A*my
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How many weekends do you work as a doctor each month? At junior level and then at consultant
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ecolier
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(Original post by A*my)
How many weekends do you work as a doctor each month? At junior level and then at consultant
It depends on the hospital, the job (specialty) and the seniority. You do get paid more, the more frequent weekends you do.

An FY1 in Orthopaedics may not have to work weekends at all (I didn't at a big East Midlands hospital), but the SHOs worked one in 6 weekends and the registrars one in 8 weekends. This can vary though if you go to another hospital or work at another specialty.

As a neurology registrar I am currently working one in 5 weekends.

The scary thing is, you wouldn't know this until weeks before you are due to start. That's the life of being a doctor.
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A*my
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Thank you. So the majority of weekends you get completely off?? All of Saturday and Sunday. Why do so many drs complain about missing so many family events? Just curious.
(Original post by ecolier)
It depends on the hospital, the job (specialty) and the seniority. You do get paid more, the more frequent weekends you do.

An FY1 in Orthopaedics may not have to work weekends at all (I didn't at a big East Midlands hospital), but the SHOs worked one in 6 weekends and the registrars one in 8 weekends. This can vary though if you go to another hospital or work at another specialty.

As a neurology registrar I am currently working one in 5 weekends.

The scary thing is, you wouldn't know this until weeks before you are due to start. That's the life of being a doctor.
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ecolier
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(Original post by A*my)
Thank you. So the majority of weekends you get completely off?? All of Saturday and Sunday. Why do so many drs complain about missing so many family events? Just curious.
Yes! In fact the doctors' basic salary is calculated on the fact that they work only Monday - Friday 9-5; and as I said you get paid additional depending on how intensive your on-calls are (you don't get to choose though).

As a junior doctor though there are a lot of long days, nights and weekends though. It may well be that you would be working on a weekend that a family event is taking place and you can't swap out of it.

The majority of weekends are free though, I have not heard of anyone involuntarily working one in two weekends (that's working every alternate weekends) for any prolonged period of time.
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A*my
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Thank you very much for your reply.

So that’s the same with foundation year doctors? As long as I have one in every few weekends off, that’s fine lol. Thought it was worse than that tbf.

How often are on-calls? And I’m also still slightly confused about what oncalls actually are. Also as a FY doctor are you often alone whilst on call, is it a lot more responsibility?

I don’t understand how doctors work all day and then are on call the same night, are you meant to sleep during that time unless you get a call? Or are doctors supposed to have special powers where they don’t need sleep?

Do foundation year doctors/ junior doctors usually find it ok to have days off in a row. for example a week or 2 off to go on holiday? Or is that usually difficult to negotiate with the rota?

Sorry for all the questions.
(Original post by ecolier)
Yes! In fact the doctors' basic salary is calculated on the fact that they work only Monday - Friday 9-5; and as I said you get paid additional depending on how intensive your on-calls are (you don't get to choose though).

As a junior doctor though there are a lot of long days, nights and weekends though. It may well be that you would be working on a weekend that a family event is taking place and you can't swap out of it.

The majority of weekends are free though, I have not heard of anyone involuntarily working one in two weekends (that's working every alternate weekends) for any prolonged period of time.
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ecolier
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(Original post by A*my)
Thank you very much for your reply.

So that’s the same with foundation year doctors? As long as I have one in every few weekends off, that’s fine lol. Thought it was worse than that tbf.
No, but remember it's not just weekends that's taxing. You'll working regular long days, and nights. When I was in medicine I would be expecting approximately one long day per week (long day will be around 12 hours) - it may not occur every week but you may get 4 long days every 4 weeks.

Nights are also hard - for junior doctors they are usually 4 nights (Monday - Thursday nights) or 3 nights (Friday - Sunday nights) in a row. A night shift is usually long. It depends on specialty though because in A&E you may get ridiculous night shifts like 6pm - 2am or something shifts.

How often are on-calls? And I’m also still slightly confused about what oncalls actually are. Also as a FY doctor are you often alone whilst on call, is it a lot more responsibility?
On-calls just mean you are doing a shift that is above and beyond your usually day job. As an FY doctor your day-to-day job for example could be respiratory, based on a resp ward. If you are not on-call then you'd be expected to be on the resp ward at 9am, and finish to go home at 5pm. If you were on-call you may start at 8am, do some general medical work, then turn up to your normal resp ward 9-5. At 5pm you may then have to do ward cover (i.e. finishing jobs or looking after unwell patients) until 8pm then you hand over to the night colleague and go home.

