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National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme

National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme


What it is

Sponsored by the National Medical Director of NHS England and managed by FMLM, the scheme is designed to identify and support doctors in training who present with the clearest potential to develop as medical leaders of the future.

A message from Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHSE

Established in 2011, the scheme provides doctors in training with a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in healthcare-affiliated organisations outside of clinical practice to develop their skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management and health policy. 

Who it's for

This scheme is for 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). It is also for public health specialty trainees who meet the eligibility criteria.

For comprehensive details on eligibility, please read the scheme information pack (published on this page when active recruitment is open). For information on clinical fellow schemes for other professions, please visit this page of our website.

To be notified when 2024/25 recruitment opens, please register your interest for the 2024/25 scheme.

What it offers

Clinical fellows have the opportunity to work with senior leaders to develop 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.

"The National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme has genuinely been a transformative experience. It has been an incredible opportunity to spend time working closely with inspirational leaders, and getting hands-on experience of how national policy is developed. I would thoroughly recommend this fellowship to any junior doctor with a passion for clinical leadership." Dr Liam Loftus, NMD Clinical Fellow 2021/22

How it works

Candidates may submit an application for a place on the scheme during the recruitment period each year. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed 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).

Clinical fellows work in an apprenticeship model to the most senior leaders in NHSE and national healthcare-related organisations. The scheme offers an unparalleled experience and opportunity to develop a range of skills including leadership, management, strategy, project management and health policy. Within their host organisations, fellows lead on key projects which contribute to national healthcare priorities.

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

 What do clinical fellows say?

“The scheme has been a unique opportunity to immerse myself in healthcare leadership and management for a year and has given me experiential learning that very few roles can offer during clinical training. Access to national level healthcare organisations, working closely with senior leaders, the ability to lead and influence on national and large scale projects and networking with a huge group of like-minded individuals are just some of the highlights of the year.”

Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy, NMD Clinical Fellow 2021/22

“When I started the National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow Scheme, I read testimonies from previous fellows describing it as life changing and transformational. Having been through the process, I could not agree more. At some point you realise you have fundamentally changed your leadership style, perspective and possibly even career path.”

Miss Sunreet Randhawa, NMD Clinical Fellow 2021/22

“The scheme provided me with great flexibility to define my own path and gain an understanding of my own strengths and areas to improve. My host organisation was very supportive allowing me to choose my focus for the year, this included getting involved in work such as the Messenger review which will hopefully change the healthcare landscape for the better.”

Dr Joseph Home, NMD Clinical Fellow 2021/22

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 Alumnus Dr Sam Bartlett-Pestell (2019/20) about his fellowship experience with HQIP, why he applied, what he hoped to gain from the year and the projects he was involved in. Listen to the podcast here

We asked a recent cohort to summarise their fellowship experience:


To be notified when 2024/25 recruitment opens, please register your interest for the 2024/25 scheme.

Please note that the terms and conditions of the scheme, including eligibility, may be subject to change.

For enquiries, contact clinicalfellowscheme [at]

Meet the 2023/24 cohort

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


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