Choosing your deanery by Dr Pooja Devani

NHS Deanery - How to Choose Your Deanery by Dr Pooja Devani

When it comes to choosing your deanery there are many factors to think about.

I’ve tried to categorise these for you in attempt to help you think of all the factors which come to play. The importance of these are up to your own discretion.


This is essentially somewhere you’ll be spending at least 2 years of your life. Where do you want to go?

BRAND NEW! Do you want somewhere brand new to explore and make new connections?

HOME COMFORTS! Do you want to go back home and have all the luxuries that come with living with your parents? After your night shift, there is nothing better than coming home with breakfast ready for you! Your freedom that you may have had university is massively different however, but there is truly nothing like home comforts. 

UNI COMFORTS! Somewhere you did your undergraduate training and know the local hospitals is always a nice option. It’s familiar and contacts have already been made which makes settling in to a new role all the more easier. Maybe some of your colleagues have stayed back too? You may have also started some research projects with an academic team there ad want to continue this, this could factor in to your long term plans.

HOSPITALS – you may want to work at the busiest A&E in London, or the largest trauma centre in Birmingham, if these are important to you and your training then go for it!

Training rotations

There may be certain rotations that you really need for your future specialty. For example, perhaps the rotations you really want have both Paediatrics, Surgery, A&E and an academic block and these may be the only choice of rotations you really need to form your decision making.

Or, if you really wanted a highly competitive rotations like surgery, anaesthetist/ITU etc, then sometimes people choose based on the mixture of rotations providing them great experience for their future specialties and also a balance work/life

Long – term plans

Do you know where you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Do you know where you want to specialise? Do you know where you may want to live and which hospitals work in or work near?

Perhaps there’s an area you see yourself living for the future and somewhere you’d like to settle down and invest in? Perhaps you’re thinking to invest in a long-term property there. There are many factors that determine this. However, it is only 2 years and so things can always change!

Academic research and/or educational teams may influence this too. There may be an academic team you wish to join one day – more on this below!

Academic factors

Pre-existing research connections are often a common reason to go to a certain deanery. Maybe you have already made links with a research team and during your foundation training these will be fostered further.

Moreover, there may be a research interest of yours based at a particular university or deanery and that may therefore be where you need to be situated to join the team there to pursue your interest.

Finally, do you want to do PhD in a particular place? If so, networking and integrating early on will be hugely beneficial in this pursuit.

I hope these have given you further food for thought when choosing your rotations.

Dr Pooja Devani Academic Clinical Fellow in Paediatrics

Thank you Dr Pooja Devani for your contribution – The Next Step Team