General

Croydon GP VTS is in the vibrant and rapidly expanding London Borough of Croydon. There is an eclectic demography with a multi-cultural and diverse population. Within Croydon there is a vast choice of GP practices in areas ranging from leafy suburbia to inner city settings. VTS trainees are therefore exposed to patients with a wide variety of backgrounds, diseases and health needs, ensuring a comprehensive preparation for their future careers.

S1/2 posts, apart from Psychiatry (SLAM) and Palliative Care (St Christopher’s) are based in Croydon University Hospital. Most general practice-relevant specialities are offered and there is further choice in our 4 Innovative Training Posts in Rheumatology, Dermatology, and Paediatrics.

Croydon offers many opportunities for cultural, sporting and other leisure pursuits, which promote a healthy life-work balance. Being only 20 minutes train-ride away from Victoria, it has excellent transport links to London and beyond, as well as a Tramlink network.

Being a GP in Croydon – some of the things you need to know

If you’re looking for a VTS programme that can offer you clinical challenges, Croydon is the one to come to! It is the largest London Borough and is inhabited by a variety of different population groups. Thus it provides an exciting opportunity to manage a plethora of illnesses. You will regularly encounter diseases such as HIV, sickle cell, malaria and TB both in hospital and in the community.

In the north of the borough much of the population does not speak English as their first language and developing a variety of communication skills becomes a fundamental part of your training. Negotiating management plans with challenging patients, or encouraging health promotion through patient education is also key.

South of the borough is home to one of the richest parts of London – Purley. This polar opposite area gives trainees exposure to the demands of those that can afford private healthcare or ‘Google’ their illness online before coming to see you with a host of questions regarding treatments that do not exist on the NHS or statistics that will keep your math’s skills up to date!

Fear not though, all of the above is done under a wonderfully supportive umbrella provided by the Programme Directors (PDs) and Trainers. They will teach, guide and encourage you regardless of the hurdles you encounter and ensure you come out the other side smiling. Feedback is always welcome – whether positive (or negative) – ensuring this VTS programme continues to provide the educational and learning development vital for any GP VTS trainee.

MRCGP Exam Info

Most Trainees sit their AKT after/during their first GP post in their ST2/ST3 year - http://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/mrcgp-exams-overview.aspx

CSA is recommended to be done in your ST3 year in order to gain a breadth of experience of different and challenging cases.

Recommended Websites/Books

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/bookshop.aspx

AKT: Websites used include Passtest, Onexmination and Pass medicine. All have a bank of questions with explanations to reflect on during revision and links to NICE guidelines to learn for the exam.

CSA: The best way is to practice getting your own consultations down to 10 minutes. Also working in groups and role playing the different roles (doctor/patient/examiner) with constructive feedback for improvement at the end. Websites with useful resources include that of Bradford VTS & Pennine VTS. Liaise with your VTS Rep or ST2 and ST3 colleagues for more information/suggestions. They may also be selling their revision books on for bargain prices!

Courses

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/courses-and-events/mrcgp-courses.aspx. Also ask your VTS Rep and ST3 colleagues for advice/suggestions.

Work Placed Based Assessments Info

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/gp-training-and-exams/mrcgp-workplace-based-assessment-wpba.aspx

Where to get help?

Depending on your circumstances the following may be of use:

Programme Directors

Dr John Chan - john.chan@nhs.net

Dr Darshna Pandya - darshnapandya@nhs.net

Dr Sheetle Shah - sheetle.shah2@nhs.net

Course Administrator

Beverley Moore - beverleymoore1@nhs.net - 0208 401 3897

Educational Guidance

The general practice curriculum is available at RCGP website www.rcgp.org.uk. It details the competencies you will be expected to develop and demonstrate at the end of training. You will find it helpful to refer to it during each specialty attachment. The introductory chapter, “Being a General Practitioner” is essential reading. Full details of the MRCGP and e portfolio can be accessed here.