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Messly Top Picks – Core Medical Training

Messly helps doctors and medical students make evidence-based choices about their careers. Read more about our mission here.


In this blog we are highlighting our picks for the best rotations for core training across  the specialties of acute medicine, acute internal medicine and general internal medicineWith applications for CT1 opening on 9th November, now is the time to start putting in the research before you make your application.



How have we chosen our picks? We’ve used our Training Navigator, which uses over 80 000 data points from the GMC survey, to give each rotation in each hospital a 5 star ranking. Rotations with 5 stars scored in the top 20% of jobs of that speciality and grade, whilst those in the bottom 20% will receive one star. This gives you an at-a-glance comparison of rotations. Read our guide for how to use the TN for more help.


Our top rated hospitals are listed below. These are the hospitals with the highest ratings across the board for medicine at core level.

Top Picks - Core Medical Training
All data is sourced from the GMC National Training Survey: Messly have devised their 5 star rating by grouping hospitals for each measure in quintiles, based on their ranking for the same programme and training level.

Key Learnings


1) North West is strong for acute medicine


Our 2 top picks from the acute medicine specialty are both from the North West region. The Royal Liverpool is rated 1st in all categories for acute medicine (except workload) so is clearly rated very highly by the trainees who have worked there. Blackpool Victoria Hospital is 2nd for overall satisfaction and adequate experience, and 3rd for workload.


2) Northern Irish and Scottish hospitals are well represented in general medicine and acute internal medicine


Belfast City Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary get 5 stars in all categories for general medicine. Belfast City is also 1st for overall satisfaction, clinical supervision and supportive environment. Monklands DGH (which in Airdrie, 25 minutes outside of Glasgow) has 5 stars across the board for acute internal medicine core training.


Some other hospitals that came up strong were in the Midlands, where New Cross Hospital performed particularly well for acute internal medicine, rated 1st for every measure except adequate experience. Musgrove Park in Taunton, Somerset is joint second with Monklands for overall satisfaction, adequate experience and clinical supervision. However, it slips to 4 stars for workload, showing that trainees thought that this was a little less manageable.


For those of you who are Foundation trainees in London, this should be food for thought if you are considering moving out of the Big Smoke for core training. There are some real gems out there.


3) Look at reviews for information on smaller departments


The GMC do not publish data for departments where there are fewer than 3 respondents for the particular training level. Hence there are some notable departments missing from the training navigator. We recommended looking for reviews at these hospitals to get an understanding of what trainees’ experiences are like there.


For example, Northwick Park Hospital is not included in the GMC data for general medicine but the following review was posted last week. This junior doctor found the experience ‘busy’ and ‘demanding’ but the experience ensured they ‘felt well prepared for medical registrar’.

For specific specialties or hospitals you can request to connect with a doctor in our Messly community for advice.

Learn More:

1) Read more about our mission to help doctors make evidence-based career choices.

2) Get started with our Training Navigator to dive deeper with into ratings across the country.

3) Have you worked at any of these hospitals? Leave a review of your rotation to help other doctors chose theirs.

4) Keep up-to-date with the latest evidence-based views on medical careers by following us on Facebook and Twitter

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