How can you prepare?

Runner

The SJT was developed to test the professional attributes identified from analysis of the F1 role, as defined in the person specification on the UKFPO website.

  1. Commitment to professionalism
  2. Coping with pressure
  3. Effective communication
  4. Learning and professional development
  5. Organisation and planning
  6. Patient focus
  7. Problem-solving and decision-making
  8. Self-awareness and insight
  9. Working effectively as part of a team

However, it is acknowledged there is some overlap between these attributes, and as a result SJT questions focus on the five attributes in bold.

Preparation and practice

It's often said you can't be coached through the SJT. This is generally true, and knowing the right thing to do in any given situation is a matter of intuition and values. However, this is something that develops over time and with experience, and can therefore change.

The principles on which doctors base their behaviour are learned throughout medical school, so there's plenty you can do to prepare. As well as practising questions, we recommend familiarising yourself with the F1 job analysis, and reading the GMC's guidance on Good medical practice and Outcomes for graduates.

A practice paper will be available from August 2020 via the UKFPO website.

Tips for the SJT

  • Practise as many questions as you can under exam conditions.
  • Consider what each question requires according to each attribute.
  • You may feel each statement is obvious, but be aware that the balance of priorities may be subtly different.
  • Don't overthink the answer or make assumptions.
  • If you don't know the answer to a question, answer it to the best of your ability or move on.
  • Put yourself in the position of an F1. Remember, the questions have been created following analysis of the F1 role and mapped against GMC guidelines.
  • Remember the wellbeing of your patient is your first concern. Other considerations are secondary.
  • Be honest, act with integrity and be fair to patients and colleagues alike.
  • Remember the limits of your competence. Don't work outside your boundaries, but do whatever you can within them.
  • Seeking advice and gathering information is difficult to criticise.
  • Be strict with timing.
  • Make sure you have a basic understanding of medical ethics and law.

Finally…

This might seem like a lot of effort for one exam, but the Foundation Programme is usually oversubscribed, and in the past some applicants have had to be put on a reserve list with no certainty of being placed.