I went to Imperial college London, graduating in 2013. I applied to Birmingham because I went to school there, and wanted to spend time with my family and see what life and hospitals were like outside of London. My jobs fir the year were Colorectal surgery, Respiratory medicine and Cardiology. The first two jobs were based at Heartlands hospital and the last at solihull hospital. I picked the jobs because I wanted a good mix of specialties and wasn't really interested in paeds, psych, Obs & gynae. A lot of people applied to Queen Elizabeth as it is a large teaching hospital, but I had heard it was extremely busy, and wanted a job where I finished on time.
Heartlands was a great place to work, for surgery the juniors did ward cover for nights, and you did shifts on the surgical assessment unit as well. The day job was busy but very well supported with the senior staff approachable and helpful. There wasn't a great deal of teaching, but there was ample oppurtunity to go to theatre, and I wish I was more organised instead of spending my time taking 3 hour lunch breaks on the not so busy days. There were also a number of audits taking place, and if you were keen you could get 1-2 publications.
The medicine job at heartlands was busy. The respiratory patients were sick most of the time, but the senior staff was always at hand, most of the time a phone call away. With medicine I was doing my own ward rounds, sometimes twice a week. It felt a little daunting but was great for learning. There was a lot of teaching, both during ward rounds and scheduled tutorials. Nights were spent covering AMU, which was great for learning, the registrar would see all your patients, and if you were lucky go through each with you with some learning and discussion.
My last job was cardiology at Solihull. This was brutal. the ward job was fine, it was enjoyable , well supported and fun. The problem was the rota, with 2 weeks on call and 2 weeks on the ward. It was at times brutal, as we would have 11 day strecthes, with 7 days of 12 hr shifts, including going from long days, straight into nights. The Fy1s covered the wards, which was a great learning experience. Things have changed and the rota is much better with a 5 day stretch at most.
I would thoroughly recommend the job and deanery, even though they are heavy on the portfolio and remember you have to re apply for F2 based on your e portfolio which isn't always ideal. Birmingham isn't London, but there is still plenty to do. I certainly enjoyed my FY1 greatly and would recommend the job to anyone.