11 December 2012

Career choices

The problem with being a junior doctor is a bit like choosing a university or course after not very much time.

As a foundation year 1 doctor you usually have 3 jobs in a year (some deaneries* do more and shorter attachments). This could be a mix of anything. A loose rule of thumb is that you do at least 1 medical or at least 1 surgical. The rest could be anything.

You can never do emergency work in first year (to my knowledge).

Just before the end of the first rotation in foundation year 2 (end of November/early December) you have to decide which area you want to specialise in.

And now there is the problem.

I have done 4 different jobs since qualifying and none of them are my chosen career (if I actually know what I want to do...). It is possible to do a taster week earlier in training, although I never got the chance to do it.

So here is my dilemma. I have applied for two different speciality training pathways (there is no limit to how many different specialities you can apply for) but a) what happens if I don't get a training post and b) how do I know I've made the right choices??

Is it too earlier to choose the pathway for the rest of your career?

I think so


*group of hospitals that work together to provide training to foundation doctors that is accredited by the GMC etc in order that all juniors get signed off for the same experience level.