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What to expect as an F1 doctor


"It really is happening. We're not play-acting doctors any more, we are the doctors."

Read Salma Aslam's blog on her first year as an F1 doctor.

Making the step from medical school to year one of the foundation programme can be exciting and daunting at the same time.

Read key information and get the support you need to get you through your first weeks on the wards.

Shadowing and induction

Make the most out of the process of shadowing and induction. Get everything you need to know:



Support and advice

  • Top tips for F1s


    Think about the non-clinical skills you are developing as well as the clinical ones.

    Think ahead

    Think ahead to your forthcoming rotations and think about what skills and knowledge would help you to deal with the typical challenges you might face in that specialty.

    You will create a much better impression if you start your rotations well prepared and it will be less stressful.

    Read more real life advice


    Talk to and observe people

    Talk to and observe people already in the specialties to get an idea of what you should expect and what will be expected of you.

    Make time to go and meet people, even if it is only for a quick chat over coffee, starting with fellow foundation trainees already working in that department. 

    This has the added advantage that the people in that department will know you already when you eventually get there.


    Reflect on your experiences

    Reflect on your experiences by asking 'What could I learn from this that will make me a better doctor?', about everything you see and do throughout your foundation training.

    Think about the non-clinical skills you are developing as well as the clinical ones. Learn as much as you can about every specialty you encounter even if you are fairly sure you will never pursue this specialty yourself.

    Difficult situations happen - think about what you could learn from it that will make you a better doctor.

    When you have to work in multidisciplinary teams with doctors from this specialty in the future, your understanding of them will help you to work together more effectively.

    Apply the question to extra-curricular activities too. Everything you do has the potential to make you a better doctor if you are prepared to look for the learning. Getting into the habit of doing this will also make life a lot easier when it comes to applications and interviews.


    Learn proactively

    Learn proactively by identifying what you need to work on most and actively arranging your own learning. 

    Ask yourself: what type of learning works best for me?

    Think about whether you may want to arrange extra observations or go on courses that can help you build up essential skills that will last throughout your career.


    Seek regular feedback

    Seek feedback regularly from everyone you work with.

    Getting feedback helps you to identify key areas to focus on in your learning and development.  

    Don't just depend on the formal feedback from your supervisors and assessors. Getting more feedback will help you to identify key areas to focus on in your learning and development.

    Once you have something in particular you need to practice, ask someone to observe you and give you specific feedback.


    Use your e-portfolio

    Use your e-portfolio as a tool to help you continuously record and evaluate your progress and to help you plan your own learning and development.

    Don't be one of the foundation doctors who puts off updating their e-portfolio until it is too late to get anything useful from the process. Start your good habits early, start your e-portfolio as soon as possible.

    Check out our e-learning module, maximising your portfolio, for junior doctors

  • Essential learning

    From now on in your medical training you have to take increasing responsibility for acquiring the knowledge, skills and experience that will make you an effective doctor.

    BMA learning and development

    See our dedicated learning and development area from CPD approved workshops to careers coaching.

    BMA e-learning modules help develop practical and essential non-clinical skills in your first few years of training, that will help you throughout your career.

    All our modules are free to access for BMA members.

    Preparing for your FY1 post

    How to create an effective e-portfolio

    Workload and time management

    The art of effective feedback

    Career planning

    Building professional relationships

    Developing an effective personal development plan

    BMJ Learning

    See what BMJ learning offers, providing a full range of clinical and non-clinical modules for every stage of your career.

    Clinical e-learning modules

    Hospital presentations series

    Ask the consultant series

    ECG skills

  • More member benefits

    As a BMA member, you have a range of benefits at your fingertips. See what we can do for you and take advantage of our employment and career development services.

    Rotas and working patterns

    See our guidance on what to expect from your rota and working pattern

    Pay banding guidance

    Know your banding to ensure you get paid correctly

    Understanding your payslip

    Juniors payslips explained in our easy guide

    Services and advice

    Contract checking service - get your new contract checked for free by our experts

    BMA library - access to the largest medical library in Europe, make the most of all our online resources

    Immigration and visa advice - sign up to our free visa alerts system

    Wellbeing support services - struggling to cope? We're here 24/7 to offer support and help whenever you need it

    Financial, insurance and legal services - we provide bespoke services to assist you in all aspects of your working life