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Adam Beattie began his GMTS experience with a whirlwind orientation at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital.

GMTS trainees complete a 20-day orientation plan before starting their first placement to provide a broad overview of the NHS and wider healthcare system through the lens of their host organisation.

Activities can include meeting senior leaders, working with carers and partner organisations, learning how services are delivered and organisations operate.

Adam said: "I really enjoyed having interactions with patients. For example, I spent time with rapid response nurses, they were really friendly and nice to get to know them at the end of my first week.

"The cardiac rehabilitation class was also really interesting. Once a patient has had surgery, the community team takes them on and gets their health level back on track. It was really good to see the whole spectrum and talk to patients about their experience."

In addition to meeting clinical and patient facing teams, Adam met with senior staff at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital Foundation Trust.

"I got to meet the chief executive who was brilliant, we chatted about all sorts of things, including  personal management philosophy and thinking about what type of manager I want to be, but it was quite informal.

"I had meetings with other executives too and each had their own perspectives and personalities, it was nice to speak to different types of people and hear their insights."

Other activities included shadowing outpatients, patient flow, therapies services and learning about physiotherapy.

"I spent a full day with the physios, I didn't realise how much that encompassed. Before I thought the role of a physio was one thing, but actually was completely different than what I expected and so much more.

"I met various people, from those managing referrals and scheduling outpatients, to spending time with PA's and co-ordinators, through to following the patients, it was really interesting."

Starting the GMTS scheme can be daunting, but Adam gave advice to other trainees starting the scheme and orientation activities to help overcome any nerves.

"Before orientation, I had questions ready beforehand and tried to be as inquisitive as possible. The biggest challenge was having the confidence to meet so many people I've never met before and make the most out of each situation. It was intense, at the end of each day I was happy but ready to relax - I slept well each night!"

It may sound daunting, but Adam advises future graduates to enjoy all experiences, even during the application and recruitment process.

"My advice to applicants is to be yourself, enjoy it and do what you would naturally do. For example, in the assessment centre, we were asked to bring what you did during Covid to keep you busy. I did a wine course, so I took a wine book to show how much I'd learned about wine! It got a laugh and helped me feel more comfortable during the assessment centre."

Being ready to learn, listen and make contacts was a big benefit of Adam's orientation.

"I met people during orientation that I am now working with in my placement, for example I met people in Radiology and Quality Improvement which helped understanding and allowed me to reach out for collaboration when I began my role.”

"I'd also advise trainees to look at their competencies before orientation as it can help give ideas how to achieve them with the people you meet during orientation."

Following the orientation, Adam moved to his first full time placement working on new projects, appreciating the support of new colleagues and enjoying a positive working environment at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Find out more about hosting a trainee, providing a flexi-placement for trainees or joining the scheme as a graduate.

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