It has been such a long time since I wrote a blog here it feels a bit surreal. Thank you to everyone that has kept STP Perspectives alive and thriving. I was hoping this could be published earlier but work and annual leave have significantly delayed it. I am still including the IACC write up tips in case it would be useful insight for second years. If you are just interested in interview tips please skip further down. 🙂
What is the IACC?
The IACC, another STP acronym for your collection, is the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence. It was introduced in 2020 to replace the OSFAs due to the constraints of the pandemic but it may be here to stay. My STP year was the first cohort to sit the IACC as their sole final assessment and I must say it has definitely improved since then. In my final year we got a flavour of the OSFAs as we had our mocks just before all the lockdowns. I am not sure I enjoyed the OSFAs but I was determined to practice and be ready for the real ones. The school came up with this alternative assessment which didn’t need 12 different stations and everyone gathering in London, which might be a bonus for our environment as whole. Since then after passing the IACC and finishing the STP I was also given the opportunity to assess some IACCs so in this post you will get both a perspective from someone who has written it but also assessed it.
This post aims to volunteer some tips for managing your time and workload on the STP… which is no easy feat!! They are the personal views and experiences of a second-year trainee.
A juggling act
During the STP applications process and subsequent acceptance of a training post I was certainly expecting my new role to challenge and develop my time-management skills. However, I didn’t fully appreciate that the role would require the juggling skills of a high-level circus performer.
This week (9-15th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s focus is on loneliness. According to recent figures from the Mental Health Foundation, ‘One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time’.
Unfortunately this is something that has become a much bigger issue over the past couple of years due to Covid, and we have likely all experienced loneliness to some extent during the pandemic.
My name is Holly and I’m a first year Medical Physics trainee specialising in Radiotherapy, across Suffolk and Essex. I first heard about the STP in a careers lecture during year 1 of my undergraduate degree and began preparing to apply virtually as I left the hall. Hopefully this post will give a little insight (and hope) for entrance to the STP and what to expect once you reach the flip side
Before too much waffle I just wanted to say when I began my application to the STP, I felt like I may as well have been applying to be an Olympic sprinter (I reckon I’ve ran successfully about a 2km total in my entire life). I applied with an undergraduate physics degree from a smaller university, and my work experience was serving chips, so it goes without saying if I can do it, you certainly can.
Application and Interview
For anyone who is a skim reader, here are my main tips beyond your long-listing:
I am a Clinical Scientist in Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics at the Viapath Genomics Laboratories in London, and I started the HSST in September 2021 (so I am cohort 8 in HSST speak). Before moving to Viapath in May 2021 I was based in the East Midlands Regional Molecular Genetics Service in Nottingham, where I completed the STP in Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics in 2016, and then worked as a Clinical Scientist. This blog represents my experience of the HSST so far.
International Women’s Day (IWD) evolved from the universal suffrage movement that originated in New Zealand, and was the catalyst for movements in North America and Europe in the early 20th century. It is recognized throughout the world in a diverse range of ways, however became ‘official’ in 1975 when the United Nations began celebrating it. To commemorate IWD in 2022 we are shining a light on some current and past STP trainees. We asked them a range of questions to find out what inspired them to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Hi, my name is Linda and I’m a third year STP trainee in Ophthalmic and Vision Science (OVS) at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. While we may not be one of the larger specialisms out there, we have a vital role to play in patient care. After all, vision is one of the most fundamental ways we experience the world, and the eye is a window into the brain and body! For those considering starting their journey with clinical science, hopefully I can provide an eye-opening insight (see what I did there?) into the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of OVS.
Like most people, I was not alone in thinking that I would never get onto the STP. After hearing how competitive it was and how few places there were available, I was not optimistic about my chances. This feeling was only made worse by the fact that it was my first time applying and I was applying for a discipline that I had very little experience in. So you can imagine my surprise when I got told I had an interview and was further surprised when I actually passed the interview stage. The STP application can seem quite daunting, especially on your first go, so here are my top tips.
Hello! My name is Alick and I’m a second year Medical Physics trainee with Liverpool University Hospitals NHS FT, specialising in Radiotherapy at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. I initially started the STP with an undefined specialism, which meant that I chose my specialism after completing first year rotations in the different strands of Medical Physics: Radiotherapy, Imaging with Ionising Radiation, Imaging with Non-Ionising Radiation and Radiation Safety. This blog post will cover the pathway of a radiotherapy patient, from immediately after the diagnosis through to treatment. Hopefully I’ll be able to convey the important role that physics plays along the way, as well as why I chose to specialise in radiotherapy!
Biochemistry sounds like a complicated subject, but simply studying the chemical components of the body can have a huge impact on the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases a patient may have. I’m Tom, a first year STP student specialising in Clinical Biochemistry. I joined the STP fresh out of my undergraduate degree. Before starting university, I didn’t have a career plan set in mind, I just wanted to do what I enjoyed most through my A-levels which was biology and chemistry. And now I’m very fortunate to be on a programme where I can use my knowledge to improve patients’ lives.