Nervous about stepping up to a House Officer role?
Jordan, from the STONZ Executive talks about his experience stepping up to a House Office and reflects on why he chose to join STONZ, what he enjoys most about being an RMO, and what he wished someone had told him before he started work as a House Officer.
Good references are a critical part of the ACE process.
- Treat your run as a job interview; as at the end you will need to request a reference, so you want to make a good impression!
- Introduce yourself to the team, and to the SMOs; this is really important as if a Senior Colleague is asked about you, you want to be sure they know who you are.
- Ask for references early. There is nothing more stressful than realising your cutting it fine to get your 3x references and you’re nearing the due date.
- Get references from various different specialties, i.e., not all surgical/hospital-based attachments, hospitals want to see that you’re able to adapt, and you are enthusiastic about a variety of runs, even though you might not see yourself working there in the future.
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you just have to ‘look good’ around just the SMOs, you should aim to demonstrate a commitment to all aspects of the attachment (i.e., make sure you are seen on the wards supporting the RMOs and learning as well as attending theatres and clinics with the SMOs for example). Teams work closely together!
- Ask for feedback (formally or informally) throughout the whole run, as that can provide you a chance to improve which can be advantageous when you’re asking for references. Jordan’s advice as a TI is sit down with the House Officers at the start of the run (usually over coffee), and ask how I could be most helpful and what simple things I could learn that would help the team be more efficient, and that used to get good feedback (things like helping to prep lists, help to request investigations etc.)
- Ask in person for references (as well as sending a follow up email).
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- ACE has a template for CVs you can use as a guide on their webpage.
- Its important to remember that Hospitals will be reading lots of applications, so ensure your CV is no more than 2 pages long.
- Ensure work and education are listed in reverse chronological order, employers want to see your most recent achievements first.
- Employers like to know what your interests are outside of Medicine as well! Ensure you include a section about your involvement in things such as sports teams, charity or volunteer work, or any other hobbies or societies that you're involved with. This helps to illustrate you are a well rounded candidate.
- Although cover letters are optional as a part of the ACE process, we strongly encourage you to include one, and ensure it is tailored for the Hospital you are applying to.
- Tailor your cover letters to each Hospital! Ensure you mention why you'd love to become apart of their organisation, and any supports or ties to the area you might have in the area that might help with your transition from Trainee Intern to House Officer.
Not all DHBs do interviews but some do, so it’s important to be well prepared! We've put together some helpful interview tips here