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Read what clients have said about us

The following are extracts from emails that Caroline Elton received from trainees following sessions with her at London Deanery

CT1 Trainee switching from psychiatry to clinical radiology

I just wanted to let you know how things have progressed since our sessions in September. I applied for Clinical Radiology and was successful in gaining a Run Through Grade in London, which will be starting in the autumn. I think that at some point in the future I would also like to apply for some out of programme experience working at the department of health. I feel much more confident in my choice this time around and am looking forward to starting my new job.

I wanted to thank you again for your help and advice.

F1 trainee who considered leaving medicine. After taking some time out she returned to the foundation programme. She subsequently completed the foundation programme and successfully applied to core training in psychiatry

Thought I would just drop you a quick email to let you know how things are.

I have just started my psychiatry rotation and am loving it so far. My consultant is very approachable and I am finding it all really interesting.

For the first time in medicine I feel I am finally enjoying something. I am also trying to get involved in some psychiatry audits/projects to put on the application form next year.

I just wanted to thank you again for all your help and for helping me to see that there is an area of medicine that I enjoy. Without your help I would have given up and never seen this.

Core medical trainee contemplating switch to radiology. (She subsequently successfully applied for a radiology training number)

I have been thinking about your point that my problem may be due to my father’s death and moving to London (so living away from my husband) occurring at the same time. I am quite low in mood with terrible mood swings and am worried that this may have an impact on my final decision. Hence I have arranged an appointment with the psychotherapy service and hopefully this might help.

I am enquiring about inter-deanery transfer and will apply for that. I will be applying for radiology job as well this December and I have taken steps to confirm my interest in the specialty. I am hoping that by the time the applications come out in December I will have an idea. If I dont get the job I will at least have the chance of a transfer. I can always re-apply next year if I am still not happy.

I have to admit that I would not have done any of these if hadn’t met up with you. I would have just sulked and made life miserable for me and everyone around me.

ST3 Oncology trainee contemplating switch to GP. (She later successfully applied for a GP training number)

I just wanted to tell you about my GP taster week – it was fantastic!!

I really enjoyed my time in at the practice – they are a wonderful team.

Having the opportunity to shadow several different doctors was invaluable. Dr E was great – she answered all my queries and just by observing her interaction with her patients I was able to see how she managed issues/ situations that I had been apprehensive about – she was truly inspiring!

I now feel confident and actually excited about my decision to apply for a GP training scheme.

I can not thank you enough for all your support and advice during what has been a very difficult time for me – I am truly grateful.

I have spent some time looking into the GP application process and the application form is just an account of education and previous work experience. They do not require an explanation as to why I left oncology – so it shouldn’t be as taxing as I had feared. I found the courage to meet with my previous oncology consultant last week and she was really supportive and is willing to provide me a reference for my application. So fingers crossed…

Surgical trainee who sustained a back injury and needed to reconsider his career options

I just wanted to thank you for supporting me during a very difficult time of my life and also to let you know I have been successful in securing a GP training programme in my first choice deanery.

Once again many thanks for your help and support.

Trainee switching from Anaesthetics to Public Health

I just wanted to let you know that I have been offered a place on the public health specialty training programme. I really wanted to thank you for all your help and advice.   I really appreciate it and feel that, with your guidance, I have been able to make an informed choice about the correct career progression for me, and am really excited about the prospect of starting in August!

Thanks again!

CT2 trainee who became acutely stressed, and contemplated leaving medicine

Just thought I’d send you an email to let you know how I’m getting on as promised.

I have been doing well touch wood and got through another set of on calls with another one coming up this week. I am feeling much stronger than I was and I have you to thank for that. I really think our sessions made so much difference in changing the way I approach work and helped me face my demons, I’m so grateful. Each day is still a test and a struggle but I think with time I am getting better and stronger and only 4 months to go now!

I truly am grateful and appreciate your work and I do not think I would be in this brighter place if it was not for you.

