Geriatric medicine (often referred to as 'care of the elderly') is the largest specialty in the UK in terms of consultant numbers.

With society's demographic change and more people living to an old age, the specialty continues to gain both importance and prominence.

Geriatric medicine - trainee characteristrics

It is important that any doctor considering geriatric medicine as a career should:

  • have an interest in and aptitude for dealing with older people

  • have a caring and empathic nature

  • enjoy working in multi-disciplinary teams

  • be able to communicate easily with colleagues, other health professionals, patients and carers

  • be enthusiastic and have leadership potential

  • enjoy complex decision-making and prioritising medical problems

  • have an interest in ethical issues.

Working/training in a HST geriatric medicine post

Geriatric medicine is an extremely enjoyable and challenging field to work in, no two days are the same!

It offers the individual an opportunity to specialise not only in the care of older people, but also to sub-specialise and develop an interest in related problems such as stroke, falls, dementia, continence, and movement disorders.

Doctors can work in different clinical settings including acute care, rehabilitation wards and the community.

Dual training

All training programmes in geriatric medicine will be 'dual accredited with general (internal) medicine (GIM), which takes four years to complete (or pro-rata if training less-than-full-time).

Dual training ensures that specialists of the future have the necessary skills to deal with all the problems which may occur in old age.

If trainees wish to pursue specialist stroke medicine training as well, this requires an additional year of training (extending training to a total of six years).

Medical Care

Find out more about geriatric medicine and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.

Further information

    General / application queries

    For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office.

    Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty. The lead recruiter for geriatric medicine in is North West.

    North West
    Postal address

    Health Education North West

    Health Education England

    3rd Floor

    3 Picadilly Place


    M1 3BN

    Email address  [email protected]


    Group 1 specialty

    This is a Group 1 specialty and requires completion of the internal medicine training (IMT) stage 1 programme or equivalent; all programmes in the specialty will dual specialise with general internal medicine. 

    Therefore, this specialty uses the standard HST eligibility criteria for Group 1 specialties and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes. Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

    Commitment to specialty

    The specialty will decide whether or not to assess commitment to specialty after applications close and numbers can be assessed against the interview capacity. If it is decided to assess commitment to specialty, this will be assessed and scored as described in the application scoring section of the website. If it is not decided not to assess commitment to specialty at that stage, your application will be scored purely via the self-assessment scoring framework; commitment to specialty will be included as part of the interview.

    Indicative post numbers

    Indicative vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts. In many cases these will be presented as a range (e.g. 1-4) as it is not always possible for regions to know at this stage how many vacancies there will be.

    It is the intention that indicative post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that this table is not likely to be updated subsequent to indicative numbers and actual numbers will be confirmed when programme preferences are opened later in the round.

    Numbers subject to change

    Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change as the round progresses.

    More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. In the past, post numbers have risen an average of 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

    It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

    Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.


    Round 1 Interview dates & posts

    Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s) Interview date(s)
    East Midlands

    0 - 2


    10 - 24 January 2022

    16,17,18 23,24,25 March 2022

    East of England

    5 - 7


    London and KSS

    Kent, Surrey & Sussex

    0 - 10



    0 - 19


    North East

    0 - 4


    North West 


    0 - 4


    North Western

    0 - 5


    South West


    4 - 7



    3 - 6


    Thames Valley

    0 - 2



    2 - 4


    West Midlands

    0 - 4


    Yorkshire & Humber


    0 - 2


    0 - 5


    0 - 5



    0 - 7



    5 - 10


    *English LATs

    Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

    **Scotland post numbers

    If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish regions is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.

    The SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.

    Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, certain recruitment processes have been affected for round 2 ST3 PSRO-coordinated specialties. As a result, the below information on this page is not applicable for this round only and should not be used where the process has changed. Please refer to the applicant guide for the latest information about how round 2 will operate.

    Further guidance about the scoring format of interviews will be published to each specialty page and we hope to have this updated by application closing date. Please visit the specialty pages closer to the time for updated information.


    Interview content

    You will spend approximately 10 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.

    Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the interview.

    Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

    Interview scoring

    Appointable - automatic

    If you are awarded a score of at least 3/5, for all marks given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable.

    Not appointable - automatic

    If any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1/5, this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.

    If four or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2/5, this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.

    Should your interview assessment fall under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable.

    Appointability subject to panel decision

    In the event that your 12 interview scores contain one, two or three marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), your appointability status will be subject to discussion in the post-interview 'wash-up' meeting.

    The clinicians who have interviewed you will discuss your general performance during the interview and any concerns or otherwise they have about your application as a whole.

    Should they deem it appropriate, your application will be classed as appointable, and you can then be considered for post offers; whereas if they feel their concerns are too substantial for this outcome, they must class your application as not appointable, and it will progress no further in the current recruitment round.

    Review vs automatic status

    Please note there is no distinction made between candidates judged as appointable automatically, and those classed as appointable on review. Once deemed appointable it is only your overall score which will be used to determine ranking.

    Total score calculation

    After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.

    Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

    date of last review: 6 December 2019

    Interview content

    The interview will consist of four questions which range between 5 and 10 minutes in length. You will be marked on these four questions and your communication skills, giving five scored areas in total. You will be scored by two interviewers on each question.

    Including time for questioning and scenario reading, the interview will be approximately 30 minutes.

    Please note that this is subject to change and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

    Scoring framework

    The score of 1-5 an interviewer will award you for each assessment area is judged in relation to how well you perform against an expected level. Below is the framework used to award scores at interview, as well as interpretation of what these scores represent:






















    not considered appointable


    area for concern

    performed below the level expected from a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
    possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas



    performed at the level expected of a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
    the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



    above average ability;
    the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



    highly performing trainee;
    the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

    As shown in the table, for each of the question areas at interview, 3/5 is considered a satisfactory score; and reflects the level of performance that would be expected of a trainee ready to progress to a specialty training programme.

    Should your performance go above and beyond this expected level, interviewers can award marks of 4/5 or 5/5 as appropriate.

    Conversely, should your interview performance not reach the expected level, then interviewers can award marks of 1/5 or 2/5, as reflects their level of concern over your performance.


    Raw interview score

    The RIS is the sum of all ten scores awarded to you during your interview, but before any weighting is applied.

    As each individual score will be between 1 and 5, your RIS will be between 10 and 50.

    Appointability requirements

    To be classed as 'appointable', you must meet all three criteria below:

    • none of your ten interview scores can be 1/5
    • no more than two of your ten interview scores can be 2/5
    • your RIS must be 30 or above.

    If you meet all three requirements, your application will be assessed as appointable, and can progress to be considered for offers.

    However, if you fail to meet any of these requirements, your application must then be assessed as not appointable, and it will progress no further in that round.

    Total score

    After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as your application score.

    These scores are then combined to give your total score which determines your ranking, which will in turn be used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, is detailed in the table below:





     Interviewer 1



     Interviewer 2






    Max score


    Question 1

    Clinical scenario

    / 5

    / 5



    Question 2

    Medical registrar suitability

    / 5 / 5 1 10

    Question 3

    Ethical scenario

    / 5

    / 5



    Question 4

    Suitability & commitment

    / 5

    / 5



    Communication mark

    / 5

    / 5



    Raw interview score

    / 50

    Interview score (w weighting)

    / 90

     Application score

    / 58


    / 20.3

     Total score

    / 110.3

    As part of the process of applying to HST, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.

    To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

    • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

    • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

    • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

    • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

    We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.