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Career path of an urologistThe career course followed by a prospective urologist has evolved through a pathway that has seen many recent changes, as a result of influences such as the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme and the subsequent Tooke report.

After completing a recognised medical degree, a typical postgraduate pathway includes progression through foundation training, core training and specialty training as detailed below:

1. Foundation Training

This is a paid training job of 2 years duration (FY1 and FY2). It usually takes place in a hospital, or other medical setting, and incorporates a range of medical & surgical specialties. Applications are made through the Foundation Programme, with medical students being matched to recognised placings.


2. Core Training

This is a paid training job of 2 years duration (CT1 and CT2). It is usually hospital-based and "themed" within a surgical specialty. Applications to this training programme are made via regional deaneries and require satisfactory completion of the foundation programme competencies.

During this training programme, the doctor would be expected to complete the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) examination.

Fixed-term specialty training appointments (FTSTA)

These appointments are available at CT1 and CT2 level to provide fixed-term, educationally-approved, training posts. Such posts are limited to a 12-month duration, and a maximum of 2 posts may be completed. These posts may help to boost a portfolio or provide a useful means of training whilst awaiting the subsequent recruitment round for the next level of training.


3. Specialty Training

This is usually a 5-year training post (ST1-5). This post is hospital-based and provides a focused training in Urology. Recruitment to these posts is via a National Selection scheme which takes place twice each year.

Upon completion of this training scheme, a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) is awarded and the candidate is eligible to apply for a senior Urology appointment. The Intercollegiate Examination in Urology needs to be completed as part of this training scheme, before the candidate is able to take up a senior appointment.


4. Post CCT Fellowship

These 1 or 2-year posts (ST6-7) may be pursued upon obtaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). They are usually in centres of excellence providing additional training at a sub-specialty level. They lie outside the remit of the Specialist Advisory Committee (SAC).


5. Career Grade Posts

This group of practitioners includes Staff Grade Doctors, Associate Specialists, Clinical Assistants and other non-training posts. It is likely that, in future, the majority of these practitioners will be designated as Specialty Doctors . This group of surgeons provides a number of roles in the NHS and covers many aspects of Urological care. The remit of each post is tailored locally, according to the needs of the Urology service.

The Specialty Doctor is key to the provision of future Urology services and to the meeting of targets. It is likely that Specialty Doctors will be involved in the provision of both outpatient and surgical services, as well as having a role in the training of other staff.

Requirements for entry into a Career Grade post include:

  1. Full General Medical Council (GMC) Registration
  2. 4 years postgraduate training (of which 2 years must be in Urology)

It is important that the Specialty Doctor demonstrates evidence of ongoing career development and maintains a comprehensive portfolio.

Specialty Doctors may, at some stage, wish to work as Consultants. In order to do this, an application must be granted to join the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register by obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration.