December and Christmas are here and we know that, between gift buying (and receiving!), holiday parties and fighting for fair junior doctor contracts, you probably feel overwhelmed already. If you are aiming to enter ST3 recruitment in 2016, filling out the application and preparing for your interview is probably the last thing on your mind! ‘I’ll start after Christmas,’ you say to yourself. March is ages away, right? Right?

We guarantee that your fiercest competitior probably has already started. He or she may already have a strategic plan in place, with a rough draft of the application ready to go and an interview course booked for early Spring. How do we know? Because we coach them!

It’s never too early (or late!) to start preparing. The applications for round 1 for dermatology closes at 16:00 on Wednesday 9 March 2016. See the person specificqtion here: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/files/2014/09/2015-PS-Dermatology-ST3-1-0.pdf and the application scoring system is here: http://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/the-application-form/application-scoring.html

Remember that only teh highest scoring applicants get an interview so it’s imperative that you carefully study the application scoring system to ensure you get the points you deserve. And there is still time to get more: do you need a publication or presentation? To close the loop of an audit?

If you get your skates on, there is no reason that you cannot accomplish those goals in the next three months. Every point counts. For example, do you need a national presentation under your belt? The dermatology section of the Royal Society of Medicine has monthly meetings and presenting at one of these counts as a national presentation. And it might not be too late to submit an abstract to present at the 21 January 2016 meeting. Check out this link:

https://www.rsm.ac.uk/events/events-listing/2015-2016/sections/dermatology-section/deg04-hiv,-gum-and-urology-dermatology-vignettes,-cases-and-afternoon-clinicopathological-meeting.aspx.

Hopefully we will see you on the podium in January!

Merry Christmas!

Fiona & Natalia