What to expect from Foundation Year 2 (FY2) / New opportunities

The second-year foundation programme provides trainees with the opportunity to increase and broaden their knowledge and skills obtained within the first year of training. 

The varieties of specialties broadens; examples of which include Obstetrics and Gynaecology and General practice. Many of these specialties allow doctors to experience medicine within the community, which requires a different skill set to hospital medicine. 

As often called the old term ‘Senior House Officer’ or SHO, the FY2 doctors are usually placed upon the same rota as core speciality trainees. With this, the responsibility increases as the SHO can be making decisions surrounding patient admissions and beginning to work more independently than FY1 doctors. Within teams the FY2 doctors work alongside first year doctors, often providing advice and support to them, which in turn helps build confidence and knowledge of the FY2 doctors. 


After completing core clinical competencies of FY1, second year doctors have the opportunity to learn new and more complex procedures under the guidance of seniors. These may include lumbar punctures, chest drains and ascitic taps, along with other specialty-specific investigations. 


There is a greater emphasis on careers planning, developing CVs and specialty applications within the second year. Examinations become an important part, and trainees often begin to take further medical examinations required for specialty training, such as the MRCP/MRCS. Taster weeks can be undertaken in specialities of interest to aid career planning, which is a fantastic opportunity taken by many doctors. Many trainees consider a break from training after FY2 with a diverse range of possibilities within this year. These include working abroad, academic study, enrolling on clinical teaching fellow programmes, further education and many more.