Common Questions from the Message Board
Question 1
Please let me know about the books I should read for my Part 1, MCQs, courses available for that (if relevant).

Question 2
I know people were reluctant about naming and shaming bad units for SHO training. But would anyone be willing to suggest good units that are worth working in.

Question 3
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 speciality. my boss thinks i can apply for a university rotation after another 6 months, but what's 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 4
I am just starting an SHO post. Luckily we have a departmental optometrist who has agreed to help teach me for part 2. Where should I start given that i know nothing really about refraction or optics>?(I did try to read Frank & Elkington but it was very dry I thought practical experience would be better).

Question 5
Hi, I am shortlisted in North Middlesex Hospital. How is the hospital? Could the SHO there throw some light? Thanks

Question 6
Seeking MD Funding. Suggestions please - I have a mortgage to pay.

Question 7
From this message board, it seems like going to XXX Hospital and  XXX Hospital are kisses of death. What then should a good DGH be like?

Question 8
How long do you think you need to prepare for the exam, taking into account you are working at the same time.

Question 9
MRCOphth I Course: UCL versus Imperial/Birmingham. Which is better? 
Which to attend? Many thanks.

Question 10
I am currently doing a SHO job in neurosurgery. Failed my MRCOphth and can't get a job in eyes. Really desperate.

Question 11
I am interested to know what are my chances of getting an SpR number if I have never worked in a teaching hosp, all DGH? Does anyone know any SpRs who made it this route. I can only think of 1:-( . I have 3 publications, and am working on a few more. If there is no chance of me getting a number, what are my chances of getting a LAT? And what is a LAS?  Any advice would be most appreciated.

Question 12
I have been shortlisted for a teaching hospital. Should I visit the unit before the interview or just ask the secretary to show me around the day before the interview? If I were to visit the consultant before the interview what am I supposed to ask? If the secreatary gets a SHO to shows me around, should I ask to see the consultant after that? 

Question 13
6 weeks into my first ophth post, not even touhed a surgical instrument, is that normal?! arent i supposed to have done 50 within the first 6 months?! 

Question 14
What will be the implications of MMC (Modernising Medical Careers) on ophthalmic training?

Question 15
How many ophthalmic senior house officers and specialist registrars are there in the UK?

Question 16
2 weeks left of my current SHO post and there is no job to go to. Help! I've been trying like mad go get a job,any job,with no luck.

Question 17
A new record for SHO applications to our rotation. 161 CVs for 1 (possibly 2) posts. 
99 Had Part 1 or more. How does one cut it further? Probably half would do the job well, perhaps a quarter would be excellent. How did I decide in the end? 
I shorlisted those who I thought would be able to get an SPR post in 2 years time, those that had done something exceptional, such as a peer reviewed publication after only one year in a DGH. There were a surprising number of these. some excelled in other ways. 
Incidentally over half the shortlisted candidates trained overseas and there was only one caucasian shortlisted by me. On the whole British qualified candidates were better at presenting a CV, but fancy paper doesnt make up for lack of content.

Question 18
I'm 28 yrs old,just cleared my plab,have done a postgraduation in ophthal from india and am hoping for a carrer here in Ophthal.I'm taking up part 1 MRCOphthal in Oct.I did FRCS Glasgow part 1 last year from india-but now i guess it is of no use.Can you kindly advise me regarding how to to go about getting an sho post.I am in West midlands.

Question 19
I am a PRHO who wants to do ophthalmology. Does anybody know any eye units who will accept people straight from house job?should I do a MSc in neurosciences/etc first? Will that help? or Casualty? (or neurosurgery?) Is anatomy demonstration useful to do( esp if you do head/neck procections or neuroanatomy)? Do I have to do both casualty and neurosurgery? 

Question 20
I am starting PRHO year this august and definitely want to do ophthalmology. I have no publications as yet but was a runner up in my med school ophth prize.Therefore i think that obtaining the Part I is essential to land that first SHO post. Could successful forumites in this exam please some pointers as to how they cleared this exam ie what text books to use,revision courses,high yield topics etc General career advice would also be greatly appreciated 

Question 21
Been shortlisted for a SHO interview! What kinda questions are normally asked? Should I visit the Unit prior? 

Question 22
I have jus got a clinical attachment in Ophthalmology.What do we do in an attachment? How do we get to impress the consultant? 

Question 23
In an interview, I fumbled when asked "why should we give u the post" and "why have u applied here" ? 

Question 24
I have done about 22 months ophth.in a DGH EYE unit,I hold part 1, 
done 30 phacos,&number of squints, 3 audits, 6 presentations, no publications yet!(no Department support) Due to sit part 2 in 2 months time  Naturally no shortlisting whatsoever! Seeking your kind advice ? 
Should i go for a MSc full time course for a year hoping I would get a teaching post afterwards and finish the membership exam(part 3)?? 
OR continue dragging on in my current post knowing that my chances are pretty slim?? 

