New ST3s

Advice for new ST3s:

Welcome to Respiratory medicine, undoubtedly the best specialty.

  • Understand the ePortfolio thoroughly.
  • Plan ahead for your ARCP well in advance.  Get assessments done early, and keep a log of everything – procedures, bronchs, clinics, NIV experience. etc
  • Encourage every supervisor to help you plan your career and training.
  • Try to set targets for each year, above and beyond the curriculum requirements (ie workplace-based assessments) and stick to them. Pick whatever works for you and your interests.
  • Make crib sheets for your clinic cases prior to starting ST3 ie reminder of essential questions/investigations/treatments for each disease based on guidelines
  • Think about whether you want to do an OOP EARLY (ST3 if possible).  OOPR in particular takes a lot of planning and due to workforce management it is necessary to provide at least 6 months notice.
  • Don’t feel pressured into doing things just because everyone else is. If you have no interest in a career in academic medicine then you don’t need a PhD. Your energy may be better spent contributing to an ongoing project, joining a BTS committee or doing a really high quality QIP project. Speak to other trainees about what they are up to.
  • Hang out with the rest of the trainees after training days and get advice from the more senior ones, particularly on career planning, OOP, and what the posts on the rotation are really like.
  • Get Level 1 USS sorted as soon as possible.  Pick a course that will help support sign-off and not just teach you the basics of how to do it.
  • Take a day or half day of study leave here and there to spend time learning in smoking cessation clinic, lung function, with respiratory physiotherapists etc.  Start this training early and document through reflections or DOPs.
  • Sign up to contents alert emails for the major respiratory journals to help keep up to date.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions (to Consultants and to other SpRs) – you can’t be expected to suddenly become a respiratory specialist overnight!

I advise reading the BTS Respiratory Registrar Trainee Induction Information.

Level 1 USS

The requirements for Level 1 USS competence are set by the BTS based on the RCR guidelines on focused ultrasound training. You need to do a course which provides the theoretical knowledge necessary for safe pleural procedures, and then acquire sufficient evidence of competency in the form of a log book. Once you have  both these pieces of evidence a Level 2 competent practitioner (or someone who is Level 1 with at least 2 years experience) needs to provide formal sign-off of your Level 1 competence (eg in the form of a letter you can upload to your ePortfolio). Different people will achieve competency and confidence at different rates, but the minimum requirements for the logbook are:




Here is a logbook you can use to document your competencies:

Pleural logbook blank