Junior doctors in their first year of postgraduate foundation training (F1) earn a basic salary of around £22,636 a year. The basic salary in Foundation Year 2 increases to £28,076. They also receive a supplement or banding according to the rotation. This is based on the intensity of work and the number of hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week and/or work outside the hours of 7am - 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Doctors in specialist training earn a basic salary of around £30,002 plus supplement.
Consultants earn a basic annual salary of between around £74,249 and £101,451 depending on length of service and payment of additional performance-related awards.
Doctors often work very long and unsocial hours, including weekends, evenings and nights (usually on a rota basis), although working hours vary according to specialty. The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) has made it illegal for junior doctors to work more than 48 hours a week.
Working conditions vary according to specialty. Settings include wards, consulting rooms, operating theatres, laboratories, and special units such as accident and emergency (A&E).
Self-employment or freelance work is possible. A variety of private practice opportunities exist, depending on experience and specialist knowledge.
Once qualified and experienced, career breaks are usually possible.
The majority of medical students are now female. However, in many of the more senior grades throughout National Health Service (NHS), there is a significantly higher proportion of male doctors. This situation is changing, due to the increasing numbers of women entering the profession and working their way up the grading scale.
Opportunities exist in most large towns and cities throughout the country.
There are some opportunities to work in different parts of the country as a locum, or to practise abroad. It may be necessary to move to a different part of the country to get the job you really want.
The work may be demanding, both mentally and physically, with long, unsocial hours, and you will be taking responsibility for patients' health and wellbeing.
Balancing work with further study for about five years after graduation is usually needed in order to gain specialist qualifications.
Travel is occasionally required as part of the working day. Doctors on an on-call rota system are frequently absent from home overnight.
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