Question 25
Has anyone been a Clinical Observer at one of the teaching hospitals? If so, does it help secure a job? Does anyone work in a hospital where there is a clinical observer program? What is the background of these

Question 26
Last year, after completing my house-jobs, I got shortlisted for quite a few eye jobs. However, now that I have medical SHO experience, ALS, MRCOphth Part I, I am not getting shortlisted. Why? 

Question 27
I'm working in a bad unit, in terms of training, cutting, consultant support and being bullied. Its a service orientated DGH and Im in my first job. The other SHOs and even SpRs are competititve and I dont have many friends here. I want to leave but cant find another job. Should I resign whilst continuiong to look for another job? My cv isnt that great.
Please help. 

Question 28
I am sorry to break the mould of the usual messages on this board, but I am thinking of getting out of ophthalmology. 

Question 29
I have an MA from Cambridge, MBBS UCL, part 1, 6 motnhs experience in a competitive dgh, 2 publications, A+Eand neuro and I'm not being shortlisted for the major rotations? I'm far better clinically than most of my peers who are on rotations. 
What am I doing wrong?

Question 30
I believe most interviews in this country is fixed. Like most of us who have as many qualifications as everyone else who seem to get the job, we're still "waiting for the shortlist".

Question 31
Dear college tutor, 
I have some opinion about the MMC (I saw you asking for opinion about MMC) 
1) In the long run it is a good thing in the sense that there is less waste in human resources. More than 50% SHO now did not progress to become SPR (Is the statistic correct?) 
2) However, it seems very restrictive, It seems that someone will stuck in the same region (possibly same hospital for 7 years) Every region has its own plus and minus, having working in different region, actually I did enjoy the variety, as sometimes I just amaze how people do thing differently from another. One unit I worked before did not require medical staff to do ultrasound whilst the other unit require them to do ultrasound which I find very useful. 
3) It also restrictive in the sense that how if somehow the trainees develop 'mid-life crisis' and decide to take a year out doing travelling and so forth? or decide to go to USA and do some lab research/fellowship or some kind. (After been to ARVO, I am so looking forward to work in USA for a short time, in some centre they are driven by excellence, but in UK , it is being driven by service, by just comparing the study done here and in USA, the USA mostly do research to advance knowledge, whilst the 'research' in UK is done by the poor SHO using their own free time or even pocket money trying to do something quick to get publication. The tedious ethical application just drive everyone mad) 
4) what is your selection for future ophthalmologists , is the one with the best academic results make the best ophthalmologist? 
Many thanks 

Question 32
I am coming to the end of my first year of a three-year rotation, and, am the victim of a bulling consultant. After speaking with the college tutor he has told me that I should just grim and bear it for the remainder of my time, which, I think I can handle? Obviously there is a certain amount of closing ranks, as they have to work alongside each other in the future. However, I am concerned that I will have a negative final appraisal form her (the bully), which will go on record. I mentioned this to the college tutor who assures me that the appraisal is only between the consultant, the hospital and me, and that it goes no further. However, I am not sure I can trust this. Other senior colleagues say I should take the matter further. Also, I have been advised that any bad report may travel with me to the next hospital on my rotation. I have also been warned not to rock the boat as this person has had complaints raised against her in the past and is expert in dealing with them., and that I should tread carefully. Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation, and can anyone advise/clarify the point on the appraisal for me? I would be eternally grateful. Many thanks in advance. 

Question 33
I am an sho working in a DGH. We usually rotate with a sister DGH. Although this rotation is not down in pen and paper,it is generally agreed upon by the consultants in the 2 units. as a result ,i was supposed to go to the sister unit in august.suddenly, they have given their existing sho a further extention for 6 months.since i was supposed to vacate my current post, it has been advertised in bmjcareers.all this happened suddenly and more or less at the same time.i have talked to the relevant consultants but they are unable to accomodate me now as they have promised their sho the job.apart from applying for new jobs, is there anything i can do to address the situation?it seems so unfair- stating first that i was to get the job in august and then suddenly leaving me high and dry? I am pretty hardworking and sincere (from feedbacks) and therefore my conduct or attitude is not the problem.

Question 34
Dear GMC please take a note of this. The consultants are manipulating the system of ODTS (Overseas Doctors Training Scheme). There are so many doctors in UK trying to get into ophthalmology even then why do consultants call overseas doctors for sho posts in Ophthalmology. There are a couple of posts in Ophthalmology in the North that I know of where interviews will be/were conducted for sho posts but the jobs will/has gone to overseas doctors and that too without plab on the basis of odts. What the hell is going on and why. Why is not anyone speaking up. I think it is high time that the ROYAL COLLEGE OF OPHTHALMOLOGISTS/GMC should take a notice of this. 

Question 35
The interview letter says that case note writing, binocularity, communication skills, basic surgical skills will be assessed apart for the interview.  Is anyone aware of this process. Any tips will be valuable.

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