If you are looking to apply to a physician higher specialty training (PHST/HST) programme in one of the specialties coordinated by the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office (PSRO) national recruitment process, this website contains detailed information to help you. This covers recruitment to UK training programmes in these specialties in England, Scotland and Wales, and also Northern Ireland for clinical genetics, medical oncology and palliative medicine.

Completion of a substantive HST programme will lead to a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or a Combined Programme Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR CP). For more information on certification please see the JRCPTB website.

The recruitment process section of the website is the home to the majority of general information to help you navigate a recruitment round, including: timeline, eligibility criteria planning your application, applying, interviews and offers. For specialty-specific information such as interview dates and post numbers, interview format and data from previous years, please visit the relevant specialty's page.

In addition to the website, we have produced an 'Applicants' Guide' which overviews how the process works and is a good introduction for those new to specialty recruitment. This is available to download from the document library.

It is advisable to view the relevant person specification for the specialty(ies) to which you are intending to apply.

You may also wish to view competition ratios and scoring from previous rounds, which is available under the 'data' tab within the relevant specialty's page.


Group 1 and Group 2 specialties

The revised internal medicine curriculum and introduction of the three-year IMT core programme, has led to changes for physician higher specialty training. Specialties are categorised into two groups: Group 1 and Group 2; the JRCPTB website details which specialties fall into each group. 

  • Group 1 - these specialties' programmes start at ST4-level, require the full three years training in internal medicine training (IMT) or equivalent and all programmes will dual specialise with general internal medicine.
  • Group 2 - programmes start at ST3-level, can be entered after two years of IMT or equivalent and do not involve training in general internal medicine. Many of these specialties also accept trainees from a non-physician pathway. 

This change has led to substantial changes to the guidance held on this website, so please ensure you are familiar with these if you have used the website in previous years.


Stroke medicine

The PSRO also coordinate a national recruitment process for stroke medicine in England and Wales. Please see the stroke medicine section of the website for details about the process.


2022 recruitment

The timeline page contains the major dates for both rounds of the 2022 recruitment process:

  • Round 1  - opens for applications at 10am on 18 November 2021 and closes at 4pm on 9 December 2021, for programmes starting from August to December 2022.
  • Round 2  - opens for applications at 10am 26 July 2022 and closes at 4pm 16 August 2022, for programmes starting from October 2022 to April 2023. Information about the specialties participating can be found in our news item.

Flexible portfolio training

Flexible portfolio training (FPT), run by Health Education England and the Royal College of Physicians, offers higher specialty trainees 1 day a week (or 20% time equivalent) to undertake an additional pathway alongside clinical training. The scheme is an approach to meet the demand for flexible working and for trainees to engage in work that will benefit their non-clinical professional development. It provides protective time away from clinical medicine to pursue other avenues. Each pathway (clinical informatics, medical education, research, and quality improvement) introduces the trainee to different individuals, networks and teams, not always visible in traditional, daily medical registrar work.

Participants in the flexible portfolio scheme were recently interviewed by members of the RCP Trainees Committee, read about their experience in the RCP Commentary.

Find out more about FPT on the RCP’s website. The next cohort will be recruited in the 2022 recruitment round to start from August 2022, so if you are applying for higher specialty training, FPT is an option you could also explore.


Latest news

Helpdesk

Our FAQs section has the answers to many common queries but if you cannot find an answer to your question the PSRO runs a helpdesk which can be contacted with any queries relating to PHST recruitment. 

Please visit the contacts section of the website for details of how to get in touch.

Any important announcements will be added to this website and noted in the news section.

Physician Specialty Recruitment Office

Physician ST3 Recruitment is managed and coordinated by the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office (PSRO) based in Health Education England. The process is governed in coordination with the Royal College of Physicians of London, also working closely with the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB).

Best wishes, and good luck with your application,

Dr Phil Bright
Clinical Lead for the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office