Surgical Insights

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About Surgical Insights

HOW CAN YOU ACE THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERVIEW OF YOUR CAREER?

We understand how daunting the surgical national recruitment process can be. As three high-ranking ENT ST3 registrars, we went through it very recently and realized that information on the whole process was heavily gatekept. People who tended to succeed and get training posts in their first application cycle tended to be well-informed with the process.

Where do you even start with preparing for what is possibly the hardest recruitment process you will sit in your career so far? We’re told that early preparation is key but with all these interview courses available out there, how do we even know which one is worth booking?

That’s where we come in. We have collectively attended pretty much every surgical interview preparation course available. We’ve collated our resources, utilized our own experiences of the whole application process, and created the ultimate series of courses for CST and ENT ST3 applications.

We value the benefit of having a minimal candidate-to-teacher ratio, and we want our candidates to succeed, regardless of their background. If you’re serious about getting a training post in your first application cycle, then our courses are the best investment you can make.

The Surgical Insights Team


Shyam Gokani

Shyam Gokani

Shyam is currently an NIHR Otolaryngology Academic Clinical Fellow and ST3 trainee. He ranked amongst the top 5 candidates in 2023 ENT national selection to secure his first-choice deanery (North Thames). He also ranked in the top 1% of applicants to Core Surgical Training. Prior to this he completed the Academic Foundation Programme at UCL and graduated with triple honours from Imperial College London.


He has extensive experience with competitive medical interviews, which have helped him to secure his first-choice training deanery of North West London for applications to ENT, CST, IMT, paediatrics and GP training. He has also secured highly competitive offers in academic medicine, in medical leadership at NHS England, and in management consulting (at McKinsey & Company). He is keen to impart his tried and tested interview techniques for standing out in competitive, high-stakes applications, and to level the playing field for CST and ENT ST3 candidates.

Louis Luke

Louis Luke

Louis secured his first-choice ENT ST3 job in Thames Valley in 2023. Despite not being successful in 2022 ENT national selection, he ranked 6th in the 2023 ENT national selection to secure his top choice job. Louis graduated from the University of Birmingham and has managed to develop and refine a surgical portfolio during his foundation training in South Thames and time as an anatomy demonstrator/ENT clinical fellow at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s hospital. This enabled him to secure his top choice ENT-themed core surgical training job in the East of England on his first attempt. After core training, he worked as an ENT clinical research fellow to gain research experience and develop his portfolio further to become more competitive on his second application.


Louis appreciates the successes and pitfalls in the competitive process of surgical applications especially after being unsuccessful the first time in ENT ST3 interviews. He wants to impart his knowledge and interview skills he gained from his experiences to empower future candidates to have the best chance of securing their top choice job.

Ekta Sharma

Ekta Sharma

Ekta is an ENT ST3 in the North Thames deanery in her first-choice training post. She ranked 1st amongst over 2,000 candidates in her first attempt at applying to core surgical training in FY2. She successfully achieved one of the highest CST portfolio scores in the country and is keen to demonstrate how this is possible even with only a few months to go before applications. She is also eager to impart her tried and tested techniques for scoring full marks in surgical interview stations.



She graduated from King’s College London before securing a highly competitive Academic Foundation Programme post in vascular surgery at Imperial College in the North West Thames deanery. Her success in medical interviews has enabled her to undertake her training at centres of excellence such as UCLH, the Royal Brompton Hospital, the Royal Marsden, the Royal National ENT Hospital, and St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.


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