sticks to a horticultural theme). We have books on revalidation and appraisal.

Along the way you may find books on coping with stress, working in teams, ethics, communication and law useful. You could even read books or papers on your clinical speciality to help you keep up to date, or use our current awareness service.

So there you have it - your complete survival kit for a top notch medical career - contents, one library.

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