Choosing the right examples: For the last few years, the foundation application questions have been ‘competency’ questions. These are questions which ask you to write about an example from your own experience where you have demonstrated a particular skill (i.e. teamwork, communication skills, organisational skills etc). When answering this type of question, it is important to choose a good example, which is both relevant to the skills being asked for and also to the job of a foundation doctor. BEFORE THE QUESTIONS ARE RELEASED: 1. Have a look at the list of all the previous questions. (link to document here) They cover most of the competencies in the F1 person specification and some of this years questions will ask for similar skills/competencies. 2. For each question, write down as many examples as you can which could be relevant to that question. Then write down any other impressive or interesting experiences you have had. This should give you a bank of your best examples to draw on for when the questions are released. Try to draw your examples from a wide range of experiences. Think about clinical placements, electives, SSMs, hobbies, extra curricular involvement, volunteering etc. AFTER THE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RELEASED: The following guidance should help you to decide which example to use for which question. 1. Look at the question and work out which skill it is asking about (often this is very obvious). 2. Think of as many examples as you can which you might be able to use for this answer. 3. Break down the skill into parts. For example, teamwork involves: listening to the views of others, being reliable, encouraging and supporting the other members of the team, knowing the role of other members of the team, knowing your own role, helping maintain or increase morale/motivation, being flexible, sharing workload, getting other team members to help with major issues etc. 4. Go through each example and see how many parts of the skill are relevant. This should help to avoid some of the common errors when choosing an example (such as choosing a leadership example for a teamwork question etc). Some of your examples will be more relevant than others. 5. Don’t stop this process when you have found one example you think fits well, because you may decide to use it for a different question (i.e. a good example you have found for teamwork could be a better example to highlight your communication skills). 6. Repeat this process for all the other skills being asked about. 7. Go through the list and pick out the best examples to highlight each skill without duplicating an experience. You may well be asked to show relevance to the role of an F1 doctor. Try to choose an example which shows the skills most likely to be needed in this role. i.e. if asked about dealing with stress/pressure, think about the type of stress you are likely to come across as an F1 doctor and choose an answer which more accurately reflects this. I know it is very obvious, but it is important to check the question carefully to see if they specify what type of experience they are looking for (clinical, academic, nonacademic etc).
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