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By The DermOwls, Sep 1 2016 04:28AM

Don't worry, you are defnitely not alone. For the majority of candidates, the abstract in station 2 is the most feared part of the entire interview. And we know why: it's unpredictable, hard to prep for and stats can be really darn confusing.

The feedback from Round 1 2016 was that the abstract was really challenging so for Round 2 we have updated and revamped our Station 2 section in the course. We have added more detailed (but simple) explanations and examples of the most common stats stuff as well as a few more abstracts to go over on the day.

To get you started with your preparation, have a look at the June 2016 BJD. For example, the stats in the article on page 1299 by Agamia et al are really straightforward (just p-values, SD and correlations). This would be a good place to start your stats revision - just don't get thrown by the really long complicated-sounding title to the paper!!

By The DermOwls, Aug 7 2016 07:35AM

Round 1 2016 dermatology was extremely competitive, with 158 applicants in total and only 34 NTNs available and 3 LATs in Scotland. Our DermOwl candidates reported back that the interview was really tough, especially the research station, but luckily many did extremely well. Out of the candidates who attended the DermOwl course and did one-to-ones for Round 1 (and let us know how they did), 12 got NTNs and 1 got a LAT post. A number of DermOwl attendees also received competitive clinical fellow posts.

We are thrilled that everyone did well and, to those who did not get the job they wanted, keep working and you will get there. Round 2 is just around the corner!!!

By The DermOwls, Jan 30 2016 07:02PM

The countdown to Dermatology ST3 Round 1 Applications has begun!

Initial post numbers are expected to be released by Friday 12 February and the applications will open Tuesday 16 February at 10AM and close Wednesday 9 March. Short-listed candidates can expect their interview anytime from Monday 21 March - Wednesday 11 May.

So what should you be doing right now to ensure that you are ready for the application process?

First and foremost get to know the Persons Specification required for the role better than the back of your hand. The link is:


The next thing you should do is UPDATE YOUR CV with the person spec in mind. Initially include any and everything you can think of relating to dermatology or relevant SPR skills; keep this long verson for when you are practicing your interview, but for your final CV ensure that the version is succinct and salient.

Once you have updated your CV, go back through the person spec and check that you have something relevant for each and every criteria required: all of these will be assessed in the marking process for your written application and your interview. If there are any gaps in your CV, now is the time to address them! There is still time before the application closing deadline to enhance your score - every point counts. Befriend your local or regional dermatology team (if you haven't already done so!) and make sure that you address any gaps as best you can: a submission of a case report is better than no publication; data collection for a national audit in dermatology is better than no relevant audit; an accepted abstract to present at a regional dermatology meeting is better than no presentation.

Finally, make sure you book yourself a place on the DermOwl course! There are still a few spaces available for the 27 February course in London. There is no better way to get a rapid overview of the specialty, understand the mindset of dermatologist and improve your ability to sell your relevant skills.

Good luck and we hope to see many of you aspiring dermatology SPRs on our DermOwl course or in our coaching sesssions!

By The DermOwls, Dec 28 2015 10:00AM

2015 Round 2 ST3 recruitment for derm (from www.ST3recrutiment.org.uk)
2015 Round 2 ST3 recruitment for derm (from www.ST3recrutiment.org.uk)

This is a tricky question to answer because the cut-off depends on how the other applicants score. In 2015 Round 2, the median was 52 and the mean was 50.85. There were 87 applicants.

A few years back, we both went into our interviews with 60 points, putting us in the top 10-15 candidtes in the recruitment process. Obviously, you should aim for as many points as possible and we feel most comfortable sending in our candidates with a minimum of 55 points. You definitely want to be above average. Our last DermOwl success story went into the 2015 Round 2 with 69 points and she ended up ranking in the top 4 out of 87 candidates! Of course, 69 points is a huge achievement and our candidate had been strategically working on her application for years with our guidance.

That being said, if you have less than 55 points don't put off applying; you might still shine in the interview and manage to accumulate enough points to get a number. Remember, the final score is made up 20% from your application and 80% from your interview, so the interview is what really counts!

By The DermOwls, Dec 25 2015 12:07PM

December and Christmas are here and we know that, between gift buying (and receiving!), holiday parties and fighting for fair junior doctor contracts, you probably feel overwhelmed already. If you are aiming to enter ST3 recruitment in 2016, filling out the application and preparing for your interview is probably the last thing on your mind! 'I'll start after Christmas,' you say to yourself. March is ages away, right? Right?

We guarantee that your fiercest competitior probably has already started. He or she may already have a strategic plan in place, with a rough draft of the application ready to go and an interview course booked for early Spring. How do we know? Because we coach them!

It's never too early (or late!) to start preparing. The applications for round 1 for dermatology closes at 16:00 on Wednesday 9 March 2016. See the person specificqtion here: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/files/2014/09/2015-PS-Dermatology-ST3-1-0.pdf and the application scoring system is here: http://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/the-application-form/application-scoring.html

Remember that only teh highest scoring applicants get an interview so it's imperative that you carefully study the application scoring system to ensure you get the points you deserve. And there is still time to get more: do you need a publication or presentation? To close the loop of an audit?

If you get your skates on, there is no reason that you cannot accomplish those goals in the next three months. Every point counts. For example, do you need a national presentation under your belt? The dermatology section of the Royal Society of Medicine has monthly meetings and presenting at one of these counts as a national presentation. And it might not be too late to submit an abstract to present at the 21 January 2016 meeting. Check out this link:


Hopefully we will see you on the podium in January!

Merry Christmas!

Fiona & Natalia

DermOwl Natalia presenting at the RSM on 17 December 2015
DermOwl Natalia presenting at the RSM on 17 December 2015




‘I received great support and tutorage from Dr. Worsnop and Dr. Spierings in preparation for my Dermatology ST3 interview. With their guidance and knowledge I managed to boost my confidence and preparation to rank number one out of the candidates nationally.’

CF, London Trainee

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‘I have always been nervous at interviews, and my interview for a number clearly was so important that I was sure my nerves would impede my performance.  Dr Worsnop and Dr Spierings provided me with the tools to sell myself effectively to the panel and make myself stand out.  The interview could not have gone better and I attribute this entirely to preparation and practice.  Thank you, Owls!’

CS, Bristol Trainee

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