Career speed dating
A simple feedback email was circulated within a few days of the event, with simple questions including a scale of usefulness of the event and space for comments.
Specialists were also emailed to ask them for their feedback. Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive; 64% of students gave feedback.
The most common adjective used to describe the event was “interesting.” Other comments given were “enlightening,” “informative,” “fascinating,” and “accessible.” Students also said the event was “more useful than careers fair as greater time spent with people”; it was “interesting to know what psychiatrists do on an average day, how they got into their jobs etc”; and that there was a “nice atmosphere.” Some students commented that “moving around could have been more coordinated” and some asked for “more access to trainees with information about applications and training.” Specialists also gave positive comments and indicated that they would be keen to participate in a similar future event.
To maximise learning from our experience I have compiled a list of suggestions for other groups planning a similar event.
In particular I was hoping to get a taste for subspecialties that I had not come across during my hospital placement.
A trainee coordinator (MS) took overall charge of liaising with the specialists and students.
Overall, I found the event to be a fascinating evening that enabled me to forge links in areas that fuelled my interest, and it certainly helped to confirm that psychiatry is most likely the specialty for me. At the time of the event I had already completed an eight week attachment in psychiatry, which I had found really enjoyable.
I saw the event as a chance to find out more about a career in psychiatry.
Closely related specialties were grouped near one another. Specialists were briefed to spend a few minutes talking to each cluster of students, with the coordinator circulating the room, encouraging groups to move on.
To get adequate feedback a sign-in sheet was provided for students.