CT2 trainee contemplating leaving medicine

Last night for the first time in as long as I can remember I actually felt a little bit excited thinking about possible future careers instead of becoming totally overwhelmed with hopelessness and dread…  I realise I have a long long way to go yet and a huge amount of work to do in terms of sorting all of this out as far as I can but that in itself was nothing short of amazing…

I cannot thank you enough for everything you are doing -, really really helpful and I am so grateful, thank you.

Senior specialty trainee moving into medical journalism

Well… I got the job. Senior Editor of (Names Publication)

Just found out this evening. I’m very, very pleased with this and in a slight state of disbelief.

I am going to see if I can keep my training number for 3 years as a backup, but ultimately it doesn’t matter too much if I can’t.

Needless to say, I would never have got this job without your help – I can’t thank you enough.

Paediatric trainee moving out of clinical practice

I just wanted to let you know that I have been accepted on both the lEpidemiology MSc courses.  I have accepted the offer from (names university) after much thought.  I wanted to take this opportunity to once again thank you for all you help, support and advice over the last year or so.  I do not think I would have had the confidence to make this step towards a career change had it not been for your input.

I cannot thank you enough.

CT2 surgical trainee leaving medicine, and training as a solicitor

I received some great news yesterday and I wanted you to be one of the first people that found out. I have been offered a Training Contract with (names law firm) and they will be fully funding my GDL and LPC years!

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all your help, guidance and tutelage, and I wanted to thank you for all your efforts – you are a credit to the deanery.

Paediatric trainee with long term health issues

Thank you very much for contacting the geneticist, it would be great to arrange some shadowing if that were possible.

I really appreciate your help over what to discuss with my TPD. . It was a positive meeting in the main and I will hope to go back to work next month.

As you suggest, I will arrange some ‘work experience’ this month hopefully and then email you again. I am feeling much more positive about my work situation than I ever have before so thank you so much for all your help.

Higher surgical trainee

I’m a surgical trainee and I contacted you at the start of this year contemplating a change in career. One Friday afternoon you telephoned me and spent almost an hour on the ‘phone talking to me about why I felt this way. You rightly surmised that I was depressed and suggested I try to tackle this before making any life-changing decision. You also were kind enough to recommend a psychotherapist near to where I am based. I duly made contact with her and have undergone a period of psychotherapy which I have found enormously beneficial.

I feel so much better and more positive in myself but wished to thank you for the extreme kindness with which you handled my situation, as well as your astute determination of the underlying problem. Without your support to confront the awful ‘depression’ word I am not sure that I would have found the strength to tackle it head-on. It transpires that the job was not the problem – only about ten minutes of my time in psychotherapy has been spent discussing this aspect of my life.

Going through this process has made me re-evaluate my priorities – I’m still not 100% sure I’ll stick with surgery but I’m looking forward to the future, whatever it may hold!

I can’t thank you enough for setting me on the right path – the deanery and the profession are extremely lucky to have you.

Radiology trainee contemplating switch to occupational medicine

I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help. You have been fantastic and I could not have asked for a better advisor.

I have been doing work experience at [names organisation] in occupational medicine, which I have enjoyed immensely and am starting at [an trust] next week to gain expose into the NHS side of the speciality.

It really does seem to be the right fit and I am feeling extremely positive about it.

0 and G specialty trainee who contemplated leaving medicine

I just wanted to thank you because you have played a major role in me being able to remain working as a doctor and helping me to understand why I have struggled so much.

FY2 trainee who contemplated leaving medicine

I also wanted to genuinely thank you for all your help not only with regards to my career options but also for the informal counselling and support you showed towards me.

I wanted to  let you know that I am doing much better now. I actually really enjoyed my two months of A&E training and currently am on a GP training which is great. I’m most likely going to go down the GP route, but have found enough courage to slowly revise for taking MRCP part one exam sometime in the future! Anyways I thought it would be nice to share my progress with you.

Thanks for believing in me

Core medical trainee who switched to psychiatry

I got into core psychiatry training, and my first choice rotation!

Thank you very much for all the help and support you have provided me with. I am extremely grateful.

