In 2018, only 37.7% of F2 doctors went straight into specialty training. This figure is considerably less when compared with 71.3% in 2011. But why?

1. Why do so many F2 doctors take a career break?

A study conducted by the BMA (British Medical Association) revealed that the top reason why F2 doctors decide to take a ‘gap year’ was to ‘travel for personal interest’.

I’m sure you’ve often heard fellow trainees express their desire to ‘get off the hamster wheel’ after F2. ‘Burning out’ has also been a popular phrase used in recent news.

Taking an F3 ‘gap year’ gives many doctors that well deserved break - It's an opportunity to gain breathing space, de-stress and allows time to really consider future career options before diving back into specialty training.

2. I’m broke – how can I afford to travel? 

Locum is a great way to do this. Most of our doctors locum for 6 months in longer term locum posts and then travel for 6 months.

However, many also choose to do ad-hoc locum work and then travel throughout the year.

For an F3, locum work is great! It gives you real freedom to decide when, where, who, why and how to work! Can you think of any other job that is this flexible?!

“Did you know, if you locum for 12 weeks, you can relax on a beach in Bali, hit the surf in Australia, visit the gates of Mordor in New Zealand, motorbike through Central America and tackle the Great Wall of China? Well, you can"

3. When should I sign up to locum?

Signing up to locum – start early!

As soon as you’ve made the decision to locum (best decision ever), contact us. With our streamlined compliance process, we could get you registered and compliant within a week.

But, the sooner we hear from you the better really. This means we can start looking into opportunities for you, ready for when you finish your F2.

Organisation is KEY. The quicker you have all the paperwork, the quicker you’ll be able to start saving - but don’t worry... we’ll guide you through the whole process!

4. What about revalidation?

All doctors on the GMC register with a license to practice need to go through revalidation. To do this, you’ll need to have yearly appraisals. These are managed by your designated body. When taking a gap year, your designated body will change and you’ll need to update it on the GMC website

We can help with this!! Here at Holt, we have an in house revalidation team and a Responsible Officer. This means, you can attach yourselves to Holt and we can be your designated body, to help manage your annual appraisals.

5. Do I still have to pay for my GMC membership?

If you’re going to be earning less than approximately £32,000.00 then you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate for the year – you can visit the GMC website to apply.

MOST IMPORTANTLY... Don’t forget to recharge your batteries!!

I’m sure the thought of more training and exams after your F2 makes you feel uncomfortable! Make sure you use this time to have a well deserved break. Yes, locum for a bit to save up. But enjoy yourself and relax too – pack your bags and go on your jollies! You’ll be able to enter your specialty training with a clear, refreshed mind.

Photos featured in this blog have come from our F3 doctors that locum to fund their travels. Talk about a work-life balance!!

DISCLAIMER: This communication has been prepared by Holt Doctors Limited for general information only. It is not intended to constitute professional or legal advice and you should not rely on its contents. Please seek independent professional advice.

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