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ACFs in Internal Medical Training (IMT)

Each year, a number of ACFs are available in Internal Medicine Training at the University of Oxford/ Health Education England Thames Valley. These posts have 'run-through' into higher specialty training at ST3/4 level depending on whether it is in a Group 1 or 2 specialty.

Typically, we recruit for cardiology, endocrinology and diabetes mellitus, gastroenterology, medical oncology, neurology, respiratory medicine and rheumatology.

However, please check availability of posts each year, as this varies. Sometimes there will be posts in other specialties. 

For the posts available at the latest round, see our latest news piece on ACF recruitment. 

Structure of the posts

Depending on whether the post is in a Group 1 or Group 2 specialty https://www.jrcptb.org.uk/imt the structure can be slightly different although there is flexibility in both.

Group 1 medical specialties are those that dual train in internal medicine. For those the options are a 3 + 1 year model before entering higher specialty training at ST4 or a 3 year model that is available by discussion at appointment or shortly thereafter.

The 3+1 model: In year one, there is no specific allocated research time but ACFs are supported to identify their Academic Supervisor to ensure the seamless transition into research training in year two. The focus is to achieve clinical milestones.

Year two comprises a long research block with 3 months of outpatient clinics in the specialty of appointment. The focus is developing a specialist research area leading to an application for a doctoral training fellowship or continuing to develop post-doctoral research if a PhD is already held.

Year three is the equivalent of IMT2 with no specific allocated research time but with applications for doctoral fellowships underway.

At the end of year three the ACF post ends and if fellowship funding is not available IMT3 is undertaken. During this time further efforts can be made to gain Fellowship funding. If this continues to be unsuccessful then the next stage is to ‘run-through’ into the specialty of appointment at ST4.

Three-year model: There is some flexibility in the way the post is structured to enable faster progression which may be available on discussion either at the time of appointment or soon after. This is only possible through compromising the long research block. 

Group 2 medical specialties are those that will not be dual accrediting in internal medicine and so only have two years of IMT training to achieve during the 3 year ACF. Typically the structure has been:

In year one, there is no specific allocated research time but ACFs are supported to identify their Academic Supervisor to ensure the seamless transition into research training in year two.

Year two comprises a long research block with 3 months of outpatient clinics in the specialty of appointment. The focus is developing a specialist research area leading to an application for a doctoral training fellowship or continuing to develop post-doctoral research if a PhD is already held.

Year three is the equivalent of IMT2 with no specific allocated research time but with applications for doctoral fellowships underway.

The position of the long research block is negotiable and can be taken after IMT 1 & 2 are complete.

Clinical Training

These posts are integrated within the IMT programmes at the Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust and other Trusts across the Thames Valley (Year 1). Year One and Year Three are spent in clinical training in one of the fixed rotations. These posts have on-call in Year One and Three. There is no on call in Year Two. If the flexible ACF training option is agreed a bespoke training programme is developed.

The purpose of the IMT programme is to ensure that the post holders gain a broad range of experience in medicine with the intention that there are no problems in reaching competencies through assessment and portfolio completion. The rotation currently includes posts in acute general medicine, bone infection, oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, respiratory, endocrinology, rheumatology, haematology and intensive care. There is the possibility of other specialties being included in the rotation at the discretion of the training programme director.

At the end of the ACF post if clinical competences are met and funding for a doctoral fellowship is not secured, or if the ACF is already post-doctoral, the post-holder will continue in IMT and/or run-through in the clinical specialty of appointment. It is anticipated that candidates entering the ACF post at IMT1 level will have as a minimum completed IMT2 by the end of the 3 year post. Run-through is still guaranteed at the end of IMT 3 even though the ACF post may have extended the programme by 1 year (as long as competencies are met).

Academic environment

All academic training will be conducted within research groups in the University of Oxford and the research themes of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

When a post is advertised, the specialties available will be defined as will any specific NIHR research theme. The research programmes available across the University can be reviewed in more depth through the University departmental websites. Current trainees are involved in research related to the following clinical specialties: acute stroke, dementia, respiratory medicine, cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, dermatology, infectious diseases and endocrinology. (View an example of CMT ACF research.)

Trainees are supported to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Health Research; flexible programmes will be designed for those who already have a master’s or doctoral degree

Provides the academic opportunity and mentorship to develop an area of research – leading to an application for a research training fellowship or, if applicable, post-doctoral funding.

 

Last reviewed: September 2020

profiles of acf doctors in core medical training

Dr Sarah Briggs, ACF in Medical Oncology

Dr Laura Watts, ACF in Rheumatology

Dr Fielder Camm, ACF in Cardiology

Dr Sophie Binks, ACF in Neurology (CMT)