........................ I am in a SHO post in a DGH (District General Hospital), which has looked after me really well in all ways possible, audit, surgery, training and want me to continue working for them from August. At the same time I've been shortlisted for a teaching hospital rotation which I want. I feel loyal to the dgh that gave me the initial opportunity to enter the specialty. my boss thinks i can appply for a university rotation after another 6 months, but whats the point if I can get one now? my boss is very powerful and very well known in all the big eye circles and expects
me to stay on. What should I do? 

- question for kate July 1, 2004 at 23:17:21 

That's an easy one. I think there are hundreds of ophthalmologist shouting the reply at their laptops! Go to the teaching hospital. That is providing you have got your part 1, as the last thing you want is your teaching hospital rotation to run out before you have got your final membership. 

I also take it that you have at least 12 months experience in ophthalmology, as otherwise the big cheese might be a bit daunting for a fresh faced SHO, but not necessarily. 

I don't understand though why your boss seems a bit reluctant. He should be encouraging you. Was he not one of your referees? 

He may be well known in the big eye circles, but the bottom line is this. In order to be considered to be shortlisted for SpR numbers anywhere (I am presuming you are aiming to become a consultant eventually, and therefore will be mindful of this), it helps a great deal, some would say imperative to have that teach hospital SHO job in the first place. In fact a lot of teaching hospitals recruit a few SpRs from their own stock of SHOs. If you read some of the messages on this board, you will understand how important and covetable that teaching hospital job is. Don't pass up your chance. 

You may get shortlisted again in 6 months time, but nothing is guaranteed, so don't give up this great opportunity. You may regret it. 

Also, even if you are unsucessful at the interview, sometimes they can be impressed enough with you to keep you on their books so to speak, and offer you the next SHO post which becomes vacant, if that occurs within 3 months of the interview. That happened to a friend of mine. 

One last thing, the calibre of candidates shortlisted to teach hospital is very high, and the interviews are correspondinly more demanding than that you will have exp at a DGH, so prepare really well. Up it a gear. Do not feel intimidated though. 

Now go forth. "Feel loyal to the DGH...." It is not about loyalty, its about career management, and we all have to do that. Goodluck. 

- Kate

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