HEE ACCS emergency medicine interview review

Well, Although it has been almost an year, I thought it’s worth documenting the experience I had on the gateway of Emergency medicine HEE training program.

First thing first was the application. I got my alternative foundation sign off on February 2016, therefore I applied on March application of ACCS EM run through program.

You can read the gateways of emergency medicine training at emergency-medicine.co.uk Emergency Medicine Career in UK.

As you know all the application now go through oriel, I applied on oriel and it was a (mildly) time consuming application process.

One of the two pages actually needed a lot of efforts. One was employment history (an up to date CV with exact dates of employment would be very helpful prior to application) and the other page was the achievements and why you would like to apply for this training program.

Well, it’s always recommended to save the application and think twice, check – recheck prior to hit the submission button.

Short tips for ACCS EM Application:

  • Prepare an up to date CV prior to application
  • Make your foundation sign off ready (if required) and make a single PDF file.
  • Collect all your three referees Name, mail addresses, department, designation, secretary names and contact numbers prior to application
  • Save your application on the page of achievements and explanation of choice of selection of speciality and application process! This beats were time consuming

Following the application prior to interview you will be updated with the possible dates and slots of interviews. ACCS EM interview takes place in LASE HEE (London and South East – Health Education England) office.

Interview day:

The interview consisted of 5 stations lasting 60 minutes in total, however one should expect to spend around 2 hours at the interview venue in total.

5 different stations:

1+2. Presentation Preparation and Presentation station (10 + 10 = 20 minutes)

A ten-minute station where candidates are given a topic and are asked to prepare a presentation.

It was not a power-point presentation! A topic will be given on the day and 10 minutes and a separated room was given to think about the presentation. It was more a policy making type of presentation, usually not on any clinical topic.

Different colour marker pen and large paper flip chart were provided.

One needs to prepare a presentation in 10 minutes and could make points in favour in one slide, examples in other slide, other options in other slide and a conclusion on last slide.

Candidates will be asked to present for seven minutes  (Don’t worry if you finish early)., with up to three minutes of follow up questions by the panel who might challenge the decision in different way.

3. Clinical and Ethical Scenario Station

A ten-minute station where candidates are given two scenarios; one clinical and one ethical.

Here on the clinical question, purely clinical knowledge will be judged. (Mine was stroke management)

Ethical board will give a scenario of difficult condion for which decision needs to be based upon ethical back ground (Patient safety, dignity and management should be the focus of answer)

For me it was a non English speaking Bangladeshi lady with suspected abdominal pain and a adult male was accompanying her.

4.Emergency Medicine Specific Station

A ten-minute question based station designed to assess candidates’ commitment to a career in Emergency Medicine

Well this board is about some question answer session regarding management and risk stratification and ethical management as well.

Common topics of discussion –

Topic 1 – Structure of ACCS and run through training and detailed knowledge about FRCEM examinations.

Topic 2 – How to manage an aggressive and violent patient in department? Well panel would like to know the ceiling of management like from initial counseling to calm the patient to if very aggressive and a threat to other patients, stuffs and department, involvement of police might be necessary.

Topic 3 – How to manage department while there is a exit block and what do you mean by exit block. (Risk stratification is important here and patient with time critical management need to prioratise, for instance, patient with acute stroke within thrombolysis window, acute STEMI, seizure patient in need of urgent anti epileptic medicine.

Topic 4 – What are the attributes you expect in an emergency consultant (and how are you going to achieve it)

5.Portfolio Station

Its a 20 minutes station. Panel will go through the information you provided earlier and your portfolio needs to follow the same sequence of the printed application form.

  • Having a rcem e portfolio is a great help here, you can easily show your achievements and clinical activities through printed version of portfolio
  • MRCEM or FRCEM examination (passed or even new application bears value)
  • Presentation with written feedback are important
  • Presentation needs an acknowledgement document form the organising platform (it could be even departmental to international)
  • Any publication (or poster presentation) is important
  • Working with other association (even from student time) and act as organiser are very important (they will find this skill for there next consultants)
  • Extra curricular activity (anything and everything you can put, I even put my google map exploring with google map local guide status and my non english health blog with my technological review blog as well! (We had a good 3-4 minutes discussion regarding this and they had keen interest about blogging, different platform of blogging and website utilisation, google map and technological review)
  • You might expect any clinical and or management related discussion with panel based upon your current placement of work. I had a discussion about teamwork and how to improve management in acute set up by teamwork as I was working as major trauma fellow at the time of application.
  • They would like to ask to show them document, it’s important how easily you can access them from your paper portfolio as it’s going to be a large portfolio. Index and marking matter here.
  • ALS, ATLS, APLS up-to-date certificates needs to be there as of great importance and any course or conferences attended needs to be there.

That’s it in short. Good luck for the day. Be confident and positive, it’s the only thing that will help you on that day. Panel are always very helpful, if you don’t understand anything, they will help you on that regard.  

Before packing up I would like to share something WE should know. As we all know it’s EASY to get a number (or being successful in interview) in Emergency Medicine from everyone, some statistics need to be shared.

I am talking about the competition ratio of ACCS route of emergency medicine.

As we know it’s easy,

In 2017 (last year) the competition ratio – applicants per post was 1.99 in ACCS emergency medicine, while for CMT it was 1.41 (Lesser than EM), for GP it was 1.32 (again lesser than EM!) and for CST it was 2.56 (higher than EM)

As per 2017 stats, to get an EM number was difficult than CMT and GP while CST was difficult than rest of these!

Well same kind of scenarios have been noted on 2016 and 2015 as well.

If you stats matter to you, you would think twice and will take a better preparation for the interview. Competition ration gets published by HEE and can be seen here

If you are going for interview, good luck. If you would like to know anything else, feel free to ask or can tweet/message here.

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