A Career in Cardiology: A Toolkit for Success

By Dr Jonathan Shurlock and Dr Tim Swinn

Highlights from the “Career in Cardiology” chaired by Dr Kalpa da Silva and Dr Fu Siong Ng, at the Royal College of Physicians included:

Maximising points on ST4 applications

The suggestions included to review the JRCTPB application scoring guide early and regularly in case of changes to the scoring system and to be realistic and focus on achievable points, taking into consideration the application deadlines.

Greater emphasis on “suitability for Med Reg role” during the interviews and the clinical station in the interview often differentiates between candidates. 

Dual accreditation with GIM mandatory to complete higher speciality cardiology training due to the “Shape of Training” review. GIM Training Time Calculator has been recommended to evidence GIM experience. 

The route to Academic Cardiology and is it for everyone? 

Clinical training time is reduced in Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) and Academic Clinical Lectureship (ACL) pathways which places greater pressure to achieve clinical competencies in a smaller timeframe. However, having dedicated to time for academic cardiology is attractive but applications require advanced planning to maximise the opportunities to strengthen the application.  However, Academic cardiology can be pursued from other pathways too. 

Professor Amitava Banerjee (Professor in Clinical Data Science at University College London) outlined his current role with a 70:30 academic to clinical split. He highlighted that finding the right balance of clinical to academic work is likely to differ for individuals and is essential for long term job satisfaction.

Split-site job plans:

Split site working is becoming increasingly common, particularly for interventionalists providing different services at district general hospitals and local tertiary centres, whilst this allows them to remain practised at a wider variety of procedures. District General Hospitals are now able to provide greater services than previously. 

Work-life balance as a Cardiologist

Cardiology training presents many challenges and striking a good work-life balance can be difficult. Dr Shazia Hussain (Consultant interventional cardiologist) highlighted the importance of a mentor, to help find this balance and support in pursuing important career opportunities. To achieve the optimal work-life balance, awareness of priorities and the support of colleagues, family and friends is key. 
See more insights and video clips from the day on the BCS Twitter page here: https://twitter.com/BritishCardioSo