There are many types of on-call, you could be doing ward cover (as stated above), or medical clerking (i.e. based at medical admissions ward to see all new medical patients). Surgeries and other specialties are similar - your on-call will consist of clerking or looking after ward patients. When you are more senior your on-call will consist of just taking referrals for that specialty, and doing jobs for said specialty (e.g. a general surgical reg doing out-of-hours surgery, a neurosurgical reg doing what they do best - listening to then declining admissions )

I don’t understand how doctors work all day and then are on call the same night, are you meant to sleep during that time unless you get a call? Or are doctors supposed to have special powers where they don’t need sleep?
No, no, no. The longest you can work legally is a 13 hour shift. You cannot legally work longer than that. Your rest (i.e. time between shifts) must also not be shorter than 11 hours. You can voluntarily accept a longer shift (and it used to be common place) but you can definitely say no. Hospitals these days also have to offer free accommodation to doctors who are too tired to go home after an on-call shift. You can also report shifts that overrun and claim overtime these days, all thanks to the new junior doctors contract.

Do foundation year doctors/ junior doctors usually find it ok to have days off in a row. for example a week or 2 off to go on holiday? Or is that usually difficult to negotiate with the rota?
Not easy because in FY training, you have 3 jobs each lasting 4 months. A new doctor (one that worked in the NHS <5 years) gets 27 days annual leave to be distributed between these 3 jobs hence you get 9 days. It is frowned upon to stack them between jobs (i.e. taking 9 days at the end of one rotation and 9 days at the start of the next one) - it is generally stated that doctors should not take annual leave at handover weeks.

If you strategically take your annual leave with bank holidays, you may just get 2 weeks off.

It's much easier as a registrar, because by then you'll be entitled to 32 days of annual leave and also because you work at the same specialty for a year (or more) you can just take them all (or just 10 or 15!) in one go as long as you give enough notice.

Sorry for all the questions.
No problems, feel free to ask more. If you have any sensitive Qs you can also PM me.
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A*my
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Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. Yep I have no doubt being a doctor is a very very difficult job and I admire you all. Just thought there were more weekends for some reason! You say they work 4 or 3 nights, how often are these? Eg. 4 nights every month or...

Also how often do you get out on time? And if you’re late out, how much by lol? It seems very rare for a doctor to actually finish at 5.
(Original post by ecolier)
No, but remember it's not just weekends that's taxing. You'll working regular long days, and nights. When I was in medicine I would be expecting approximately one long day per week (long day will be around 12 hours) - it may not occur every week but you may get 4 long days every 4 weeks.

Nights are also hard - for junior doctors they are usually 4 nights (Monday - Thursday nights) or 3 nights (Friday - Sunday nights) in a row. A night shift is usually long. It depends on specialty though because in A&E you may get ridiculous night shifts like 6pm - 2am or something shifts.



On-calls just mean you are doing a shift that is above and beyond your usually day job. As an FY doctor your day-to-day job for example could be respiratory, based on a resp ward. If you are not on-call then you'd be expected to be on the resp ward at 9am, and finish to go home at 5pm. If you were on-call you may start at 8am, do some general medical work, then turn up to your normal resp ward 9-5. At 5pm you may then have to do ward cover (i.e. finishing jobs or looking after unwell patients) until 8pm then you hand over to the night colleague and go home.

There are many types of on-call, you could be doing ward cover (as stated above), or medical clerking (i.e. based at medical admissions ward to see all new medical patients). Surgeries and other specialties are similar - your on-call will consist of clerking or looking after ward patients. When you are more senior your on-call will consist of just taking referrals for that specialty, and doing jobs for said specialty (e.g. a general surgical reg doing out-of-hours surgery, a neurosurgical reg doing what they do best - listening to then declining admissions )



No, no, no. The longest you can work legally is a 13 hour shift. You cannot legally work longer than that. Your rest (i.e. time between shifts) must also not be shorter than 11 hours. You can voluntarily accept a longer shift (and it used to be common place) but you can definitely say no. Hospitals these days also have to offer free accommodation to doctors who are too tired to go home after an on-call shift. You can also report shifts that overrun and claim overtime these days, all thanks to the new junior doctors contract.



Not easy because in FY training, you have 3 jobs each lasting 4 months. A new doctor (one that worked in the NHS <5 years) gets 27 days annual leave to be distributed between these 3 jobs hence you get 9 days. It is frowned upon to stack them between jobs (i.e. taking 9 days at the end of one rotation and 9 days at the start of the next one) - it is generally stated that doctors should not take annual leave at handover weeks.

If you strategically take your annual leave with bank holidays, you may just get 2 weeks off.

