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Training and development

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school. 

The approved postgraduate training programme for immunology is available from the GMC.

Doctors in labcoats writing at a conferenceYou will need to complete core training after your two-year foundation programme. Core training has a choice of two pathways: 

  • core medical training – CMT 
  • acute care common stem – ACCS 

Applicants for specialty training at ST3 should also hold the full MRCP (UK). Not all applicants who meet the required standard to continue will necessarily be offered a post due to the level of competition.  

Trainees can enter higher specialty training in immunology at ST3 level. ST3 training takes a minimum of four years; but the Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) advises applicants that it needs five years to achieve all the competencies set out in the curriculum. 

The JRCPTB has detailed information on the curriculum and assessment for immunology 

View the ST3 person specification for immunology on the specialty training website

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC. 

Tips for getting in

Medical students

  • Network - find out as much as you can about the speciality from experienced doctors and by joining different organisations e.g. university medical society, specialist society in immunology such as the BSI, get involved with the GMC (General Medical Council) - medical students can participate in visits to medical schools as part of the GMC’s quality assurance process 
  • make your specialty decisions in good time so that you can test it out before committing yourself, e.g. by using hospital visits and clinical placements arranged as part of your course to ask questions and observe people at work 
  • choose the topic of your supervised research project carefully to test out your career thinking

Foundation trainees 

  • first priority is to demonstrate that you have developed the personal, learning, clinical, practical and management skills needed by all doctors 
  • network - talk to your clinical, educational supervisors, other more experienced doctors and your peers about particular areas of interest to explore but make your own decisions 
  • keep your Foundation e-portfolio up-to-date with plenty of medical evidence  
  • think laterally when applying for rotations and look at the number of applicants to places critically – vacancies may not be available in immunology so apply for a rotation in a related field 
  • build up your experiences in immunology – placements, audit project, case reports, presentations, essays and competitions  
  • try to gain teaching and management experience 

Core and specialty trainees 

  • ensure a good grounding in acute general medicine 
  • find out as much as you can about the speciality -  speak to consultants about what the role is like, join a specialist society in immunology such as the BSI, read as much information as you can on the websites of relevant professional bodies 
  • question your own perceptions and possible negative stereotypes of the specialty 
  • build up your research experience - undertake a research project, join a Journal Club (a group who meet to critically evaluate academic research), publish your work and present at conferences   
  • impress interviewers by showing that your interest in the specialty is intrinsically motivated, i.e. you are drawn to the work and not just attracted by admiration of someone you have shadowed (You will also be happier in your career in that specialty many years later!) 
  • be prepared to move to where the vacancies are 
  • study for the examinations for the membership of your chosen Royal College 
  • continue to develop your practical and academic expertise 
  • teach junior colleagues 
  • take on any management opportunities you are offered  

This page was adapted from the NHS Health Careers website.