Eva Larkai, one of the RCP’s Student and Foundation Network (SFDN) representatives, explores some highlights of the recent medicine careers week.
The RCP medicine careers showcase provided a fantastic week of webinars that highlighted the unique and fulfilling aspects of being a physician and offered a wealth of information for anyone considering or already pursuing a medical career. It was clear from the content throughout the week that medical training boasts a variety of opportunities available to physicians. Whether it’s managing acute or chronic disease, providing community or hospital care, or pursuing procedural or academic practice, embarking on a career in medicine can be both challenging and stimulating while also aligning with one’s interests and skills.
As someone who is fascinated by several areas of medicine, the specialty-specific videos within the ‘specialty careers hub’ tab were useful insights into the day-to-day realities encountered by physicians across over 30 specialties. This included some of the specialties that early-career trainees like me may have had minimal exposure to so far, such as sport, exercise and musculoskeletal medicine, paediatric cardiology, and public health. Personally, I was interested in finding out more about obstetric medicine and was really pleased to come across a video spotlighting this exciting and evolving field that requires collaboration with other medical specialties to provide coordinated care for pregnant women and their babies. Alongside these videos, I also found the downloadable ‘Specialty career biographies digest’ to be really inspiring and full of many nuggets of wisdom.
A recurrent theme emerging from the webinars was the importance of mentoring relationships during our training and throughout our careers. The mentor–mentee relationships discussed during the week demonstrated how mentors can provide a valuable space for open and honest communication, allowing physicians to share their successes, struggles, and aspirations with someone who understands the unique challenges of the profession. I learnt that mentors can also help their mentees achieve their career goals by encouraging early exploration of their interests and preparation to help make informed decisions, and pursue opportunities that align with their ambitions.
'By attending the RCP medicine careers showcase I encountered new opportunities to build my portfolio, learned many things that I didn’t even realise I needed to know and definitely felt more prepared to make decisions about my future.'
Other highlights for me included the conversations around less traditional training routes in medicine and how different our individual timelines and trajectories may look – which is totally OK! I also appreciated the perspectives shared on the ‘dreaded medical registrar role’, which although it typically involves managing acutely unwell patients and making rapid clinical decisions for complex medical patients, is also a fantastic opportunity to make a significant impact because of the shear breadth of knowledge and experience required for the role.
I also enjoyed the live webinar on how we can all adopt a more compassionate and inclusive approach to improving care for people who are homeless, often have limited access to healthcare services, and therefore, experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality compared to the general population.
By attending the RCP medicine careers showcase I encountered new opportunities to build my portfolio, learned many things that I didn’t even realise I needed to know and definitely felt more prepared to make decisions about my future. I’m still chewing through the content which can be found on the event page, and you’ve got until 15 January 2024 to do so.