Anonymous #1
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Hi,

I didn't really know what I wanted to do throughout medical school.

Now, I think I have an interest in (academic) neurology but it has also become really really apparent to me that my interests outside of medicine are equally important to me (if not more). I am still happy to put in a lot effort to achieve this goal, however, I am starting to become concerned if this is the correct choice purely because of work-life balance.

I've been reading a bit about the imt, rota and on-call changes. My outside (of medicine) endeavours involve a lot of writing, studying and (associated) travelling too, which will require a flexible work schedule. Can somebody please tell me if I am being very unrealistic about the possibility of having both interests, especially given that, ideally, I'd want to focus on *academic* neurology?
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi,

I didn't really know what I wanted to do throughout medical school.

Now, I think I have an interest in (academic) neurology but it has also become really really apparent to me that my interests outside of medicine are equally important to me (if not more). I am still happy to put in a lot effort to achieve this goal, however, I am starting to become concerned if this is the correct choice purely because of work-life balance.

I've been reading a bit about the imt, rota and on-call changes. My outside (of medicine) endeavours involve a lot of writing, studying and (associated) travelling too, which will require a flexible work schedule. Can somebody please tell me if I am being very unrealistic about the possibility of having both interests, especially given that, ideally, I'd want to focus on *academic* neurology?
Well eventually you'll end up being a neurology consultant... by the time you are there you may be asked to do gen med on-calls, who knows. It's most likely that you will not get dual CCT in Neurology and GIM unless you do an extra year in GIM like most medical specialties are doing at the moment, so the chances are you will not have to do gen med on-calls if you don't have GIM CCT.

If you can secure a job in academic neurology training then maybe, just maybe you'll not be part of gen med on-call as a registrar. Currently those hoping to train in neurology (from next year onwards) will have to do IMT3 and gen med on-calls as part of neurology training.

Work-life balance is good for a pure neurology consultant (and a pure neurology registrar! This is speaking from experience).
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
Well eventually you'll end up being a neurology consultant... by the time you are there you may be asked to do gen med on-calls, who knows. It's most likely that you will not get dual CCT in Neurology and GIM unless you do an extra year in GIM like most medical specialties are doing at the moment, so the chances are you will not have to do gen med on-calls if you don't have GIM CCT.

If you can secure a job in academic neurology training then maybe, just maybe you'll not be part of gen med on-call as a registrar. Currently those hoping to train in neurology (from next year onwards) will have to do IMT3 and gen med on-calls as part of neurology training.

Work-life balance is good for a pure neurology consultant (and a pure neurology registrar! This is speaking from experience).
Thank you so much for your response.

Do you know if it the GIM year is optional? Is this part of specialty training or the extra year in IMT?

Also, do you know if one can do short sabbaticals (months) out of training or as a consultant?
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
...Do you know if it the GIM year is optional? Is this part of specialty training or the extra year in IMT?
Under the current rules, the IMT3 year is compulsory. You'll apply to enter Neurology specialty training at ST4 so you will have done 1 year of gen med on-calls as a reg at least, before entering training. I don't know if this is the same for academic neurology trainees.

Current plans are that you'll have to do another 12 months of gen med on-calls as part of Neurology specialty training just like all other Group 1 specialty (from ST4 - ST7, which is 4 years but in theory this can be extended). So you'll probably be asked to do 6 months in ST4 and another 6 months in ST5 or something like that.

https://www.jrcptb.org.uk/imt#:~:tex...%20Medicine%2C

Image

This basically means that Neurology specialty training will reduce from the current 5 years (ST3 - ST7 pure neurology) to 3 years (ST4 - ST7, 12 months incorporated GIM); and rightly there have been some voices calling for the neurology specialty training to be compulsory extended to ST8. We don't have any concrete plans for now.

Also, do you know if one can do short sabbaticals (months) out of training or as a consultant?
Yes. Out of Programme experiences are relatively easy to arrange during specialty training, you'll just need to arrange this yourself and liaise with the Training Programme Director. If all is well, your training number will be saved for you.

It's easy to find post-CCT fellowship jobs in whatever neurological sub-specialty you wanted to do (virtually anywhere around the country), at the present time.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #2
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Neurology has a lot going for it to achieve a good work life balance as a consultant compared to some specialties.

But it's a relative thing and not binary. Many academics (of any field) work extremely long hours and do stuff after 5pm or weekends that isn't paid for. Arguably the immediate financial rewards are less in those circumstances and measured in different ways (scientific output, grants etc). You can develop a dgh job to give you flexibility but you can easily be overburdened, overworked and burnt out - in any speciality. Neurology is a small specialty that has traditionally been very understaffed and there's quite a lot of geographical variation in how services work.
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