Cardiology is one of the most popular and varied medical specialities, comprising a wide range of sub-specialities including electrophysiology, device therapy, interventional cardiology, imaging and specialist heart failure management.

Cardiological problems account for a large proportion of the medical workload, and by delivering evidence-based care cardiologists can make a real difference to patients.


Cardiology trainee characteristics

Cardiology will particularly suit trainees who are:

  • motivated

  • hard-working

  • able to develop procedural skills

  • keen to engage in clinical research


Working in cardiology

Within cardiology, physicians can develop a wide range of careers encompassing cardiovascular research, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology & device implantation, specialised heart failure management, advanced cardiac imaging and several smaller sub-specialities.

Sub-specialties/combined training

Working in some sub-specialities involves performing procedures with a high intensity on-call while others are more out-patient based with minimal on-call commitments.

In all these areas the pace of change and development is very rapid, providing a stimulating working life.

Cardiology programmes may be advertised as training with general internal medicine (GIM), leading to a dual CCT in cardiology & GIM, or single accreditation in cardiology alone.

Widespread requirement

Cardiological input is required in every hospital and consultant appointments are made in both district general hospitals and tertiary centres; sometimes appointments will be made with sessions at both district general hospitals and the local tertiary centres.

Currently most electrophysiology and advanced cardiac imaging posts are within tertiary centres.

Competitiveness

Cardiology remains a very competitive speciality, and many trainees will choose a period of academic research leading to an MD/PhD during their training; this is highly encouraged.

Potential cardiologists will need to demonstrate excellence in their career to date, and to show that they are committed to the speciality.

The needs of patients with cardiovascular disease continue to grow and cardiologists can do more and more to help them. Cardiology therefore remains a growing speciality.


Medical Care

Find out more about cardiology and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.


Further information


Cardiology is devolved into six clusters. Applications are assessed by the lead region to which they have been devolved, therefore please contact the lead region for any queries regarding this specialty.

Cardiology 2018 ST3 R1 - regional contact details by cluster
 Clustered regionsLead regionContact details

London and South East

n/a

https://lasepgmdesupport.hee.nhs.uk/support/home

East of England

East Midlands

West Midlands

East of England

recruitment.eoe@hee.nhs.uk

North East

North West

Yorkshire & Humber

Yorkshire & Humber

specialtyrec.yh@hee.nhs.uk

South West

Wessex

Thames Valley

Wessex  Recruitment.WX@hee.nhs.uk

Wales

n/a recruitmentwales@cf.ac.uk

Scotland

n/a http://www.scotmt.scot.nhs.uk/contact-us/hospital-specialty-recruitment-contacts.aspx

General / application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Specialty Recruitment Office at the RCP via email at  st3recruitment@rcplondon.ac.uk .

Eligibility

This specialty uses the standard ST3 eligibility criteria, and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes.

Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

Cascadable application model

This specialty uses the cascadable application model. If you apply to this specialty you will be required to give (up to) four preferences of regions on your application form, ranked in order of preference.

Once your application is confirmed as eligible, in shortlisting you will be allocated to a region for interview based on the score awarded to your application and subsequent ranking, your regional preferences and the interview capacity available at each region.

Your application will be allocated to your first-choice preference region if possible; if the region has reached capacity with higher-scoring applicants, it will instead be cascaded to your second-choice; if that is also full, it will then be cascaded to your third-choice; and so on.

Most applicants are allocated to their first choice and normally either none or only a few cascaded to a lower preference. In a small number of cases, usually where an applicant only preferences one or two regions, an applicant will not be shortlisted. Information on the outcome of shortlisting from previous years is available in the document library.

Regional clusters

It is normal for regions to join together for recruitment purposes, forming amalgamated regional ‘clusters’. A candidate applying to any such cluster can consider posts available across all constituent regions within the cluster.

Clearing

As the main round draws to a close this specialty can implement a period of national clearing, should any vacancies remain. Further information can be found in the clearing section.

Round 2

If participating in round 2, this specialty will use the single centre recruitment model, whereby the specialty will nominate a particular region to act as lead for the round and host all interviews with applications made nationally; the lead region will be confirmed in the lead up to the start of the round.

*Please note; cardiology has not participated in round 2 of ST3 Recruitment since 2012

It is possible that there could be changes between now and the interview period. Please bear this in mind when reviewing the information below, although in most cases it is not expected this will change, or any changes will be minimal.  You are advised to check back in closer to the time of interview. The date at the foot of this page shows when the page was last updated.

Interview Content

You will spend approximately 15 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the cardiology interview will be approximately 60 minutes.

For details of how scores are awarded at interview, and weighting that is applied subsequently, please see the scoring page of this website.

Communication skills

Implicit in all six areas assessed across the three stations will be an assessment your communication skills - eg of how you would communicate with patients, colleagues, etc. in a given scenario, as well as your communication with interviewers at each station.

Click on the relevant stations below for more information on the content of the interview.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.


Interview scoring

Appointable - automatic

If you are awarded a score of  at least 3 / 5, for all marks  given to you at your interview, then you will automatically be classed as appointable .

Not appointable - automatic

If  any of the 12 scores awarded to you at interview are 1 / 5 , this will reflect poor performance and an area of major concern.

If  four or more of your 12 interview scores are of 2 / 5 , this will reflect several areas of concern across your whole interview.

Should your interview assessment fall under either category above, the level of concern over your potential progression to ST3 will see your application classed  automatically  as  not appointable  .

Appointability subject to panel decision

In the event that your 12 interview scores contain  one, two or three marks of 2/5  (and the rest 3/5 or above), your appointability status will be subject to discussion in the post-interview 'wash-up' meeting.

The clinicians who have interviewed you will discuss your general performance during the interview and any concerns or otherwise they have about your application as a whole.

Should they deem it appropriate, your application will be classed as appointable, and you can then be considered for post offers; whereas if they feel their concerns are too substantial for this outcome, they must class your application as not appointable, and it will progress no further in the current recruitment round.

Review vs automatic status

Please note there is no distinction made between candidates judged as appointable automatically, and those classed as appointable on review. Once deemed appointable it is only your overall score which will be used to determine ranking.

Total score weighting

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the 'shortlist' score awarded to your application form.

These scores are then combined to give your total score which is determing your ranking which will in turn be used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, can be seen by clicking on 'Total score calculation' below.

Please note that this is subject to change, and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

date last updated 27 November 2017

As part of the process of applying to ST3, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in RCP-coordinated recruitment.

To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

  • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

  • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

  • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

  • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.

Provisional post numbers

Specialty vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts.

It is the intention that initial post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed.  Numbers will be updated as and when notifications are received from each region and will be checked later in the round when programme preferences are open for selection.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change throughout the round.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. On average post numbers rise between 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

Region NTN posts LAT posts*Interview date(s)
HE London and South East 

(London) 

tbc

n/a

tbc

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex) 

tbc

n/a
HE East of England (lead) tbc n/a tbc
HE West Midlands  tbc n/a
HE East Midlands tbc n/a
HE North East  tbc n/a

tbc

HE North West 

(Mersey) 

tbc

n/a

(North Western) 

tbc

n/a
HE Yorkshire & Humber (lead) tbc n/a
HE South West

(Peninsula)

tbc

n/a tbc

(Severn)

tbc

n/a
HE Wessex (lead) tbc n/a
HE Thames Valley  tbc n/a
Wales tbc tbc tbc
Scotland**  tbc tbc

tbc

 
 

*English LATs

Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

**Scotland post numbers

If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish deaneries is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the RCP-coordinated process.

Please note that whilst we endeavour to keep the ST3 recruitment website up to date, the SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.