It's much easier as a registrar, because by then you'll be entitled to 32 days of annual leave and also because you work at the same specialty for a year (or more) you can just take them all (or just 10 or 15!) in one go as long as you give enough notice.



No problems, feel free to ask more. If you have any sensitive Qs you can also PM me.
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ecolier
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(Original post by A*my)
Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. Yep I have no doubt being a doctor is a very very difficult job and I admire you all. Just thought there were more weekends for some reason! You say they work 4 or 3 nights, how often are these? Eg. 4 nights every month or...
Well again it depends on the hospital, the specialty and the job. An Orthopaedic SHO job in Nottingham will be different to an Orthopaedic SHO job in Birmingham (and even between hospitals in Birmingham!). Assume that it's once every month to two months. I personally had about 16 nights every 4 months when I did medical jobs. When you do nights, you sort of don't care / know about the day stuff at all - so you don't go to teaching, don't really work with your usual team etc. for those few days.

Also how often do you get out on time? And if you’re late out, how much by lol? It seems very rare for a doctor to actually finish at 5.
It depends on the job and the personalities. Even in a hospital and the same specialty this can vary wildly. If you have more patients on the ward, and one of them get sick (I mean cardiac arrest sick; or just acutely unwell) that will probably mean you'll stay late. How often? It depends on the specialty.

If you're late out, it can be 5 minutes or 2 hours - it really depends on why. If you are consistently going home late and reporting it, your supervisor may probe into the reasons why and hopefully make improvements to your working condition. You are correct but thankfully (in my hospital) most juniors will be out by 5:30pm.
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A*my
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Thank you so much for answering all my questions!

Just thought of one last question. Sorry to be a pain. Is it true that doctors in their first few years/ foundation training get sent round to loads of different hospitals or even cities? when you rotate round specialities every 4 months, do you also rotate round hospitals?
(Original post by ecolier)
Well again it depends on the hospital, the specialty and the job. An Orthopaedic SHO job in Nottingham will be different to an Orthopaedic SHO job in Birmingham (and even between hospitals in Birmingham!). Assume that it's once every month to two months. I personally had about 16 nights every 4 months when I did medical jobs. When you do nights, you sort of don't care / know about the day stuff at all - so you don't go to teaching, don't really work with your usual team etc. for those few days.



It depends on the job and the personalities. Even in a hospital and the same specialty this can vary wildly. If you have more patients on the ward, and one of them get sick (I mean cardiac arrest sick; or just acutely unwell) that will probably mean you'll stay late. How often? It depends on the specialty.

If you're late out, it can be 5 minutes or 2 hours - it really depends on why. If you are consistently going home late and reporting it, your supervisor may probe into the reasons why and hopefully make improvements to your working condition. You are correct but thankfully (in my hospital) most juniors will be out by 5:30pm.
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ecolier
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(Original post by A*my)
...Just thought of one last question. Sorry to be a pain. Is it true that doctors in their first few years/ foundation training get sent round to loads of different hospitals or even cities? when you rotate round specialities every 4 months, do you also rotate round hospitals?
You are not a pain. Most people just don't ask these really important and practical questions.

A lot of high scoring med students may get two years in the same city (e.g. Newcastle FY1-Newcastle FY2). In London foundation schools (North Central and East; and North West FS) it is likely that both years you are within the M25 motorway area. Otherwise you would have 2 different cities, but they shouldn't be too far away. Regions would be sub-divided (e.g. even though Yorkshire is a big area, you may get Sheffield-Doncaster; or Leeds-Bradford. It shouldn't be Leeds-Hull for example unless you swap).

It is unusual to move hospital during a foundation year, but it's not unheard of. There are rotations that will require travelling - e.g. GP, public health, psychiatry. These specialties are not based in the hospital so even though you may be in the same city, you'll need a car.

At registrar training, you'll need to be prepared to travel further (but rotations are usually yearly) - especially if you train in a niche specialty like cardiothoracic surgery.
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A*my
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Great. This has really filled me in a bit more. Thank you!
(Original post by ecolier)
You are not a pain. Most people just don't ask these really important and practical questions.

A lot of high scoring med students may get two years in the same city (e.g. Newcastle FY1-Newcastle FY2). In London foundation schools (North Central and East; and North West FS) it is likely that both years you are within the M25 motorway area. Otherwise you would have 2 different cities, but they shouldn't be too far away. Regions would be sub-divided (e.g. even though Yorkshire is a big area, you may get Sheffield-Doncaster; or Leeds-Bradford. It shouldn't be Leeds-Hull for example unless you swap).

