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    Hi, I'm currently a 3rd year and I was thinking about doing a masters at some point and an StR suggested a post graduate distance learning course. I've looked into it and there are quite a few I'd really like, which would be something along the lines of medical oncology. I was wondering if anyone has done something like this, and if it would be feasible to begin during FY1, or if it would be better to start later in my career? Thanks for any help!
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    It's definitely feasible, especially if it's distance learning. My sister in law did her postgrad diploma in medical education in FY2 and it wasn't too troublesome. The course was kind of a doss though.
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    I did a distance learning palliative medicine PGDip during FY! and FY2. Hard work but doable. Mine was made up of back to back modules lasting 3-4 weeks (online reading and powerpoints) during which a written assignment had to be done and which was due at the end of the 4 weeks. Couple of different types of assessments like communication skills (videoed consultations etc) as well, and then an exam at the end of the 2 years. Face to face contact time was 2-4 days per year. It was often hard work balancing assignment due dates with on calls - one of the rules of the PGDip was that "being busy at work" / working nights etc did not qualify for mitigation / deadline extensions.

    Things to think about:

    [1] How much face to face contact time is needed - if it's more than a few days per year this could be challenging from a rota POV / no study leave as an FY1 = might need to use AL.

    [2] Timing of postgrad exams. I would say that out of learning to be an FY / doing a PGDip / doing postgrad exams, 2 out of the three are doable but all three at the same time would mean no time for a balanced life. Think about what it most important to get started on, exams or PGDip. Personally I did not do any exams in FY2, but increasingly more people are starting their exams in FY2.

    [3] Why do you want to do a PGDip and how much are you going to gain from it during FY? It doesn't give you many points for ST applications, and you can only use completed things on the application, so a diploma being done during FY1/2 wouldn't be finished by ST applications = no points.

    [4] What sort of concurrent clinical contact are you going to need to do the diploma / assignments? Example = my assignments were all 'discuss a patient whose care you were involved in who had complex pain problems'. Thankfully most specialties have palliative patients so in my urology job I could reflect on my prostate cancer patients etc. Might find this more challenging in medical oncology if this is needed. You also might get more from doing the diploma if you can use the knowledge day to day - I genuinely found my diploma work useful in my day to day job which was part of the motivation for me to keep going with it when the workload got tough.

    [5] I had a couple of palliative medicine consultants I could go to as career mentors who helped me and gave guidance and advice during my diploma. This was invaluable, and I suggest that having a few contacts in whatever area you do your diploma in, would be something worth considering.
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    Also consider the possibility that you could be allowed to intercalate in a Masters during medical school, so that's a possible option you might want to look into.
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    I'm planning to start a PGDip in medical education alongside FY1
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    (Original post by munkie)
    I'm planning to start a PGDip in medical education alongside FY1
    from where?
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    (Original post by Sambo2)
    from where?
    Warwick
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    (Original post by munkie)
    Warwick
    Hmm interesting - I'm thinking about it but I'm just not sure if it's worth 10k for a bit of paper - I'm fairly sure I can get the skills without paying but it is an easy way of providing evidence I guess...
 
 
 
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