Sport and exercise medicine involves the management of medical problems and injuries in those who participate in physical activity and sport.
This enables a rewarding, varied and unique career working with all age groups across primary, secondary and tertiary clinical settings as well as on the sports field.
Sport and exercise medicine trainee characteristics
Sport and exercise medicine (SEM) will particularly suit trainees who are:
seeking a specialty which presents a variety of clinical and ethical challenges
enthusiastic, proactive and able to work within a multidisciplinary team
flexible and enjoy working under pressure in a range of clinical environments
interested in the management of muscoskeletal injuries and medical conditions which affect people who are keen to participate in physical activity and specific sports.
Working in sport and exercise medicine
SEM is a new and dynamic speciality offering a unique training programme, which encompasses clinical, research and performance medicine.
Physical inactivity is a major global public health problem and SEM is uniquely placed to address this, integrating regular exercise into primary and secondary prevention of disease.
- exercise testing and prescription
- diagnosing and rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries
- developing population physical activity programmes and policies
- supporting athletes of all abilities achieve their potential on the field of play.
No day is ever the same for a sports physician. There is significant opportunity to combine different elements of the speciality dependant on an individual’s interests, as many SEM physicians continue to have portfolio careers.
Within the NHS, posts are evolving both in primary, secondary and intermediate care. The military also employ a number of SEM consultants. There are also posts available with a variety of sporting organisations.
Trainees typically commence SEM having completed core medical, general practice or acute care common stem training (in emergency or acute medicine); see the person specification for details.
Find out more about sport and exercise medicine and the services delivered by the specialty on Medical Care – the RCP’s online guide to service design.
- Faculty of Sport & Exercise Medicine UK (FSEM)
- British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine (BASEM)
- English Institute of Sport (EIS)
- NHS health careers - sport & exercise medicine
- RCP (London), Specialty spotlight - sport & exercise medicine
- JRCPTB specialty page and curriculum
- ST3 sport & exercise medicine person specification
- Developing physicians on RCP Medical Care
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 via email at [email protected].
Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the lead recruiter for this specialty. The lead recruiter for sport and exercise medicine in 2020 is East Midlands.
|Health Education East Midlands|
Health Education East Midlands
|email address 1 (ST3/general queries)||[email protected]|
|email address 2 (fitness to practise queries - confidential)|
Please be aware that sport and exercise medicine accepts applicants from emergency medicine and GP training routes.
Non-physician applicants must have obtained the basic specialty professional examination in addition to specific clinical experience and competences to be eligible. Therefore applicants seeking a position in sport and exercise medicine must have one of the following:
Physician training (eg IMT) - MRCP(UK) Part 1 at time of application; full MRCP(UK) by required deadline
General practice - MRCGP (AKT) at time of application; full MRCGP (with CCT) by required deadline
Emergency medicine training - MCEM (Part A) at time of application; full MCEM by required deadline.
Please view the sport and exercise medicine person specification for information about the examinations, experience and competency required for applying from a non-physician training background and the deadlines for when this must be achieved.
Medical trainees please view the standard eligibility criteria as detailed in the am I eligible? section.
National single centre model
This specialty uses the single centre recruitment model.
You will not be required to give any preferences of particular regions when completing your application; you are applying purely for the specialty at that stage.
Later on, you will be required to give preferences of the available posts – at that point, you can opt to be considered for as many (or as few) post vacancies available nationally as you wish.
Lead region and single centre interviews
The specialty will nominate a particular region to act as lead for the round; this region is shown under the 'Who do I contact?' tab above. This lead region will review all applications, liaise with all candidates, host interviews, verify assessments, and make offers on behalf of all regions nationally.
Your application will be handled solely by the lead region throughout the entire round, up to the point where you receive and accept an offer; after which it will be transferred to the region where the post is based for pre-employment checks.
All interviews will be held at this lead region although the clinicians making up the interview panel will be drawn from a national background – ie not just from the host region.
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 reviewed.
You will spend approximately 10 minutes at each of the three interview stations, with three-to-five minutes' transfer time between each. Thus the overall time for the interview will be approximately 40-45 minutes.
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.
