Official Partner The Royal Society of Medicine


Medical Specialities

Once they have completed the Foundation Programme, doctors progress to specialist training in the medical specialities, becoming a speciality trainee or registrar. This usually consists of two years of core training, followed by higher speciality training from the third year of speciality training onwards (ST3 – ST8).

Division of Medical Specialities

Medical specialites have long been defined as separate from the surgical specialites. The medical specialities are the pathways leading to careers in diagnosing and treating patients’ conditions without major surgical intervention. However, the UK’s relatively strict divide between the medical and surgical is seen by many as arbitrary to a certain extent, with many specialists working very closely with surgical, or other specialists.

On-Call Rota for a Medical Specialist

Medical trainees will take part in the on-call rota throughout their medical placements in F1 and F2. They will continue their participation throughout both core medical training, and the higher speciality years. However, there are some medical specialities, such as Audiovestibular Medicine and Allergy Medicine, that do not require all trainees to participate in the on-call rota.

Choices for a Medical Specialist

Many final-year medical students and foundation trainees may have thought about which speciality they might wish to work in. However, it is more common for trainees to wait until having completed some of their core training before deciding.

Many junior doctors are likely to have had some experience in the more well-known medical specialities – such as Cardiology, or Gastroenterology – but many of the smaller specialities – such as Sports and Exercise Medicine – will be new to the majority of trainees. The most common placements that core trainees are likely to undertake include


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