The Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) allows junior doctors to develop academic skills in addition to clinical skills during their foundation years. The primary aim of the AFP is still to enable doctors to acquire and demonstrate competencies described in the Foundation Programme Curriculum. Doctors on the Academic Foundation Programme are expected to maintain the same clinical skill level as a participant on a purely clinical programme. The Programme provides additional opportunities to develop research, teaching and leadership/ management skills in addition to the basic competencies outlined in the curriculum.
Throughout the UK, different approaches are taken in the provision of academic training in Foundation Programmes. The Programme in Dundee is co-ordinated by the University of Dundee alongside the East Deanery.
In Dundee, 6 AFP posts are available. Trainees are allocated to a Programme number and associated rotations. All FY1 rotations are full-time clinical rotations to allow foundation doctors to fully embed in clinical work. In FY2, the trainees have a four month block of full-time academic activity. This can be in education, research or leadership & quality improvement. This period also includes one day/week in clinical practice in any speciality in secondary care or in primary care. This unparalleled opportunity to really engage in academic research of your choice is unique to the Dundee Programme.
An academic project forms the main focus of the AFP. It provides the trainee doctor with the opportunity to demonstrate academic competencies. The AFP doctors have a dedicated academic supervisor who oversees their academic work, providing constructive feedback throughout the rotation. Students are advised to meet with their supervisor during their FY1 to ensure that they undertake adequate preparation before the commencement of their rotation.