Senior radiology trainee who contemplated leaving medicine

I wanted to email to thank you for all the careers advice that you gave me and also update you on my progress. I am due to start a Research Fellowship in June. I will complete an MD over a two year period and then I will finish my clinical training after that. I am really excited about this post as the research is in the area that I hope to subspecialise in.

I really appreciate all the help you gave me in deciding on my future career plans, it really was invaluable.

Trainee deciding to leave clinical medicine after failing to get last part of her professional exams

I can’t thank you enough Caroline. I wouldn’t be where I am now (positive and focused) if it wasn’t for you. Your help and advice has been crucial to me making such a big career move and I am so very grateful. I feel I have made the right decision based on learning more about myself and my priorities in life.

Fully qualified GP who moved into the pharmaceutical sector

I wanted to say a huge thank you for all the help you gave me in finding a new direction for my career because it certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make and it was a really big think to leave clinical medicine and the NHS

Locum consultant on long term sick leave

It was a pleasure and a delight to see yesterday. Many thanks for the time, advice, stimulation, encouragement and information. I hope to succeed in my aspirations.


Feedback from consultants/GP trainers involved in supporting trainees

GP working for Practitioner Health Programme

I have supported several doctors who have seen you at the deanery. You are always regarded very highly, and also by the rest of the Practitioner Health Programme team.

Another GP working for Practitioner Health Programme

I wondered whether you already do or would consider seeing trainee doctors needing careers advice but who are not with London Deanery training programmes and who cannot therefore access this much needed advice. I was working with PHP as a GP with a special interest in practitioner health and had several doctors who had seen you feedback the invaluable advice and help that you provided them with

Training Programme Director

I have sent 2 people your way recently. One is committed to the specialty, but not to the NHS changes and is considering time out of training to reconsider his priorities and the other is also deeply committed but again not necessarily to a consultant post and is interested in working with charities, which is stretching my expertise. Neither are problems and both have great potential.

I am also putting the lessons from your work into practice at home, where my 15 year old is slowly changing from a music geek into a wanna-be medic. I’m scrabbling around for work experiences for him so that he can see what medicine is like before he is too far into the conveyor belt, and gradually getting him to think through why he wants to do it, and what he wants from a career. Bit of shock when he first announced that he was considering medicine, but his social and communication skills are blossoming, so it may be a good option for him. Whatever he decides, I’m deeply grateful to you.



Feedback following teaching sessions or conferences

From Postgraduate Centre Manager following conference presentation

Thank you from everybody for coming all this way to share your expertise and enthusiasm with us. You were a knockout – they loved you! When I asked what they had enjoyed, the comment ‘the girl yesterday’ kept on being repeated.

From Consultant who leads on Careers issues in her medical school

The Conference was brilliantly well organised which makes it a winner for me – I am so fed up of helping at events that are atrociously organised, so I found the Careers Conference very easy and good fun!

From Senior Trainee who chairs Paediatric Trainee Committee

I wanted to thank you for the time you took to come and talk to the Paediatric Trainee Committee last Tuesday. I am really gutted I couldn’t be there as I have had great feedback from the trainees who were –

From Consultant and clinical lead for his specialty

Thank you again for the training sessions. I applied for them as a mandatory exercise as I done one 4 years ago, however, they really helped me identify areas in which I can improve my role as an Educational Supervisor and as a Clinical Supervisor. I have always enjoyed teaching but lately it has become difficult with overstuffed clinics and an increase in the amount of paperwork and meetings I need to attend as clinical lead for the department.

The two training days helped motivate me to restructure the training in the department and I have already spoken to my FY2 and get her interested in doing an audit, planning a programme of tutorials and revisiting our induction package for FY2s and was pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastic she was. Next the specialty trainees!

1:1 Career coaching

Career coaching can help any clinician who wants to think seriously about their career – from somebody who has yet to complete their undergraduate training right the way through to somebody planning for retirement.



“I can not thank you enough for all your support and advice during what has been a very difficult time for me - I am truly grateful...”


Training faculty

Building on clinicians’ existing skills, the faculty development workshops can rapidly transform the effectiveness of future career conversations that they will have with trainees. Guidelines on when a trainee may be in career difficulty and need specialist careers support are also provided.


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