Designing a career choice tool to support medical students and junior doctors


British Medical Association (BMA)


With 65 medical specialties to choose from, deciding which to pick is a challenging decision for medics. Work Psychology Group (WPG) was commissioned to create a tool that would support medical students and junior doctors in having the confidence to make that decision.


The BMA wanted a new interactive tool designed to help support medical students and junior doctors in making informed career decisions. The tool had to be easy to use and be valid from a user perspective, in that the answers they provided would clearly link to their results; in terms of what the user said their priorities were and how these aligned to different jobs.  The BMA wanted to increase the value for members by creating a positive user experience, and also encourage the acquisition of non-members. The tool needed to be a long-term solution which could be kept up to date and owned by the BMA.



WPG worked to design a bespoke tool, specific to the BMA and its members’ needs. We took a multi-method approach to development, including extensive consultation with those in the profession and across all specialties. Around 700 doctors were involved in the validation of the tool, to make sure it offers a realistic job preview. The tool doesn’t focus on skills required for each job, as skills can be developed.  Instead, it was designed to support doctors in informed decisions. So, it focuses on personal preferences, job characteristics and the amount of variety in the role.

Results and outcome

The BMA has been happy with the outcome of the tool, and minimal edits have been made since the tool was launched. In 2019, the tool won an award – the Association for Business Psychology (ABP) Award for Excellence in Using Psychology for Social Impact. It has a 96.6% satisfaction user experience rate and members used it 10,000 times in the first year. In addition, the BMA has received feedback from new members, citing the tool as the reason they joined.

Continued work

WPG continue to contribute to the tool’s annual review. Although this is led by the BMA, input has been requested from WPG to help with any new specialties or changes across the medical profession.


Affiliations and Awards

The British Psychological Society Logo
The Association for Business Psychology Logo
Royal College of General Practitioners
University of Nottingham Logo
University of London Logo
ABP Workforce Experience Awards Logo
Health & Care Professional Council logo
Academy of Social Sciences Logo
CMI Logo

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