Anonymous #1
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Hello All,

I am a junior doctor interested in breast surgery and will try and apply for cst next year (currently on F4 year). I was reading around blogs on surgeons and have stumbled across a well known heart surgeon in London suspended but case was overturned by a judge. Whilst I don’t know he ins and outs of the situation, I was wondering do consultants have more autonomy in private practice as they do not need to meet he NHS targets?

Can consultants work full time in private practice?

I feel I like my job but feel uncertain and uncomfortable if managers have the power to witch hunt a well decent doctor. Any thoughts on the matter......
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
...Can consultants work full time in private practice?...
I can answer this one question and it's a resounding yes :yes:
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nexttime
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I feel I like my job but feel uncertain and uncomfortable if managers have the power to witch hunt a well decent doctor. Any thoughts on the matter......
Firstly, your interpretation here is way off. The judge said that the hospital needed to wait for the outcome of an investigation before suspending the surgeon, not that the surgeon is 'not guilty' and certainly not that they were "well decent". By most published accounts, that surgeon sounds awful with far above average complication and death rates.

But in answer to your question, yes you can work in just private practice, but a) only after working for the NHS first and b) if you think that working in the private sector is the way to get away from litigation then you have a huge shock coming! Just look up the cost of indemnity insurance for the private sector and see what i mean.
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James Harding
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By most published accounts, that surgeon sounds awful with far above average complication and death rates.

Nope, your facts are wrong. She is an excellent surgeon and the medical diresctor has been asked to step down. This was truly a witch hunt and she mentioned it was based on her gender and ethnicity. I am glad it was sorted out even if it was taken to the high court as we all agree bullying/victimisation is NOT accepted.
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nexttime
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(Original post by James Harding)
I am glad it was sorted out even if it was taken to the high court...
:lolwut: The investigation is still ongoing, the unit has still had its leadership removed, and its still considered unfit for trainees, so an interesting conclusion there!
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MonteCristo
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nexttime I'm not sure that was one of your better tweets. Dysfunctional units often end this way and the sacrificial lamb might or might not be a genuine part of the original problem. Patient safety concerns are sometimes genuine but often just a stick with which to drive out "troublemakers" and force service reconfiguration. It is not uncommon for the person that initially raised concerns to end up as the "troublemaker". DOI: Worked in a few professorial surgical units and observed this happen a number of times from the sidelines.
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MonteCristo
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As for the original post, disputes over private practice are often at the root of disputes between consultants in the NHS. Genuine concerns about rogue colleagues are much more likely to go unchallenged. You can work full-time in private practice but most private hospitals want to work with consultants that maintain an NHS practice as this is an easy way to guarantee quality control. Some senior consultants eventually become established enough that they can maintain an entirely non-NHS practice, although this depends on your specialty and location.

A wise boss once told me that - when it comes to choosing a consultant job - choose the colleagues you will be working with over all other considerations such as location, job plan, and even sub-specialty. It looks awful to work as a consultant in a dysfunctional department and can be career-ending.
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