Frequently asked questions
Is it for me?
If you are thinking of OOP then you should first seek the advice of a consultant trainer. This could be your local educational supervisor or college tutor. If you are planning on gaining experience in a specialist field when away, e.g. paediatric anaesthesia, then it is very important to speak to a consultant within the Welsh School who specialises in that area. They can provide some career counselling, and also may be able to suggest an appropriate overseas or UK placement. In general, the Welsh School of Anaesthesia encourage individuals to take OOP.
When can I go?
You must have passed the final FRCA and have entered StR 5 to be eligible for OOP. For logistical reasons, OOP taken for a six or twelve month period from the beginning of August or February is much easier to accommodate and more likely to be approved.
Where can I go?
Consultant trainers, trainee colleagues and trainee forums such as the one on Doctors.Net are the most valuable resource trying to find a suitable post. The Welsh School of Anaesthesia has a small database of placements that welsh trainees have undertaken in the recent past. In the database you will find details of each post as well as useful information like contact numbers, help with arranging accommodation and pay, and also an overall assessment of the placement.
What do I need to consider?
The RCoA 2010 curriculum is very prescriptive and changes in the structure of training mean that gaining the higher and advanced training competences required within the designated time can be difficult.To do so with a year out of programme is much harder. You are expected to complete higher training in the following specialist modules; Intensive Care Medicine, Paediatric, Cardiothoracic and Neuro Anaesthesia, and complete a minimum of 8 out of 13 of the 'general duties' training modules in no less than 12 months. Paediatric Anaesthesia and Neuro Anaesthesia higher training modules are only availabe in the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. In exceptional circumstances, a 3 month placement at The Walton Hospital, Liverpool can be arranged during a placement in North Wales. Cardiac Anaesthesia can only be completed in Cardiff and Swansea. Ideally any out-of-programme training time should be mapped to the RCoA 2010 advanced training curriculum, as this element of the curriculum is the most difficult time with your in-programme placements. It is also expected that you are in programme for the last 6 months of your training prior to CCT.
Meticulous planning when organising the sequence of training modules in the hospitals on your rotation is vital if CCT is not to be delayed.
What do I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the programme director by e-mail and state your intentions. They can then guide you through each step of the process. Once you've identified an appropriate post and have obtained a job description, you must fill in a RCoA OOP form www.rcoa.ac.uk and submit it to the Programme Director. The guidance on the form is useful and self explanatory. If the Programme Director and Regional Advisor are happy, the form will be sent to the RCoA for consideration. If the information satisfies the RCoA that the post is suitable for training toward CCT, they will issue a letter accordingly. You must then ask the Deanery to request prospective GMC approval using the Deanery form www.walesdeanery.org. The Deanery also have some guidance on applying for OOP.