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More F2 doctors are choosing a career break

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 06 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5121
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Trends in what the UK’s second year foundation (F2) doctors intend to do once they have completed their foundation training is shown in new data from the Department of Health.1

Career breaks

The proportion of doctors who choose to take a career break after completing their foundation training has nearly tripled in five years, rising from 5% in 2011 to 13% in 2016. The proportion of doctors intending to leave medicine has also increased, up from 0.1% in 2011 to 0.6% in 2016.

Run-through training

The proportion of trainees planning to enter run-through specialty training in the UK has remained relatively static. Just over a third (34%) of trainees in 2011 intended to go into run-through training; the proportion dipped in 2015 to 24%, but in 2016 it returned to almost a third (32.8%).

Core training

Core training seems to have become less popular over the past five years, as just 15% of F2 doctors chose this option in 2016, down from 34% in 2011.

Service (non-training) roles

The proportion of doctors intending to take up a service appointment in the UK increased from just 2% in 2011 to 6% in 2014 and to 8% in 2016.

Leaving the UK

The proportion of trainees who choose to undertake their specialty training outside the UK has remained consistently low. However, it fell slightly from 0.8% in 2011 to 0.3% in 2016. The proportion of doctors intending to take up a non-training appointment outside the UK was 7% in 2011; this then fell to 4% in 2014 but had risen to 8% by 2016.


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