The Student Room Group

Term Time Medical Roles ONLY advice Needed

Hey all,

So just wondering if you can do any of these on a flexible or term time capacity after the right qualifications after a University Degree.
- Doctor/GP mainly
- Nurse
- Physician Associate
- Speech and Language Therapy

Any advice would be so so helpful and if you can do these on a flexible and term time ONLY capacity. We would like Term Time due to reasons I don't want to explain publicly but just want to know and have some advice. Thanks

For some background I am studying a Medical Science degree currently with the OU ( I know you need GEM after if you want to be a GP or a Post Grad in the others so I know how to get into them and I know they are all competitive) but I just want to know if you can do any of these medical jobs term time only, I heard you can but need some advice on if these jobs are flexible!!! Thanks in advance!
To become a medical doctor you would need to do a full time medical degree then work as a foundation doctor for 2 years. While I believe you can do the foundation programme less than full time you are still expected to have the same equivalent distribution of working e.g. night shifts etc, across the year. I really doubt you'd be able to work only in term time during that. You'd then need to complete specialty or GP training normally, which again I think you probably wouldn't be able to work only term time. I think it would be mainly after getting your CCT that you might be able to look around and try and negotiate a job plan with that kind of working pattern.

As an alternative after at minimum completing the foundation programme (but probably also e.g. GP training or ACCS) you could look at roles as e.g. a maritime doctor working onboard a ship. Since those are normally annualised contracts where you work X number of months onboard then have X months leave ashore, you might conceivably be able to arrange it with the company to only work onboard during term time. From what people I work with have said most of the doctors have either completed their training as a GP or at least completed core training equivalent in an acute specialty.

For the other roles I think the only way you would be able to arrange that would be working as a locum or bank staff, and just picking and choosing the shifts that work for you. However there would be no guarantee you would have work offered when you want to so that may lead to financial shortfalls. I think technically this is possible with medicine after foundation but I think I read there are far fewer locum medical posts nowadays? Might be regionally variable though.

I think you'd probably find it easier to find term time only roles in an educational (e.g. school or university) setting, as that naturally pairs with the cadence of work in those environments in specific roles (granted most do work full time across the year but there may be more opportunities for contracted jobs with those kind of hours rather than relying on just what are effectively temp/bank roles). Ultimately "term time only" is a very different restriction than part time or less than full time, and I think would be much harder to arrange in most sectors outside of educational ones.
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
To become a medical doctor you would need to do a full time medical degree then work as a foundation doctor for 2 years. While I believe you can do the foundation programme less than full time you are still expected to have the same equivalent distribution of working e.g. night shifts etc, across the year. I really doubt you'd be able to work only in term time during that. You'd then need to complete specialty or GP training normally, which again I think you probably wouldn't be able to work only term time. I think it would be mainly after getting your CCT that you might be able to look around and try and negotiate a job plan with that kind of working pattern.
As an alternative after at minimum completing the foundation programme (but probably also e.g. GP training or ACCS) you could look at roles as e.g. a maritime doctor working onboard a ship. Since those are normally annualised contracts where you work X number of months onboard then have X months leave ashore, you might conceivably be able to arrange it with the company to only work onboard during term time. From what people I work with have said most of the doctors have either completed their training as a GP or at least completed core training equivalent in an acute specialty.
For the other roles I think the only way you would be able to arrange that would be working as a locum or bank staff, and just picking and choosing the shifts that work for you. However there would be no guarantee you would have work offered when you want to so that may lead to financial shortfalls. I think technically this is possible with medicine after foundation but I think I read there are far fewer locum medical posts nowadays? Might be regionally variable though.
I think you'd probably find it easier to find term time only roles in an educational (e.g. school or university) setting, as that naturally pairs with the cadence of work in those environments in specific roles (granted most do work full time across the year but there may be more opportunities for contracted jobs with those kind of hours rather than relying on just what are effectively temp/bank roles). Ultimately "term time only" is a very different restriction than part time or less than full time, and I think would be much harder to arrange in most sectors outside of educational ones.

Hello 🤗

Thanks for sharing your opinion! This was completely different to what my careers advisor said.

I agree education is the only sort of way you can get term time roles, but I have seen some doctors that work part time that might be what they do.

Thanks for sharing your expertise!
Reply 3
I'm a first year mature medical student with kids and formerly worked in the NHS for many years. Many doctors work part time at various levels (officially called Less Than Full Time [LTFT] during junior doctor/training years) but I have never met one (or any allied health professionals) who work term time only. Demand is always high in healthcare and it would be very difficult for service provision to have clinical staff unavailable for many weeks a year. It's difficult enough during the summer for example when people take holidays, waiting lists grow and targets always get missed so I'd be very surprised if you could (easily) find that kind of arrangement.
Reply 4
Original post by freemango
I'm a first year mature medical student with kids and formerly worked in the NHS for many years. Many doctors work part time at various levels (officially called Less Than Full Time [LTFT] during junior doctor/training years) but I have never met one (or any allied health professionals) who work term time only. Demand is always high in healthcare and it would be very difficult for service provision to have clinical staff unavailable for many weeks a year. It's difficult enough during the summer for example when people take holidays, waiting lists grow and targets always get missed so I'd be very surprised if you could (easily) find that kind of arrangement.

Oh okay yeh I am planning on joining the NHS but someone told me you can work full time, LTFT and Term time especially if you have other sort of commitments or caring roles.

I was just wondering. Demand Is incredibly high I research a lot about the medical field.
Original post by wildkids05
Oh okay yeh I am planning on joining the NHS but someone told me you can work full time, LTFT and Term time especially if you have other sort of commitments or caring roles.

I was just wondering. Demand Is incredibly high I research a lot about the medical field.

Part time and less than full time work is definitely possible but this is normally based on a routine set of days each week you don't work or similar and you work continually throughout the year. Term time only is really a whole other kettle of fish. I think it may be possible after you finish training and get your CCT in some circumstances potentially but I think before then it would be really hard to arrange. Also bearing in mind most other healthcare workers with children as above will also want to be taking annual leave outside of term time. If they're effectively a team member down during that whole period, it's much harder for them all to be able to get time off. A term time only arrangement really massively benefits you but is much more difficult for the business and the other people rota'd with you which is why I think you would find it very hard to arrange before you have something they want basically (I.e. they would rather have a consultant/GP partner/salaried GP even with those hours rather than none at all!).

Otherwise as above, different sectors may have annualised contracts for healthcare workers (as noted, maritime roles for example) where you just work X hours across the year and may have more flexibility in requesting that fall into certain patterns.

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