It is currently an excellent time to consider a career in neurology and stroke medicine.

The specialty is extremely varied and a growth area due breakthrough advances in research and the increasing demand for neurologists both acutely (liaison neurology, acute stroke) and in the management of chronic neurological disorders.


Neurology - trainee characteristics

Neurology is a broad specialty in which trainees will work independently and within an MDT to see patients with acute and chronic problems.  It will suit trainees who:

  • are good communicators and have good clinical skills
  • are problem solvers with an interest in clinically relevant neuroscience
  • are team players but able to work with a measure of independence

 

 

Training in Neurology and Stroke Medicine

Neurology and Stroke Medicine have changed dramatically in the last few years. Advances in neuroimaging, molecular biology and the emergence of effective therapies has improved the management of many conditions including stroke, epilepsy, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Ground-breaking treatments are transforming neurological outcomes, for example gene-specific targeted therapies in previously untreatable genetic neurological disorders, and mechanical thrombectomy for patients with large-vessel ischaemic stroke.

 

Training

The Neurology Curriculum (2022) incorporates the subspecialty of Stroke Medicine and all trainees will also dual-accredit in Internal Medicine over an indicative period of five years.   Training will take place in a variety of sites including regional neuroscience centres and other neurology units, including district general hospitals.  Training, education and assessment are delivered by local deaneries following the GMC-approved curriculum developed by the Specialist Advisory Committee in conjunction with all stakeholders, including the Education Committee of the Association of British Neurologists, and the Association of British Neurologists Trainees committee. 

Research opportunities

There are plenty of opportunities for research in neurology, and many trainees undertake a period of research to obtain an MD or PhD as part of their neurological training (as an out-of-programme activity).

Neurology in demand

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of consultant neurologists and it is likely that new posts will continue to be developed, such is the demand for specialist neurological care.  Most district general hospitals will require several neurologists in order to deal with GP referrals, inpatient referrals and ward care.

Furthermore, the NHS England Long Term Plan National Stroke Programme has increased the need for specialists, including neurologists, with an expertise in the care of patients with cerebrovascular disease. All neurologists who train according to the Neurology Curriculum (2022) will be eligible to apply for posts which involve stroke medicine or delivering the acute medical take.


Medical Care

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

    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 neurology is Thames Valley.

    Health Education Thames Valley
    Postal address

    Health Education England – Thames Valley
    Thames Valley Office
    4150 Chancellor Court
    Oxford Business Park South
    Oxford
    OX4 2GX

    email address [email protected]
    website https://thamesvalley.hee.nhs.uk/medicine/

    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 not be assessing your commitment to specialty as part of the shortlisting process and will score your application purely via the self-assessment scoring framework. Commitment to specialty will be assessed as part of the interview.

    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.

    If your 12 interview scores contain one or two marks of 2/5 (and the rest 3/5 or above), and you receive a total raw interview score of 36 or above, 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 three 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 falls under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed automatically as not appointable .

    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

    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.

    This speciality will be participating in round 2 this year

    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 2 Interview dates & posts

    Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
    East of England TBC N/A

     

    19/08/2022 - 29/08/2022

     

    04/10/2022

    East Midlands TBC N/A

    London and KSS

    Kent, Surrey & Sussex

    TBC

    N/A

    London

    TBC

    N/A
    North East TBC N/A
    North West

    Mersey

    TBC

    N/A

    North Western

    TBC

    N/A
    South West

    Peninsula

    TBC

    N/A

    Severn

    TBC

    N/A
    Thames Valley TBC N/A
    Wessex TBC N/A
    West Midlands TBC N/A
    Yorkshire & Humber TBC N/A
    Scotland** TBC TBC
    Wales TBC TBC

    Round 1 Interview dates & posts

    Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
    East of England 0 - 3 N/A

     

    07/01/2022 - 19/01/2022

     

    15/03/22, 16/03/22

    East Midlands 1 - 2 N/A

    London and KSS

    Kent, Surrey & Sussex

    0 - 1

    N/A

    London

    0 - 16

    N/A
    North East 0 - 1 N/A
    North West

    Mersey

    0 - 1

    N/A

    North Western

    0 - 1

    N/A
    South West

    Peninsula

    0 - 1

    N/A

    Severn

    0 - 1

    N/A
    Thames Valley 0 - 2 N/A
    Wessex 0 - 3 N/A
    West Midlands 0 - 1 N/A
    Yorkshire & Humber 0 - 2 N/A
    Scotland** 0 - 4 TBC
    Wales 0 - 1 TBC

    *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.

    Interview content

    The interview will consist of five question areas which will be between 5-6 minutes each in length. You will be marked on these five questions.

    Including time for questioning, 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:

      

      

      

    Mark

      

      

      
      

      

      

     Rating

      

      

      
      

      

      

    Assessment

      

      

      

    1

    poor

    not considered appointable

    2

    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

    3

    satisfactory

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

    4

    good

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

    5

    excellent

    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.

    Appointability

    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 accessible through the link below:

        

     

      

        

     Interviewer   1

      

        

     Interviewer   2

      

        

    Weighting

      

        

    Max   score

      

    Question 1

    Presentation

    / 5

    / 5

    2.5

    25

    Question 2

    Medical registrar suitability 

    / 5 / 5 1 10

    Question 3

    Professionalism & governance

    / 5

    / 5

    2.5

    25

    Question 4

    Application & training

    / 5

    / 5

    1.2

    12

    Question 5

     

    Suitability & commitment

    / 5

    / 5

    1.8

    18

    Raw interview score

    / 50

    Interview score (w weighting)

    / 90

     Application score

    / 58

    0.35

    / 20.3

     Total score

    / 110.3