It is currently an excellent time to consider a career in dermatology.
This is a far-ranging specialty, covering skin diseases, cancer and surgery in children and adults.
There are excellent career opportunities to sub-specialise, and currently a shortfall of nearly 100 consultant vacancies.
Dermatology - trainee characteristics
Dermatology will particularly suit trainees who are
able to deal with many possible diagnoses ( >2,000!)
excellent pattern recognition and integrated clinical skills
excellent hand-eye coordination
confident in making quick and accurate clinical decisions.
Summary of the specialty
Training in dermatology provides time for critical appraisal, analysis and academic development, which is not always available in other specialties. It also provides exposure to skin diseases and their interface with adult and paediatric medicine.
Broad scope and remit
Dermatology is an exciting and tremendously varied specialty.
The core role of a dermatologist is to improve the care of patients with skin disorders; and this will range from a neonate born with a genetic disorder or infection through to an elderly person with skin cancer.
The specialty has a wide remit, with over 2,000 possible diagnoses. However, with recent advances in medicine more people can be treated for chronic diseases, so that their illness is controlled; and this makes the specialty particularly rewarding.
Interface with other specialties
Dermatology interfaces with many other branches of medicine and surgery, such as paediatrics, plastic surgery, immunology, rheumatology, general medicine, allergy, etc.
This wide remit combines clinical practice with development and implementation of new therapies, training and teaching of current and future innovations, as well as the promotion of evidence-based practise.
We strongly encourage out-of-programme degrees in research or medical education.
A career in dermatology
It is currently an excellent time to consider dermatology as a career, as there is a shortfall of approximately 100 consultant posts.
There are also exciting developments in skin cancer care pathways, and the advances and use of systemic therapies, such as biological therapies in the management of psoriasis.
Find out more about dermatology and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.
General / application queries
For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty. The lead recruiter for dermatology in 2020 is North West.
|Health Education North West|
Health Education North West
Health Education England
|email address & regional email@example.com|
Please be aware that dermatology accepts applicants from paediatric training routes.
Non-physician applicants must have obtained the basic specialty professional examination (MRCPCH) in addition to specific clinical experience and competences to be eligible. Therefore applicants seeking a position in dermatology must have one of the following:
Physician training (eg CMT) - MRCP(UK) Part 1 at time of application; full MRCP(UK) by required deadline
Paediatric training - MRCPCH Part 1 A & B at time of application; full MRCPCH by required deadline.
Please view the dermatology person specification for information about the experience and competency required for applying from a paediatric training background and the deadlines for when this must be achieved.
The person specification confirms the criteria in this area. In addition we have produced a guidance document which gives greater detail about the specific experience and competences required of paediatric trainee applicants and this can be found at the bottom of the page. All trainees applying from this pathway should read the document before applying.
Medical trainees please view the standard eligibility criteria as detailed in the am I eligible? section.
National single centre model
This specialty uses the single centre recruitment model.
You will not be required to give any preferences of particular regions when completing your application; you are applying purely for the specialty at that stage.
Later on, you will be required to give preferences of the available posts – at that point, you can opt to be considered for as many (or as few) post vacancies available nationally as you wish.
Lead region and single centre interviews
The specialty will nominate a particular region to act as lead for the round; this region is shown under the 'Who do I contact?' tab above. This lead region will review all applications, liaise with all candidates, host interviews, verify assessments, and make offers on behalf of all regions nationally.
Your application will be handled solely by the lead region throughout the entire round, up to the point where you receive and accept an offer; after which it will be transferred to the region where the post is based for pre-employment checks.
All interviews will be held at this lead region although the clinicians making up the interview panel will be drawn from a national background – ie not just from the host region.
It is possible that there could be changes between now and the interview period. Please bear this in mind when reviewing the information below, although in most cases it is not expected this will change, or any changes will be minimal. You are advised to check back in closer to the time of interview. The date at the foot of this page shows when the page was last reviewed.
You will spend approximately 10 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.
Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the interview.
Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.
This is where your application form and training to date will be reviewed. This will include checking the documentation you have brought along to ensure all content on your application form is correct.
Normally your evidence folder will have been reviewed by the interviewers immediately prior to your arrival in the station. They will be:
• Checking that your achievements in your evidence folder match that claimed on your application form.
• Considering your career progression to date.
• Identifying areas about which they may wish to question you during the interview.
Areas for assessment
The two main aspects of discussion here, on which you will be assessed, will be your suitability for and commitment to ST3 training in the specialty, and your achievements and engagement with training and learning to date.
Scoring at the station
It is important to recognise that the scores awarded to you at this station will not purely be about your achievements, as this already contributes towards the scoring via your application form. Interviewers will be deciding upon scores via a combination of factors, for example: your responses to the questions asked, the breadth and quality of your achievements and your career progression.