It is unusual to move hospital during a foundation year, but it's not unheard of. There are rotations that will require travelling - e.g. GP, public health, psychiatry. These specialties are not based in the hospital so even though you may be in the same city, you'll need a car.

At registrar training, you'll need to be prepared to travel further (but rotations are usually yearly) - especially if you train in a niche specialty like cardiothoracic surgery.
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Democracy
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(Original post by A*my)
Thank you. So the majority of weekends you get completely off?? All of Saturday and Sunday. Why do so many drs complain about missing so many family events? Just curious.
Very specialty dependent as already stated. In my current job I work every other weekend (A&E) i.e. one on, one off.

Re missing family events: you can't book annual leave when you are scheduled to be on call or doing nights. The best you can hope for is that another doctor is able to swap with you, but this is not always practical or possible as there needs to be adequate cover.

NHS admin can also be somewhat...cumbersome (I'm feeling charitable tonight), so even if you do arrange a swap and request it in plenty of time, it may still be completely disregarded - which then leads to stories of doctors being scheduled to be on call on their wedding day despite having requested it off months beforehand.
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A*my
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Thank you for the extra info
(Original post by Democracy)
Very specialty dependent as already stated. In my current job I work every other weekend (A&E) i.e. one on, one off.

Re missing family events: you can't book annual leave when you are scheduled to be on call or doing nights. The best you can hope for is that another doctor is able to swap with you, but this is not always practical or possible as there needs to be adequate cover.

NHS admin can also be somewhat...cumbersome (I'm feeling charitable tonight), so even if you do arrange a swap and request it in plenty of time, it may still be completely disregarded - which then leads to stories of doctors being scheduled to be on call on their wedding day despite having requested it off months beforehand.
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Can you pick up extra shifts at weekends or during the week and if so do you get paid at a higher rate?
(Original post by ecolier)
No, but remember it's not just weekends that's taxing. You'll working regular long days, and nights. When I was in medicine I would be expecting approximately one long day per week (long day will be around 12 hours) - it may not occur every week but you may get 4 long days every 4 weeks.

Nights are also hard - for junior doctors they are usually 4 nights (Monday - Thursday nights) or 3 nights (Friday - Sunday nights) in a row. A night shift is usually long. It depends on specialty though because in A&E you may get ridiculous night shifts like 6pm - 2am or something shifts.



On-calls just mean you are doing a shift that is above and beyond your usually day job. As an FY doctor your day-to-day job for example could be respiratory, based on a resp ward. If you are not on-call then you'd be expected to be on the resp ward at 9am, and finish to go home at 5pm. If you were on-call you may start at 8am, do some general medical work, then turn up to your normal resp ward 9-5. At 5pm you may then have to do ward cover (i.e. finishing jobs or looking after unwell patients) until 8pm then you hand over to the night colleague and go home.

There are many types of on-call, you could be doing ward cover (as stated above), or medical clerking (i.e. based at medical admissions ward to see all new medical patients). Surgeries and other specialties are similar - your on-call will consist of clerking or looking after ward patients. When you are more senior your on-call will consist of just taking referrals for that specialty, and doing jobs for said specialty (e.g. a general surgical reg doing out-of-hours surgery, a neurosurgical reg doing what they do best - listening to then declining admissions )



No, no, no. The longest you can work legally is a 13 hour shift. You cannot legally work longer than that. Your rest (i.e. time between shifts) must also not be shorter than 11 hours. You can voluntarily accept a longer shift (and it used to be common place) but you can definitely say no. Hospitals these days also have to offer free accommodation to doctors who are too tired to go home after an on-call shift. You can also report shifts that overrun and claim overtime these days, all thanks to the new junior doctors contract.



Not easy because in FY training, you have 3 jobs each lasting 4 months. A new doctor (one that worked in the NHS <5 years) gets 27 days annual leave to be distributed between these 3 jobs hence you get 9 days. It is frowned upon to stack them between jobs (i.e. taking 9 days at the end of one rotation and 9 days at the start of the next one) - it is generally stated that doctors should not take annual leave at handover weeks.

If you strategically take your annual leave with bank holidays, you may just get 2 weeks off.

It's much easier as a registrar, because by then you'll be entitled to 32 days of annual leave and also because you work at the same specialty for a year (or more) you can just take them all (or just 10 or 15!) in one go as long as you give enough notice.



No problems, feel free to ask more. If you have any sensitive Qs you can also PM me.
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ecolier
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Not necessarily so you'll have to check. Unsocial hours you are usually paid more, as do working on bank holidays. Sometimes you are only paid in terms of time (i.e. work a bank holiday, get a weekday off).
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