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Improving Your Chances of Entering Surgical Training

Entry into surgical training is becoming increasingly competitive. Below we outline the ways you can start improving your chances of gaining a place while at medical school. 

Develop your portfolio

The key to success is a well developed portfolio. This will demonstrate your commitment to surgery and make the application process significantly more straight forward.

Join a surgical society

We recommend that you get involved with your surgical society. Attending their events and skills sessions is one of the best ways to demonstrate your interest in a surgical career. 

If your medical school does not have a society or is not listed you should consider setting up a society.

Speak to surgeons

It's also a good idea to speak to as many surgeons as possible so that you can familiarize yourself with their specialty. Hopefully, you will have many opportunities to get into theatre. Ensure you make the most of these and other experiences in surgical wards by planning what you need to do and hope to achieve. Our leaflet on learning in operating theatres will help you prepare. 

Surgical electives

If surgery is your career goal, you will need to build a portfolio comprising as much surgical experience as possible. An elective in a surgical setting is a unique opportunity for you to achieve this. 

Your elective takes places away from your medical school. You could choose a placement in a centre of excellence, where world class surgery and research takes place. Alternatively, a placement in a developing country would offer much more hands-on experience.  

For ideas where to go on your elective, visit the medics travel website.

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