This post may give you an idea of your chances of entering your preferred field of specialty in the UK.
Training in the UK
In order to understand these competition ratios, you might want to go through my post Training in the UK to understand the training system in the UK.
Competition ratio is a ratio of application numbers submitted in each specialty, along with the number of seats available in each.
Competition ratio = Number of applications submitted/number of seats available.
Round 1 vs Round 2
It is also important to know that there are two rounds of recruitment for most specialties. Round 1 is only for UK/EEA nationals. Round 2 is for Non-UK/EEA nationals.
- Non-UK/EEA nationals can apply in Round 1 for GP training.
- Non-UK/EEA nationals can apply in Round 1 for Psychiatry training.
- Non-UK/EEA nationals can apply in Round 1 for ST3 if they are currently in training. This means that Core Medical Trainees can apply for ST3 level training posts in Round 1.
Competition Ratios Are Only Available for Round 1
The competition ratios mentioned in this post are only for Round 1 and not for Round 2.
Seats Available for Round 2
Since only a limited number of candidates apply for Round 2, the data is scattered and difficult to accumulate. I was not able to find competition ratios for Round 2. However, I have accumulated as much data as I could for seat availability for Round 2.
Numbers May Vary
It is worth noting that these numbers may vary because of the following factors:
1. All statistics mentioned in this article are only for “first preference”. While applying for any training job, we are allowed to have multiple preferences, based on different geographical locations in the UK. A lot of candidates who do not find a training spot at their preferred location, do find a training spot at a location which was their second or third preference.
2. A lot of candidates apply for training spots in multiple specialties.
3. Not every candidate who applies for training is selected. Because a lot of candidates apply for training without proper experience, just to become familiar with the application process.
4. Not every candidate who is selected for training actually takes that post.
5. The number of applications and the number of available seats increases on average by 20-40% every year.
Because of the above factors, the competition ratios might not be as high as they seem to be. For example, 2516 applicants applied for Core Medical Training (CMT) round 1 in 2016 and the number of seats available were only 1640. However, there were still 422 seats available for CMT in round 2 in 2017. This goes to show that out of 2516 candidates who applied for CMT, only 1218 candidates started working as Core Medical Trainees. This left 422 CMT seats vacant, which were opened in round 2.
This post concerns competition ratios for 2016 (round 1) and Seat Availability (round 2) for 2016 and 2017. All of which are the latest available statistics.
Competition Ratios for Round 1
Competition Ratios for ST1 Specialties in Round 1 for 2016
More ST1 Specialties
The complete file documenting competition ratios for all the ST1 specialties for 2016 can be found here.
Competition Ratios for ST3 Medical Specialties in Round 1 for 2016
Competition Ratios for ST3 Surgical Specialties in Round 1 for 2016
Competition Ratios for ST3 Other Specialties in Round 1 for 2016
More ST3 Specialties
The complete file documenting competition ratios for all the ST3 specialties for 2016 can be found here.
Source for Competition Ratios for 2016
All of the above stats were taken from the official Specialty Training website.
Seat Availability for Round 2
Seats Available for CMT in Round 2 for 2017
Official CT1 Recruitment website.
Seats Available for CST in Round 2 for 2017
Vacancy search from the official Oriel website.
Seats Available for ST3 Medical Specialties in Round 2 for 2016
More ST3 Specialties
You can visit the official ST3 recruitment website to check the number of seats available for your preferred field in both Round 1 and Round 2. Go to the bottom of the page and click on your choice of sub-specialty. A new page will open. Click on Data.
This post may give you a rough, but not a completely precise, idea of your chances of entering your preferred field.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I can’t find my preferred field of specialty in this post. What should I do?
If your preferred field is not listed in my post, it’s because I could not find any data related to it. It’s best to go to Google and search for it yourself or to ask other people. If you find any information that is not in this blog, kindly share it with me, so I could add it to my blog and help others.
2. What are non-training jobs?
These are the jobs that IMGs with an acceptable pattern of internship should apply for. There can be many different titles to these jobs, but the jobs are nearly the same. These can include:
Foundation Year 2 (FY2)
Senior House Officer (SHO)
Core Training 1 (CT1)
Core Training 2 (CT2)
Specialty Training 1 (ST1)
Specialty Training (ST2)
Clinical Fellow (CF)
Junior Clinical Fellow (JCF)
Senior Clinical Fellow (SCF)
Trust Grade Doctor
It might confuse you seeing FY, CT and ST posts among non-training jobs. These jobs arise when a hospital needs FY, CT or ST Doctors, but it is not possible for them to recruit training doctors. So they hire non-training doctors for the same posts.
Working at these jobs will not count towards your training experience. However, the job description and the salary is the same as training jobs.
3. What is the difference between a training and a non-training job?
A training job is one in which there is career progression. In a non-training job, there is no career progression. Our internship (also known as House Job in Pakistan) and specialty training jobs (also knows as Residency in Pakistan) are training jobs.
4. What is F2 Competency?
Since IMGs do not go through UK’s Foundation training, they are required to get an F2 Competency form signed by their consultant. This form can be signed by any consultant, in the UK or in their home country, under whom they have worked for at least 3 months, during the last 3 years.
This form would not make them equivalent to candidates who have completed their Foundation training from the UK, but it would make them eligible to apply for Core Training program in the second round (First round is for British and EU citizens).
5. What is an Acceptable Pattern of Internship?
At least 12 months of internship with at least 3 months in medicine and at least 3 months in surgery is considered to be an acceptable pattern of internship. Medical and surgical sub-specialties count in medicine and surgery, respectively. For example, pediatrics and OBGYN are counted as medicine and surgery, respectively.
You must also check the official link from the GMC’s website to find out the acceptable patterns of internship. You can click here to check the official GMC link.
6. Can I enter sub-specialty of my choice in Medicine?
You can visit the official ST3 recruitment website to check the number of openings for your preferred field. Go to the bottom of the page and click on your choice of sub-specialty. A new page will open. Click on Data. Check the number of openings for that field in round 2. This will give you an idea of your chances of making it to your choice of field.
You can also check competition ratios and seat availability from my post Training Availability in the UK.
Generally, entering non-surgical fields is very easy. Finding training in surgical fields require a lot of hard work and dedication in improving the CV. There is also tough competition over training spots in specialties like dermatology and radiology.
7. How do IMGs enter the training system in the UK?
You can check my post Entry into Training for IMGs to get a detailed answer.
8. How can I enter Cardiology training at ST3 level if Cardiology does not have any seats in Round 2?
If you are in any training programe in the UK (for example, Core Medical Training), you can apply for training slots in Round 1.