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F2 Abroad

Notes on Application Process & FAQs

The FAQs and information on this page can also be downloaded in this document: Notes on application process & FAQs (pdf)

When is the deadline for applications for F2 abroad?
Applications for F2 abroad need to be submitted to the Wessex Foundation School as part of the F1-F2 Matching process. The F1 - F2 Matching process takes place each year in January (deadline and timeline will be confirmed by Wessex Foundation School). Applications must also be submitted at least 6 months ahead of the start of the F2 post.

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The application form – Part A & Part B:
Applicants should initially complete and submit the four documents from “Part A” of the application pack by the deadline listed in the F1-F2 matching timeline.

Applicants who are approved for F2 abroad will then be required to submit further documentation in
Part B” in order to gain prospective approval of their F2 equivalent posts. 

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How does the application process work?
Wessex Foundation School has imposed a limit of 8 on the number of trainees (each year) who can be granted prospective approval of their F2 programme abroad. This limit has been imposed due to an increased workload for the Wessex Foundation School in managing trainees abroad and also to avoid service implications at trust level.

Applications will be reviewed by the Head of Wessex Foundation School, along with the Foundation Programme Manger. If more than 8 applications are received, the Head of the Foundation School will approve 8 successful applications based on the Personal Statement and reference from the trainee’s current Foundation Programme Director.

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Can I still apply for F2 posts in my current trust just in case my application for F2 abroad is unsuccessful? 
No, you cannot apply for F2 posts in your current trust as well as apply for F2 abroad. 
However, you will be asked to rank your preferences for the F2 year.  If you are not successful in gaining approval for F2 abroad, you will be put forward for your second preference etc.

e.g. your preferences may read as follows:

Option 1- Apply for F2 Abroad
Option 2- Apply for Time out from the Foundation Programme ( TOFP )
Option 3- Apply for posts in Wessex as part of the F1 - F2 Matching process. 

If you opt to take Time Out for a year, you will still need to return to Wessex after this year out to complete your F2 training. Any applicant who is unsuccessful in being approved for F2 Abroad or Time Out will be included in the main F1 - F2 matching process for F2 posts in Wessex. 

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Can the Foundation School help me find a job or suggest hospitals abroad?
The Foundation School is unable to help trainees with their job search. Trainees are required to source their own F2 equivalent programme and once they have found suitable posts they must submit details of these to the Wessex Foundation School in order to gain prospective approval of the posts. A list of hospitals that Wessex F2 doctors have worked at in the past can be found below:

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What should I do if the overseas hospital cannot confirm all of my posts (i.e. the entire F2 rotation /programme) before I start in post?
Some hospitals overseas do not allocate the entire years rotation at the beginning of the term. Therefore, some applicants will be unable to confirm to Wessex the rotation they have been allocated before they leave the UK to embark on their F2 year abroad. 

Wessex is only able to provide “prospective approval” of F2 posts abroad. Therefore, approval of the F2 programme abroad will be provisional until the full rotation is known.

The trainee will need to send Wessex Foundation School details of all posts once these are known. Full approval of the allocated rotation will then be granted if the Head of Wessex Foundation School is happy with the posts. 

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Retrospective approval of training posts
Retrospective approval of F2 equivalent training posts will not be granted. A trainee who begins F2 equivalent posts abroad without completing the application process and without notifying us of the intention to do F2 abroad, will not have their training approved.

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Where have F2 doctors from Wessex worked in the past?
Wessex Foundation School has approved F2 programmes at the following hospitals over the last few years:


  • Bendigo Hospital, Victoria
  • Maroondah Hospital, Victoria  
  • Lismore Base Hospital, Lismore, NSW   
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane
  • Royal Perth Hospital, Perth
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth
  • Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW.
  • Sale Hospital, Victoria


New Zealand:

  • Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch
  • North Shore Hospital & Waitakere Hospital, Auckland
  • Tauranga Hospital, Tauranga
  • Waikato Hospital, Hamilton
  • Wellington Regional Hospital, Welllington


South Africa:

  • Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town


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Points to consider when applying for F2 programmes abroad
When applying for F2 posts abroad, consider how the posts will complement the posts you undertook in F1 . The F2 posts you are allocated should provide you with a broad spread of experience.

  • They should not be similar to the posts you did in F1 .
  • If you did 8/12 or more of surgical specialties in your F1 year, avoid 8/12 or more of surgery in F2 .
  • You should aim to do at least a month, ideally 4/12 of a community-based specialty e.g. General Practice, Psychiatry, Public Health or Community Paediatrics (provided you haven’t done Acute Paediatrics elsewhere). 
  • Take time to consider career options. The UKFPO has a webpage with useful resources:  
  • Consider a specialty option in F2 that will help you in your career planning e.g. a specialty you know little about, or that you really love, or have a higher chance of getting into - see MMC website for competition ratios:

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