In August, thousands of junior doctors will make the first step from medical school into posts within hospitals or move into their second year of rotation. Placements last between three and six months and provide the opportunity to learn about and train in different specialties. During this time junior doctors will shadow and support experienced doctors and start to gain real-life experience with patients and is an essential part of medical training.

However, according to the BMJ only around a third of doctors who have completed their foundation training programme go straight into specialty training. BMJ’s research indicates there’s a growing trend for foundation doctors to take a break after training before starting a specialty post. The numbers are a stark reflection of this, with only 37.7% going straight into specialty training in 2018, compared with 71.3% in 2011.

After many years of intense studying and two years of training, the year after foundation training (FY3 year) is a natural career break and time to take a step back and assess what comes next. Reports suggest that significant factor in this is stress, burnout and working in understaffed departments, which all contribute to a strain on junior doctors’ mental health and job satisfaction.

Clocking out

Seeking a less intense working schedule is a good alternative, which is why a number of FY3 doctors move into locum work after completing their training years. Not only does this give them the freedom to establish a good work-life balance, but also provides more time to make the right choice of what training to go into.

In addition, experiencing different departments and hospitals is invaluable at the start of your career with many of the doctors we work with citing locum work early in their career as being key to long-term job satisfaction and choosing a specialty that meets their career aspirations. Working alongside a variety of experts and learning in different specialties provides you with a well-rounded understanding of what works and doesn’t work for you.

Locum work can provide you with the opportunity to earn money, but with the flexibility that allows you to take time out for travelling, a career break or to think more about your career path.

Locum work in the FY3 year

Registering with Athona will give you access to the best locum jobs across the UK. Not only that, but you’ll also benefit from Athona’s existing contracts and relationships with NHS Trusts, taking the hassle out of finding locum work in the FY3 year. Our team of expert recruiters can also help to advise you on the best next steps for you and fully support you through the compliance process.

If you’re considering taking a break after completing your Foundation Training, get in touch with the team today or send over your CV and we’ll be in contact to discuss next steps.