Do you work as an A&E doctor or are you considering a role in Emergency Medicine? One of our doctors shares her experiences of why working in A&E is the perfect career choice for her.


Tell us about your background – how long have you been working in Emergency Medicine?

I have been working in A&E for 10 years now and with Athona for almost a year. I previously worked abroad in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

What made you want to work in Emergency Medicine?

I’m a very hands on person and A&E is the best place to get this experience. I enjoy being engaged with procedures. I wouldn’t want a sitting down job as I like practical work and get the benefits of this in Emergency Medicine.

Working in A&E gives you great satisfaction because you get to deal with a different calibre of patients. Everything else you learn through experience – if you work more, you gain more.

Can you give us a brief overview of your current role and what challenges you face on a day-to-day basis?

My day-to-day roles include patient care, examining, initiating investigations & treatment, liaising with other specialities regarding patient input and transfers to other wards. Things can be challenging; I sometimes find gynaecology particularly difficult.

You build up so much adrenaline by the end of your shift. When I get home, I’m exhausted and can’t sleep as it’s difficult to switch off. Sometimes I worry about things I might have forgotten to do at work when leaving, but I’ve learnt to force myself to wind down after work.

How does working in the UK compare to working abroad?

In the UK there’s emphasis on how quick patients are seen, which puts a lot of pressure on doctors. It is however much more organised with the order that patients are seen and the procedures carried out. If you’re stuck there’s always senior doctors available to help and it’s easy and convenient to get other out of hours departments to assist you.

How did you find Athona?

In Manchester we have annual alumni dinners and Athona had a stand there and I had just finished my career break
in 2014.

I spoke to two friendly consultants about my situation having two children and wanting to get back to work. They gave me various options, including how to achieve a work-life balance, offering me guidance, revalidation options and what the next steps would be. I felt like there was a lot of help available from Athona, so I kept their leaflets and the helpful experience of speaking with them stuck in my mind.

When I relocated to Surrey with my family I got in touch with Athona and started working with them in September.

What was your first role with Athona?

I worked as a SHO in Medicine at Broomfield Hospital.

What do you most enjoy about agency work?

The work-life balance. I get to work on my own terms and choose the hours that suit me. Everyone at Athona is really understanding and they know me well. I have a young family so in the week I prefer to work evening and nights whereas weekends I’m flexible.

How much help and support have you received from Athona?

Athona are very helpful and supportive in finding me jobs which suit my working hours and travelling radius.

I previously had no idea about revalidation and the appraisal & revalidation department have been brilliant. They held my hand through each step and this year’s appraisal has been the easiest I’ve had thanks to Athona. They went through everything with me and once I had finished the appraisal, I felt very relieved and well informed.

I’ve also had great experiences with the out-of-hours team who know me well and regularly book me, as the shifts they have available suit the hours I’m after.

Athona keep me updated constantly. I’m never left wondering what’s going on – they’ll tell me within the hour if I’m going to a shift or not.

How helpful are other hospital staff during your placements?

The consultants and I work side by side. When there’s extra pressure on doctors and a high workload, they help with the jobs that we do.

What do you most love about your role?

It’s a very active role, which I love. There’s always senior support available and things get sorted faster in A&E because there’s always other departments on hand to help. This means you get to see patients more quickly.

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

Working in A&E is very rewarding – go for it! It gives you much more confidence as a doctor than you would get on wards and the quick turnaround gives you mental satisfaction.

It’s exciting, fast moving and to the point. If you’re looking for these three qualities in a speciality, then A&E is for you.

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.

If working in A&E appeals to you, please contact us to discuss how we can help.

T- 01277 217777