So here you are, a doctor who graduated a few years ago. Maybe a lot of years ago. You did not do your internship. Either you took a break after medical school, you got married and had kids, you went on to do a Masters degree/PhD or you tried the USMLE route but it didn’t go as planned. Or perhaps you started the FY1 track but took a break that lasted too long.
Whatever the reason, now you are in a position where you want to return to the clinic, the profession you were trained for. You either miss it, or you are unable to find a job outside of the clinic.
Again, whatever the reason, you realise you can’t just walk back in with your Littmann stethoscope around your neck. The UKFPO throws a wrench into your plans and tells you, you have to clear an exam called the “clinical skills assessment” for the Foundation Programme.
“Huh? What is this exam? What am I supposed to study? What kind of questions have come in the past??”
You realise that the task seems daunting. It’s not like you are a fresh graduate with knowledge flowing out of your pores. And a quick google search shows limited courses and options to prepare you for the exam.
You panic. “Am I the only one going through this??” You start loosing hope… Don’t!!
I sat through the PLAB1, PLAB2, IELTS, CSA and soon the SJ exam in order to get into the FY1 training programme with other candidates who have similar stories to yours. It was definitely a long road, but if I can do it, you can do it. I also met people who previously passed all these exams and now are months away from becoming GP’s!
I thought I would write the step by step sequence of events “out of practice” doctors need to go through to become FY1 doctors in the UK. I did not spend too much time on non-UKFPO contents, e.g. the PLAB, as there are incredibly written forums already. Please refer to “Naseer’s Journey”and other such forums.
During my CSA preparation, I noticed there was a lot of ambiguity and few courses / material to help prepare me for the exam. I spoke to candidates who sat for this exam in recent years, had detailed discussion regarding their experience and created my own content.
I hope I can help others who are on this journey and provide tuition for those who wish to give the exam. Those that do can contact me, for others I hope the content of this website will prove useful.
Study hard…but equally as importantly (if not more), study smart.