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Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)

We offer OOPE opportunities in two contexts:

  • OOPE rotations are for 4 years with an 11-month placement through Africa Health Placements (AHP) between years ST2 and ST3. If you are interested when you first apply for GP training you will be asked to preference these rotations and these will be allocated depending on your recruitment score. This is part of the application process for GP specialist training and the rotations linked to OOPE are clearly marked. Five OOPE programmes will be available with AHP; one in each of our five programmes.  Each includes both paediatrics and obstetrics/gynaecology in ST1 to help prepare you for you time in South Africa, together with a place on our local “crash course” in tropical and emergency medicine. 
  • We also offer up to a further five OOPE placements for trainees who are beginning their ST2 year each August. The Application form and further information outlines the application process and further GP specific criteria.  Successful applicants planning to work with AHP will also be supported to attend a short local tropical and emergency medicine course.

Note that all successful OOPE alumni will normally be nominated for our Excellence Award for Medical Work outside the GP training programme during their ST3 year.

Be a Hero

Opportunities for paid Out of Programme work (OOPE) in South Africa after ST2 (four years GP Training)

Many of our trainees have undertaken four years of GP Training by including a paid time out of Programme Experience (OOPE) after ST2 and delaying ST3 for twelve months.   You will return to a guaranteed ST3 General Practice Placement.

The School of Primary Care at the Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) is working closely with Africa Health Placements (AHP) as part of our Global Health responsibilities to recruit GP Speciality Trainees to work in rural South Africa on eleven-month contracts.

You will be paid up to £40,000 PA (depending on exchange rates), you will be supported by both the School of Primary Care and AHP, have a life changing experience and the opportunity to make a significant difference to the health of a rural community.  The SoPC in Severn recognises that these placements benefit individual trainees, global health and the NHS.

Placements are in attractive, safe and well-equipped hospitals, each with a number of attached nurse led, rural primary care clinics.  Senior, experienced consultants are always available, and training is available in unfamiliar procedural skills such as spinal anaesthesia or caesarean sections. Most are situated within easy access of the Indian ocean, game parks and other recreational activities.  Accommodation is of a very high standard, and flights to major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg are frequent and reasonably priced.

Africa Health Placements

As of August 2012, we have encouraged our trainees who take up an OOPE opportunity to spend their year with Africa Health Placements (AHP). Africa Health Placements is an organisation with a mission: to support and enhance healthcare systems in Africa, by finding, placing and retaining the right people for the job.

Africa Health Placements offer a range of services, which are delivered free of charge, and range from finding the most suitable position and location (based on your skills and preferences), to managing the completion of all regulatory requirements, to ensuring that you settle in comfortably. AHP have a competent team of professional recruiters to assist you with your registrations, work permits, placement and orientation at a choice of facilities throughout underserved areas of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Posts with AHP also attract an attractive salary. Dr Robin While, the Chair of the School Board and former GP and Associate Postgraduate GP Dean, will provide some in-country support from Cape Town. He will also be able to visit you in your hospital with members of the AHP team.

For further information about AHP then please visit the AHP website. Please also see the report written by Clare Hollister, a trainee who recently completed her OOPE in South Africa with AHP. You can also email Martin Schroeder, EU Liaison.

Other OOPE Options

If you have clear ideas about what you would like to do during your OOPE year, and do not wish to travel to South Africa with AHP, then we would be happy to discuss this with you and provide you with the support that you need. We do however always give priority to those seeking to work in a developing country, over less challenging opportunities abroad or in the UK. This is a policy aligned with the Crisp Report of 2007.   Please contact Professor Bill Irish or Julie Edwards if you would like to discuss further. Also, have a look at our Working Overseas page.

What it's really about!

Read some of the real experiences of our OOPE trainees.

Page owned by Bill Irish | Last update 2014-09-24 12:08:06