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There are many routes you can choose to go down

The time following completion of FY2 for you is an important, and sometimes stressful, period at the start of your career. You’re faced with choices that can impact your future and may have to decide on certain routes you wish to pursue in your career.

As well as this, until or unless you get a Training Number, after FY2 you are abruptly on your own: no job, no supervision, no security. Your familiar world ends – you move to new places for new jobs. Friendships and connections can slide away. Loneliness, anxiety can be issues.

This is just one side of the coin though. The reverse side is the positive aspect, that you’ve completed your FY2 and you have a whole world of choices to pick from!

Options include:

Taking a gap year can be tricky, though. It needs to be seen as part of your career plan, that it’s just a step in between FY2 and the rest of your career i.e. don’t take a gap year without organising and securing a job to come back to.

Taking a gap year and saying “I will come back and locum, then decide what to do” would look bad on your CV.

Even once you have secured and confirmed your job role to return to following your gap year, you would be very wise to work some medicine of interest into the gap year, to show you are still focussed career-wise (even if you change your focus at a later stage) e.g. work in a mission hospital for two months.

Just remember, it’s called a gap year for a reason, it should be one year at the absolute max. However, the exception to this would be if you are working abroad longer, in voluntary/charity medical capacity. That would show, even though you’re not in the country, that you’re still working towards your career.

Whilst you may be doing very worthwhile and helpful work whilst on your gap year like fieldwork research or even paramedical e.g. epidemiology in the Solomon Islands, you need to make sure you have the maximum to show for this. So always remember to write your work up, to have a record of what you have done and achieved.

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