A taster is a period of time, usually 2-5 days, spent in a specialty in which the Foundation doctor has not previously worked, which enables the development of insight into the work of the specialty and which promotes careers reflection.

Tasters are primarily for foundation doctors wishing to experience a specialty not in their Foundation Programme, and should normally be within the Severn Deanery area.

The UKFPO has published guidance aimed at supporting the development of high-quality tasters in each locality of every foundation school Guidance on Specialty Tasters for Foundation Trainees. There are already many examples of good practice in this area and this document aims to support all Foundation Programmes in developing career exploration for their foundation doctors.

Please note - Severn does not currently operate a 'register' system for tasters.

Are you interested in a career in GP?

Would you like to be linked with an enthusiastic GP or doctor in training to find out more about the career?

The GP Careers Champions Scheme has been set up to help you make a more informed decision about a career in general practice. The scheme is flexible to your needs and you will be matched to an enthusiastic GP/GPST in your area who can offer either a period of mentoring or one off careers advice via:

  • Email / Telephone / Skype
  • Face to face meetings
  • GP Taster Days

For more information, click here or email gpcareerschampions@gmail.com

Psychiatry Taster Days for Foundation Doctors

If you are a Foundation Year 1 or Year 2 doctor who is interested in applying for psychiatry, we would like to encourage you to spend 1-2 days following a postgraduate psychiatrist and their team to learn about what the job and training entails.  More information here.

Liz Ewins, Specialty Trainee Year 4 in Older Adult Psychiatry, Bristol
Helen Sharrard, Consultant in Learning Disability, Bristol
Ami Kothari, Core Trainee Year 3 in Psychiatry, Bristol
Laura Adcroft, Foundation Doctor Year 2, Swindon

Have authored an article in the BMJ on Trainee led taster days

Examples of Tasters

2-Day Taster in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Initial meeting with named consultant morning of first day, and a timetable organised to ensure experience gained was directed towards foundation doctor’s requirements – a specific request was made to get an idea of what life was like as a specialist doctor in training.

Day 1 - Shadowed ST1 in gynaecology. Time spent in theatre and the ward- to see how sick patients identified and treated and how GP referrals were processed.

Day 2 - On labour ward. Was able to watch how a difficult delivery was managed and observe a caesarean section.

While on ward, was able to make contact with other members of the team and make arrangements to carry out an audit.

Comments ‘the taster days were wonderful…they proved invaluable in confirming my interest in the speciality as well as giving me an opportunity to carry out an audit in the field’

4-Day Taster in Paediatrics

Initial meeting with named consultant in the morning, when they discussed career options, and determined how the taster could be focussed on specific areas of interest. The foundation doctor emphasised that this was a wide-ranging discussion which centred on 'what I had already done, what courses might be useful to attend, and how to improve my application.'

Day 1  - PICU

Day 2 - Paediatric cardiology. The foundation doctor was able to talk to those undertaking speciality training at different levels, this enabled an understanding of the training programme and its benefits and problems. Involvement in practical procedures in the ward and insight into ward duties

Day 3-4 - Paediatric A/E – clerked patients, getting useful feedback from senior paediatricians.

Comments ‘thoroughly useful experience. It allowed me to gain first-hand experience in my proposed future career and confirm it was what I wanted to pursue. It provided the focus to hopefully see through a successful application whilst being very enjoyable’.

Paediatric Tasters at Great Ormond Street Hospital