Psychiatry is an integral part of medicine. It offers a fascinating and rewarding career and the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of patients’ mental health and well-being. We spoke to one of our psychiatrists about his role as a Learning Disabilities Consultant.


Tell us about your background – what made you want to work in psychiatry?

I’ve been working in psychiatry for 16 years. I wanted to do something special within the medicine field which is why I chose psychiatry. It’s special because every patient has a different story; they’re never the same. Psychiatry is like art, where every picture is different from the next.

Why do you enjoy locum work?

I have been locuming with Athona since the end of May 2015. I enjoy working as a locum because it gives me the opportunity to plan my schedule and life. I can be free and flexible with my time, and have less commitments.

How much help and support have you received from Athona?

I have received a lot of help from Athona, with things like appraisals, finance and communication between with NHS Trusts.

I think the psychiatry team are brilliant. They always give me the support I need and each of them are kind and gentle with how they deal with things. They’re easy going and very reassuring – they’re probably the most calming part of my work.

What do you most love about your job?

The intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders field is very unique. Many mental illness sufferers don’t show organic changes in the brain, whereas the conditions I see have clear dysfunctional brain tissue. It’s very fascinating because you can tell how these abnormalities are formed and how the patients become unwell.

I work within a very unique speciality. The skills I use in my job are not necessarily skills other psychiatrists have. I know many other psychiatrists wouldn’t be able to manage my patients because of the specific skills required to look after them.

Do you have any advice for people looking to work in Psychiatry?

To work in psychiatry, you need a lot of understanding of the mentality of the mind. It’s a very hard job, but I recommend native English speakers and UK graduates to consider a role in psychiatry, rather than other branches of medicine. By working in psychiatry, they will be able to use more communication skills, so it’s unfortunate more home-grown graduates are not pursuing a role in psychiatry.

Are you a psychiatrist looking for your next role? Athona is an on-framework agency, giving you priority access to the most sought after positions across the UK.

Why choose Athona?

  • We’re a designated body, so we can help make appraisals & revalidation stress-free.
  • Our out-of-hours team are on hand to help you 24/7.
  • We offer fantastic referral incentives and financial support towards your CPD.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help:

T: 01277 217777