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Dr Jing Wang - Medical Foundation Trainee

Dr Jing Wang - Medical Foundation Trainee

Medical Foundation Training in Scotland

After undergraduate training, medical Trainees choosing Scotland as their base from which to become doctors in training means they have selected Foundation Training that immediately recognises that a journey towards excellence needs high quality and efficient signposting and support.

The Scottish Foundation School covers the whole of Scotland and is the biggest foundation school in the UK. Encompassing all four Deaneries, the Foundation Programmes are designed to cover different specialties, populations and geographical diversity, including remote and rural practice.

The Foundation school also recognises that the first few weeks of a trainee’s journey can feel a little daunting. The early days of Foundation Training brings them to the new and sometimes confusing world of employment. Providing trainees with an opportunity to shadow a colleague who has recently travelled this path provides a welcoming and supportive introduction to the world of work. This opportunity not only benefits our doctors in training, but provides a professional experience for patients, keeping them safe and treating them well. This human factors approach symbiotically improves the health experience for both our doctors in training and our patients.

To ensure that doctors in training orientate quickly into the department to which they are first placed, The Scottish Foundation School welcomes them to a Shadow Week. This part-paid Shadow Week demystifies what it means to work in a busy NHSScotland department, inducting them to policies, departmental procedures and regulations. This essential induction not only informs our new employees with the expectations of their employer, but it also gives an authentic introduction to what the First Year of Foundation Training might be like.

The Shadow week starts with a welcome to the Deanery. It also provides a snapshot of what it is like to be a Foundation Doctor. Trainees hear experiences of a Foundation Year One doctor currently in post, who describes to the trainees their own experiences of the first year in Postgraduate Training. This presentation allows Foundation Doctors who already have experienced the transition from Undergraduate to Postgraduate to tell a story of ‘What I Wish I had Known’.

The rest of the shadow week prepares the trainee for their employment by not only understanding the Deanery, their employers, and the relevant policies but also ensuring that they can put theory into practice. This opportunity not only gets our doctors in training up and running in their department as efficiently as possible, it also allows them to experience different shifts, be present at handovers and to become familiar with their rotas and shifts.

An evaluation of the Shadow week from 2012 has shown that this honest and frank approach offers not only reassurance and insight for the doctors in training but also provides an informative quality measure for improving this opportunity for future years.

To maintain and continue to improve the quality of the Shadow Week, all doctors in training who have this opportunity complete a questionnaire to provide feedback about the best and worst parts of the Shadow Week. The information gathered from these questionnaires provides invaluable information for continually improving this opportunity year on year.

The Scottish Foundation School regularly reviews the current teaching and experiences available to Foundation Doctors including induction and shadowing.

The key learning outcome for the Shadow Week is for doctors in training entering training to identify their responsibilities as an employee in training with the NHS delivering safe patient care by seeking appropriate supervision and is the foundation for our doctors in training as they start their journey of excellence.

Dr Wang commented:  “My colleagues agree that the Shadow Week was an invaluable opportunity to prepare them for the first few weeks of work”.