Like many other final year medical students, I was unsure what to base my ranking of deaneries on. I had gone to university in Cambridge and decided to go with a place that I already knew and I was comfortable with. Having spent the last year working in the region, I am very pleased that I chose to stay as my overall experience has been very good.
1. Working at Addenbrooke's Hospital - being a very busy tertiary centre and a teaching hospital, I found that I learnt a lot during my two placements. While the workload is greater than starting off at a DGH, the senior support was excellent and there was never a dull moment! In general, the consultants were very approachable in both my medical and surgical placement (Stroke and Hepatobiliary Surgery). The takes were also equally busy which provides a lot of opportunity to see and manage patients presenting with various conditions.
2. Academic Opportunities - Once again, being a teaching hospital attached to a university, it is very easy to get invovled in both research as well as teaching.
3. Living in Cambridge - Slightly biased as I have lived here for the last 8 years but overall, have really enjoyed living here. There's enough to do to keep you busy during the week, but is close enough to London for weekends. Living costs are less than London, but still fairly high.
4. Social Aspects - Both the Addenbrooke's and Hinchingbrooke mess are quite sociable and active - Addenbrooke's organised formal social events at least once a month while Hinchingbrooke, being a lot smaller, relies on word-of-mouth and more spontanous gatherings. The surgical job at both hospitals was very sociable as multiple teams of junior doctors work out of the same office. I found that this was slightly less true of the medical jobs.
1. Large Deanery (Geographically) - I was lucky to stay within commutable distance of Cambridge throughout the two years (Addenbrooke's, Papworth, Hinchingbrooke); however, this is only the case for about 1/4 of the available jobs. A lot of jobs would require moving between the two years, or even within one of the years.
2. Working at Papworth Hosptial - While Papworth is an amazing place to be in terms of seeing rare conditions in a very specialised environment, I found it a bit too specialised as an FY1. As there is little general medicine involved and most aspects of care is senior led, the FY1 job is almost completely just admin and paperwork.
3. Picking jobs for both years at the very beginning - Would have been nice to have the opportunity to choose FY2 jobs once I had already had experience as an FY1 and gained a better understanding of what jobs I enjoyed! However, it is usually not too hard to swap jobs.
Hope this handover has been helpful! Overall, I am very happy with my choice.