Dr Sonia Hutton-Taylor, FRCS
Founder Medical Forum
Dr Sonia Hutton-Taylor started out on a career in ophthalmology and after gaining FRCS and FRCOphth realised that there was something important missing from her career and disturbing doubts arose about remaining in surgery. On examining her own career through various channels she came to the conclusion that true career guidance was something she had never been offered at any point in her career.
Appalled at this discovery, she decided to (some would say a tad foolhardy) give up eyes to set up Medical Forum in 1990 with the mission of bringing career guidance princples into medical education. The Forum (www.medicalforum.com) now provides coaching by email, distance learning career reviews, psychometric testing, one to one career discussions for doctors of all ages and training materials/workshops for those providing career guidance to others. Her specialist interests include
* self promotion methods (CV, interview)
* career change (clinical and non clinical)
* career choice/ decision making
* career planning and goal setting
* training others in providing and seeking career guidance
* the interface between ill health and career
She writes regular columns for medical magazines such as Pulse and Doctor as well as writing documents for the Department of Health on medical career issues. She lectures regularly at various Royal College events, deaneries and the BMA Careers Fair and is an associate member of NACT."
Why is your chapter on "How to be Successful at Interviews" relevant to today's medical students and Junior Doctors?
"Job hunting is competitive and has always been but in recent times doctors are generally getting more clued up on how to answer interview questions. The interviewers are also getting more crafty and more focused upon getting the right person for the job.
It is possible to do well in all respects in ones career yet fail to progress due to poor interview skills and they are generally not skills that are taught at medical school or on junior doctor training programmes so it is possible if not a "natural" at interviews to have a career route thwarted purely due to lack of them"
What experience/qualifications do you have in dealing with this particular area of career development?
"I have been interviewing doctors on career guidance programmes for fourteen years and have seen a wide range of communication "issues" that could do with ironing out and in particular, an individual's difficulty in or reticence in selling themselves well. In the past few years I have been offering individual one to one video training programmes for those who are having difficulty getting to the next stage of their career or for those seeking a major change in direction as well as running interview workshops for refugee and overseas doctor induction programmes at various deaneries."