Scope and Aims
The scope of the AFP makes it a fantastic opportunity for medical graduates to prepare themselves for a career in medical research, teaching, or management.
Scope of the Programme
Running over the course of two years the programme delivers comprehensive training to help achieve the clinical and academic competencies required by the Curriculum for the Foundation Years in Postgraduate Education and Training and for full registration with the General Medical Council. It was developed to provide an option for anyone who would consider a future in medical research, but it can also provide useful skills for a variety of clinical positions.
The programme is an extension of the existing Foundation Programme (FP) and was developed as part of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme. Doctors can take the medical skills they have already developed a step further and move towards a successful future as a clinical academic.
There are a number of different types of programmes including:
- Research: This is the most common type and involves a heavy focus on scientific work and developing research methodology skills.
- Medical Education: This option develops teaching skills and helps doctors to set up teaching programmes or build mentorship for medical students.
- Leadership: An ideal option for people considering a future in management. This option includes a variety of projects in leadership and can lead towards additional qualifications in management.
Aims of the AFP
The Academic Foundation Programme was created to help doctors develop their research, teaching, and leadership skills for a range of medical careers. It was developed after the Walport Report in 2005 which identified a lack of career pathways for academics in medicine. The number of posts available were in decline and the Government hoped that by creating a better structure for doctors graduating medical school they could help those people who wanted it to move towards a career in clinical academia.
There are many reasons you might want to complete an AFP.
- To understand the medical research process,
- To improve your medical teaching skills,
- To develop leadership skills which could equip you for a future career in business or management, or
- To gain more exposure to a particular speciality.
Completing the AFP is not the only route to an academic career within the NHS. Applicants from a range of backgrounds will be considered, but it does give you a head start. If you’ve successfully completed an AFP post this will demonstrate that you have the required skills for an academic career such as leadership, research, and teaching – which will go a long way towards making your application more appealing.