It’s not just about the exams and the competences – COURSES!

Here is a list of courses and additional skills that I would recommend (I am trying to tick off these on my own personal checklist so this is not an official list, rather my own opinion):

ALS – Definitely a requirement to even be considered eligible for a training post – a basic course to attend for any training or non training doctor – certification lends you 4 years, and then needs to be recertified

APLS or EPLS – whether or not you’re paediatrically inclined – the paediatric life support courses, or their european counterparts are a good feather to add to your cap

ATLS – the advanced trauma life support – need I say more?

Ultrasound levels 1&2 – good thing to begin this early on in your training, what with everything being scanned for these days even vascular access – its a good thing to have ticked off earlier in your career so you can begin the arduous process of getting signed off for it which may take a while

Attend conferences – the RCEM provides a lot of guidelines, and then there are always foreign conferences like SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care) – be very open to the exchange of ideas, you never know which interaction might be a teaching moment or lead to one – and change your practise.

Look at out of program opportunities or secondments that either support your career growth in your own field or cater to your own personal growth and add to your skill set in addition to your training pathway. See if your deanery or your local hospital has any sponsored programs, maybe an additional masters program or other academic or teaching opportunity, a mentorship course or a volunteer ALS/BLS instructor or even a nominated teaching go-to person for medical students rotating in your specialty. It adds to your CV, makes you a better candidate for the future and just rounds you off that much better. (My deanery offers a few postgraduate degrees in stuff like entrepreneurship and leadership skills – I am seriously considering the option to apply to be considered for such an opportunity!)

Exam prep courses – no shame in that, in the ever-changing exam scenario for the training program, it can’t hurt to be well-informed and look at guidance options – my deanery regularly arranges examination preparatory guidance courses. Consider joining!

European Board of Emergency Medicine exams – consider applying for these and taking them – the first part is something you get eligible for if you have 3 years of emergency medicine experience that someone can vouch for for non training people – for trainees it is after the successful completion of 3rd year of their training. Something to definitely consider as adding to the many feathers in your cap.

Simulation days – very informative and you learn so much, not just from doing it yourself, but from how others do it and how there may be a range of approaches and you can look at what works for you!

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