The two assessments at station 2 will be based on your responses to two separate questions - one on the subject of research & academic medicine, and the other on professionalism & governance.
Research & academic medicine
Of the 10 minutes at station 2, five minutes will be given to discussion of research/academic medicine.
There are two methods by which your understanding of research/academic medicine issues will be assessed here; either in pure discussion, or with the use of an abstract which will be provided to you before arriving at the station.
You will be notified which method is to be used; and obviously, if it is the abstract method, you will be provided with the abstract before arriving at the station.
Whichever method is used, you will be assessed upon your understanding of research and academic medicine.
Should it be the case that you are to discuss research in general, interviewers will give you some brief questions upon your arrival at the station.
As general guidance here, you should consider the challenges, costs and benefits of research, its role/relevance to medicine broadly, plus some more specific considerations regarding any research experience you have had, bodies involved commonly in research, and the approach to research you have taken, or would take.
If it is the case your research discussion will be in reference to a particular abstract, you will be expected to consider this in the transfer time before the station, before discussing this upon arrival at the station.
Upon receiving the document, read it in full and then consider the main points, important areas, potential application of any findings; and be critical in your analysis.
Professionalism & governance
Following the scenario will be discussion of professionalism and governance. This discussion will be prompted by a short question (often a single sentence) provided by interviewers. This will not be given to you before arriving at the station - this will be given verbally by interviewers once the presentation is finished.
This section of the interview is designed to assess your demonstration and understanding of professionalism and governance in a given situation.
Familiarise yourself with Good Medical Practice
Please note - assessment of professionalism & governance is underpinned by the principles of GMC Good Medical Practice.
Station 3 will see you assessed on two 'scenarios' - one designed to assess your communication skills/knowledge of ethical issues, and the other your clinical understanding .
Please note - you will not be given details of either scenario prior to your arrival at the station.
Upon your arrival at station 3, you will be given details of a hypothetical situation which has arisen, in which you are, or have become, involved.
These details will be relatively brief (no more than a few sentences) and will not take long to consider. Areas to consider when reviewing the scenario are:
what steps you would take
any further information you would gather
how you would go about communicating with any people (eg patients, family members, colleagues) involved in the scenario
how best to provide information to, and seek information from, any people involved in the scenario
Of course, you should take into account any other factors you deem appropriate, using your experience and professional judgement.
The second scenario at station 3 will be related to a situation focusing more on your clinical assessment and input.
Once discussion of the communication/ethics scenario is complete, interviewers will provide you with a photo of a condition reported by a patient, and will provide some brief additional information (presentation of patient, patient's details, etc.)
Following this you will be asked some short questions relating to this by interviewers.
Appointable - automatic
If you are awarded a score of at least 3/5, for all marks given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.
If your 12 interview scores contain one or two marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), and you receive a total raw interview score of 36 or above, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.
Not appointable - automatic
If any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1/5, this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.
If three or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2/5, this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.
Should your interview assessment falls under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable .
Total score calculation
After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.
Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.
|Int. 1||Int. 2||Weighting||Max score|
|Evidence||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Suitability for specialty||/ 5||/ 5||x1.2||/ 12|
|Research / Academic||/ 5||/ 5||x1.2||/ 12|
|Professionalism and governance||/ 5||/ 5||x0.8||/ 8|
|Communication and ethics||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Clinical scenario||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Raw interview score||/ 60|
|Interview score (including weighting)||/ 80|
|Short-listing (app form)||/ 80||x0.25||/ 20|
|Overall assessment score||/ 100|
As part of the process of applying to ST3, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.
To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:
Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.
Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.
Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.
Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region.
We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.
|Year||Apps.|| NTN |
| LAT |
| Total |
* the percentage of unique candidates that only applied to this specialty (out of the 24 PSRO-coordinated specialties)
|Year||Apps.||NTN posts||LAT posts||Total posts||Comp.|
Provisional post numbers
Specialty vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts.
It is the intention that initial post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Numbers will be updated as and when notifications are received from each region and will be checked later in the round when programme preferences are open for selection.
Numbers subject to change
Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change throughout the round.
More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. On average post numbers rise between 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.
It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.
Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.
Round 1 Interview dates & post numbers
|Region||NTN posts||LAT posts*||Interview date(s)|
12 - 13 March 2020
|East of England||TBC||N/A|
London and KSS
Kent, Surrey & Sussex
|North West (lead)||
|Yorkshire & Humber||
Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.
**Scotland post numbers
If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish deaneries is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.
Please note that whilst we endeavour to keep the Physician ST3 recruitment website up to date, the SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.