How to succeed in your ST3 Dermatology Application – Part 2
Before reading further, make sure you’ve read Part 1!
Scoring top marks at medical school to be awarded Merit or Distinction is no mean feat. Unless you’re blessed with an otherworldly memory (or are a top blagger), getting these honours is no mean feat. This means working hard, consistently all through the course. The key difference between those who achieve these awards and those who don’t is those that do, REALLY work hard. We’ve all heard the tales of that random guy or girl, who claims to not have worked AT ALL and yet gets a top score. Ignore them – and work hard!
This isn’t the place to discuss how to develop a monster work ethic and sail through medical school. There are some well-known resources that you might have seen, not least Dr. Abdaal’s YouTube channel . If this is still under your control, it’s worth putting in the work. Scoring an Honours classification for your undergraduate degree will get you 6 valuable points on the form.
Don’t despair if you’ve slacked (join the club), or have already graduated. There are still plenty of opportunities to score points in this section. One option is to submit for any of a number of annual medical student and junior doctor essay prizes. There is a wide range available, each with differing degrees of competition. All you need is to win one and you’ll get four points. I’ve listed a variety of options below:
Association for Palliative Medicine – undergraduates can submit clinical audit reports or a palliative medicine-themed essay for a £250 prize
British Geriatric Society – don’t knock the oldies. They are very generous with a selection of prizes available to junior doctors and medical students.
British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology – bit of a longshot, but the organisation hosts an essay competition. Worth a go if you don’t mind writing a 3000 word essay.
Royal Society of Medicine – Student Prizes – the RSM has a range of Sections – these may be areas to focus your efforts.
Royal Society of Medicine – Trainee Prizes – there are a whole range available to junior doctors to bolster your CV.
British Association of Dermatologists Prizes – the Essay Prize is probably the most prestigious undergraduate prize a dermatology aspirant can win
British Society for Dermatological Surgery – twice a year, the BSDS hosts an essay prize. The £300 prize doesn’t hurt too. Perhaps start your essay with “If in doubt, cut it out.” (and prepare to not win)
British Holistic Medical Association – a left-field choice which is usually slightly less competitive than some of the other better known prizes. This being said, the forms treat all national prizes as equivalent. Points are points!
ENT UK – another essay prize worth £500
HealthWatch – a nice test of those critical appraisal skills that you’ve developed – a win equals a national prize and £500
Medical Council on Alcohol – an annual essay competition focusing on topics relating to alcohol and society. Perhaps you could use the £500 prize to buy a nice bottle of wine (but not White Lightning).
Pathological Society – an essay prize run by the Pathological Society. Why it couldn’t be known as the Pathology Society, I do not know. Would YOU want to be known as a member of the PATHOLOGICAL SOCIETY?
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – this may be a good one to consider on the basis that they offer first, second and third prizes. The first prize of £750 isn’t too shabby either.
Royal College of Ophthalmologists – these folk run an annual undergraduate exam on eye stuff. I figured that my own shambolic knowledge of ophthalmology would not give me a shot at this as an undergraduate but hey, you might have actually turned up for your rotation.
Royal College of Paediatrics – this is a bit of an unusual one: if you can manage to convince the named person at your medical school to nominate you for the prize, you have a good shot at winning this prize (one is awarded per medical school). This is a pretty solid way to score a prize without even needing to write an essay.
Royal College of Physicians – this is a treasure trove or prizes for medical students and junior doctors alike. One highlight is the RCP Regional Poster Competition which can provide an opportunity for prizes without massive competition.
Royal College of Radiologists – those folk in dark rooms have ventured out with some sweet temptations for you. They run an impressive selection of prizes which can be seen on this page.