This is where your application form and training to date will be reviewed. This will include checking the documentation you have brought along to ensure all content on your application form is correct.
Normally your evidence folder will have been reviewed by the interviewers immediately prior to your arrival in the station. They will be:
• Checking that your achievements in your evidence folder match that claimed on your application form.
• Considering your career progression to date.
• Identifying areas about which they may wish to question you during the interview.
Areas for assessment
The two main aspects of discussion here, on which you will be assessed, will be your suitability for and commitment to ST3 training in the specialty, and your achievements and engagement with training and learning to date.
Scoring at the station
It is important to recognise that the scores awarded to you at this station will not purely be about your achievements, as this already contributes towards the scoring via your application form. Interviewers will be deciding upon scores via a combination of factors, for example: your responses to the questions asked, the breadth and quality of your achievements and your career progression.
Prior to arriving at station 2 you will be given a clinical scenario to review. Upon arrival at the station you will be asked questions relating to this scenario.
The clinical scenario will be relatively brief (two/three sentences), so once you have read this, the remainder of the pre-station time will allow you to undertake some short preparation (just mental preparation - this does not mean making notes, etc.)
The scenario will describe a hypothetical clinical situation which has arisen in which you are, or have become, involved. Some points to consider when reviewing the scenario and preparing for discussion are:
- what steps you would take
- any potential treatments possible
- any further information you would gather
- how you would go about communicating with any people (eg patients, family members, colleagues) involved in the scenario.
You should also take into account any other factors you deem appropriate, using your experience and professional judgement.
Areas for assessment
One mark will be awarded to you based on your suggestions and responses to the clinical scenario. The second mark will be on the communication skills you display.This will be both an assessment of how you would communicate with patients, colleagues, etc. in the scenario, as well as of how well you communicate with interviewers at the station.
This station will feature assessment of an ethical scenario, and discussion of a question on the subject of professionalism & governance.
As with the clinical scenario at station 2, this takes the form of a hypothetical situation, described briefly in text form, details of which will be given to you before arriving at the station.
This scenario focuses less on a clinical situation, and deals more with consideration of the moral, ethical, legal (etc.) issues which may arise in a particular situation.
The first area of assessment here will be your suggested reponses to the ethical scenario during discussion, as well as your knowledge of the different considerations required.
Professionalism & governance
Following the ethical scenario will be discussion of professionalism & governance.
This discussion will be prompted by a short question (often a single sentence) provided by interviewers. This will be given verbally by interviewers once ethical scenario discussion is finished.
This section of the interview is designed to assess your demonstration and understanding of professionalism and governance in a given situation.
Familiarise yourself with Good Medical Practice
Please note - assessment at station 3 is underpinned by the principles of GMC Good Medical Practice.
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 calculation
After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as the application form score, to give a 'total score'. This score determines your ranking which is 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.
|Int. 1||Int. 2||Weighting||Max score|
|Evidence||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Suitability for specialty||/ 5||/ 5||x1.2||/ 12|
|Clinical scenario||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Communication mark||/ 5||/ 5||x0.8||/ 8|
|Ethical scenario||/ 5||/ 5||x1.6||/ 16|
|Professionalism and governance||/ 5||/ 5||x1.2||/ 12|
|Raw interview score||/ 60|
|Interview score (including weighting)||/ 80|
|Short-listing (app form)||/ 80||x0.25||/ 20|
|Overall assessment score||/ 100|
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 the nationally-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.
|Year||Apps.||NTN posts||LAT posts||Total posts||Comp.||Unique*|
* the percentage of unique candidates that only applied to this specialty (out of the 24 PSRO-coordinated specialties)
|Year||Apps.||NTN posts||LAT posts||Total posts||Comp.|
|2018||Did not participate in round 2|
|2016||Did not participate in round 2|
|2015||Did not participate in round 2|
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.
Round 1 Interview dates & posts
|Region||NTN posts||LAT posts*||Interview date(s)|
|East Midlands (lead)||TBC||N/A||
6 March 2020
|East of England||TBC||N/A|
London and KSS
|Yorkshire & Humber||TBC||N/A|
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 nationally-coordinated process.
Please note that whilst we endeavour to keep the Physician ST3 recruitment website up to date, the SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.