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Achieving success in consultant applications
  1. Christopher James McAloon1,
  2. William E Moody2,3,
  3. Richard Paul Steeds2,3
  1. 1 Cardiology, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester, UK
  2. 2 Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Cardiology, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher James McAloon, Cardiology, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester GL53 7AN, UK; christopher.mcaloon{at}

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The ultimate aim for most trainees is to become a consultant. Achieving your Certificate of Completion of Training is the ‘easy’ bit—the specific requirements are laid out. Securing a consultant job requires preparation. This article serves to highlight areas to address early on in the process and help trainees succeed in their application.

When to start thinking about being appointed as a consultant?

By now you will know how long it takes to achieve a major career goal but if not, the answer is that everything always takes longer than you expect. Start the groundwork early, with at least 12–18 months to prepare. Box 1 summarises our key points to achieving success in your consultant applications.

Box 1

Tops tips to success in consultant applications

  • Take enough time to undertake the ground work.

  • Identify your unique selling points and apply them in every interaction in the application process.

  • Know what you want (tertiary vs district general).

  • Consider the impact of the job you apply for on your personal life.

  • Visit institutions you are considering applying to, meet future colleagues and ask questions.

  • Look at other job application forms and practise filling them in (answers can autopopulate on the NHS jobs website across applications).

  • Make sure you check your …

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  • Twitter @DrChrisMcAloon, @RichardSteeds

  • Correction notice A typo in point 7 of Box 1 has been corrected since first publication.

  • Contributors CJM drafted the article. WEM and RPS contributed to the article design, content and critically edited it. All authors are in agreement with the article content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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