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Cambridge SFP Interview Questions and Guide

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Cambridge SFP Key Information

The Cambridge Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) presents a distinct opportunity for foundation doctors to integrate academic research into their early medical training. Comprising 24 posts across diverse specialties, this program incorporates a four-month academic rotation during the second foundation year (F2). This rotation is distinct as it exclusively focuses on research, allowing trainees to devote their full attention to academic pursuits without clinical responsibilities.

The four-month academic rotation during FY2 takes place at Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, specifically Addenbrooke’s. The rest of the time comprises clinical rotations, with FY1 trainees placed at various District General Hospitals. During the academic block, FY2 doctors focus on research without clinical duties but must maintain their training portfolios, which could involve attending clinics or case discussions. Details about Addenbrooke’s and the associated hospitals are provided in Appendix 2 of the programme documentation.

This SFP distinguishes itself by its dedication to fostering academic potential in various fields of medicine, such as Medicine, Surgery, and Neurosciences. It is structured to not only complement but enhance the foundational clinical competencies. Trainees will be mentored by leading researchers and clinicians, providing a rich environment for both personal and professional growth.

Key features of the Cambridge SFP include a tailored academic experience, access to cutting-edge research facilities, and the opportunity to work alongside esteemed academics. The programme aims to develop research skills, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of medical science, beneficial for a career in clinical academia.

This programme is ideal for those looking to explore a career that combines clinical practice with research, offering a solid foundation for future academic or clinical roles. The Cambridge SFP is renowned for its robust academic curriculum and is strategically designed to integrate seamlessly with the core competencies required in Foundation Training.

You can find a broad range of information on the SFP here.

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Cambridge SFP Interview Format

Interviews are conducted during November. Each applicant will be interviewed and scored by a panel made up of clinical and academic personnel. Interviews take place online.

You can practise 1-1 with a specialist through BlackStone Tutors.

Cambridge SFP Competition Ratio and Notes on Competition

With only 24 program spots available, and the high academic esteem with which this programme is seen, you should expect it to be highly competitive.

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Tailor and optimise your SFP Application with our 1-1 Specialists or prepare in your own time with our Specialised Foundation Program Interview Question Bank & Online Course

Cambridge SFP Past & Sample Questions

Academic Focus and Research

  • Describe a recent breakthrough in medical research from Cambridge University.
  • How does academic research complement clinical training in the SFP?
  • Can you discuss a significant research contribution made by Addenbrooke’s Hospital?
  • Outline your research interests and how they align with Cambridge’s academic strengths.
  • What are the key research facilities available at Cambridge University Hospitals?

Clinical Experience

  • Describe a challenging clinical case you encountered and how you managed it.
  • How do you balance clinical responsibilities with academic pursuits?
  • Discuss a time when you demonstrated clinical leadership.
  • What clinical skills do you hope to enhance during your FY1 and FY2 rotations?
  • Explain how clinical experience in District General Hospitals contributes to your overall training.

Personal Development

  • Describe a situation where you displayed resilience in a medical setting.
  • How do you manage stress and workload in a demanding medical environment?
  • Discuss an instance where you worked effectively in a multidisciplinary team.
  • What are your long-term career aspirations in medicine?
  • How does the Cambridge SFP align with your personal and professional development goals?

Ethics and Professionalism

  • Discuss an ethical dilemma you faced in medicine and how you resolved it.
  • How do you approach conflicts of interest in medical research?
  • Describe the importance of patient confidentiality in both clinical and research settings.
  • Discuss the role of professional integrity in both academic and clinical medicine.
  • How would you handle a situation involving unprofessional behaviour in a healthcare setting?

Cambridge Specific

  • Why have you chosen the Cambridge SFP over other programs?
  • What aspects of Cambridge’s academic environment appeal to you the most?
  • How do you plan to contribute to the Cambridge medical community?
  • Discuss how the training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital is unique compared to other hospitals.
  • What do you know about the medical research culture in Cambridge?
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Future Aspirations and Impact

  • How do you envision your career progression after completing the SFP?
  • What impact do you hope to make in the field of medicine?
  • Discuss a research area you wish to explore during the SFP.
  • How do you plan to apply the skills gained from the SFP in your future medical practice?
  • What are your goals for academic and clinical excellence during the SFP?

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