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National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme


The National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme for doctors in training in England is sponsored by the National Medical Director of NHS England and managed by FMLM.

The scheme has been established to identify and support doctors in training who present with the clearest potential to develop as medical leaders of the future.

National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme


What is it?

The scheme provides doctors in training with a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in a national healthcare-affiliated organisation outside of clinical practice to develop their skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management and health policy.

What it offers

Clinical fellows have the opportunity to work with senior leaders to fast track their leadership skills and experience in a diverse range of organisations. The participating organisations have the opportunity to be part of a prestigious scheme to develop a growing pool of future medical leaders who will go on to shape healthcare in this country.

It has been the most memorable and influential year of my career to date and taught me a great deal about healthcare policy, corporate structures and most importantly, about myself and my potential as a leader.” Dr Ahmed Rashid, National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow 2014/15

How it works

Candidates may apply for a place on the scheme during the recruitment period held from October to November each year. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed in December and successful applicants are seconded from their current NHS trust to take up a fellowship role for 12 months, starting 1 September, as an out‐of‐programme experience (OOPE, or equivalent).

The scheme is open to doctors in training from all specialties who have completed both years of foundation training by the start of the fellowship, commencing 1 September, each year. Candidates are eligible to apply providing they have full GMC registration and will not gain CCT before 1 September of the year they are applying (General Practice ST3 trainees with CCT before or around 1 September of the year they are applying are eligible to apply but will need to defer CCT).

FMLM is proud to work with the following partners who provide outstanding opportunities for clinical fellows:

What do clinical fellows say?

Reflections - Download a copy of the Information Pack to hear the views and insights from alumni on their fellowship experiences. Available to download by clicking the 'Apply here' button.

Webinar - Hear from 2021-22 clinical fellows and alumni members about why you should apply to the scheme.

Podcast - Listen to National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Alumni (2019/20) Dr Sam Bartlett-Pestell about his fellowship experience with HQIP, why he applied and what he hopes to gain from the year and the projects he's been involved in. Access the podcast.

We asked the 2020/21 cohort to summarise their fellowship experience in one word:


Interested? Applications for the 2022/23 scheme have now closed. You can register your interest for the 2023/24 scheme and will be notifed as soon as it is launched for recruitment.

Meet the 2021-22 cohort

Find out who they are and what drives them to help create a better health service.


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