Tackling financial management for the first time

Read our guide to the non-clinical aspects of becoming a consultant here.

Not many people get into medicine because they love dealing with financial spreadsheets, but the more senior a doctor becomes, the more dealing with the budget becomes an essential part of the day to day job.

So, as a junior steps into their first consultant job, the responsibility for helping to balance the books could also be heading for their desk.

One consultant in emergency medicine found themselves plunged into an unexpected world of numbers and financial jargon when they stepped up into their new role.

“If you end up being in the financial part, that can be difficult because it’s a different world, but there are other people in the department who can give you guidance,” they said. “You’ve got to learn their language, know what the finance people are saying.”

So what do consultants need to know when they are promoted? As money gets ever tighter in the NHS, decisions about money become more important and complex.

Senior doctors and training experts have told BMJ Careers consultants need to understand the cost implications of the decisions they are making and how to read a spreadsheet.

These essential skills will also be needed for writing business cases and leading service development, other aspects that consultants can find themselves little prepared for after the clinical focus of their junior years.

Find out which skills are needed and where to tap into training, advice and support to ease the transition from junior to consultant with our free guide.

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