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10 reasons to work as a Doctor in the UK

Updated: Feb 16, 2022



The United Kingdom for a long time has been one of the most renowned places for people from all over the world to reside and work. Working in the UK is a dream for a lot of people due to the quality of life and diverse, multicultural population with a wide range of equal working opportunities and unequivocally working as a doctor in the UK has a myriad of perks. There is no establishment around quite like the National Health Service (NHS) being the primary healthcare system of the UK. This article will highlight the perks and outline why working in the UK as a doctor is a privilege.


1. Saving lives in the NHS


The main motive and drive for any doctor are to cure the illnesses of patients and see them healthy as a result of their treatment. The NHS deals with over 1 million people every 36 hours and hence the opportunity to treat illnesses and save lives is in abundance. Due to the easy accessibility of the NHS, there is a very high influx of patients.


2. Cultural diversity in the NHS


If you are a people person and enjoy connecting with people from different nationalities and

cultures as a doctor, the UK is your place. There are people from more than 100 nationalities who are currently working in the NHS and plenty of doctors from all over the world. With such a diverse nation, there also comes a wide range of health needs to which the NHS can cater to and in turn gain more experience as a unit.


3. Generous annual leave


Every doctor works tirelessly and deserves some time off to sit back and relax, not only in order to rest but to also sustain the efficiency of working. As a result, the basic annual leave for all NHS staff is 27 days, but add bank and public holidays to that total, and each worker gets a healthy amount of time off to relax and unwind. As a doctor in the NHS, the longer you work for the NHS the more annual leave you get. To make it better, all annual leaves are paid.


4. Good standard of pay and pay structure


A fresh graduate junior doctor who has completed an internship can potentially earn between £2200 - £2700 per month depending on your contract. While it is better in some countries, this is already approximately above the average monthly salary in the UK, and it will only increase every year as you gain more experience in the NHS. There is always a chance to earn more as you get paid for working extra hours and can earn a significant amount doing locum or extra shifts.


5. NHS Discounts


While this is not one of the main reasons for doctors to work in the UK, it is definitely an added perk. There are places that are well-known to give NHS staff a discount, such as Nandos, Superdrug, Bella Italia, Clarks, etc. The best way to always know about what store is giving what discount is via the Health Service Discounts website. They provide you with links and codes for discounts for a variety of things- from shoes, vacations, restaurants, and supermarkets.


6. You acquire unique skills and develop personally


Working in one of the largest healthcare systems in the world comes with a lot of learning in all aspects. As an NHS worker, you become a stronger person who can handle high-pressure situations. Through your job role and experience, you develop your conversational skills, confidence, knowledge, determination and so much more, which broadens your horizon. These life skills you learn are priceless.


7. NHS Pension


The NHS offers one of the best pension schemes in the UK, helping you secure a better future. NHS doctors, as well as other workers, are entitled to a pension and a tax-free sum after retirement, leaving them with financial support for several years of fantastic service.


8. Maternity, Paternity and Parental leave


Regardless of how long you have been working in the NHS, all pregnant employees are granted 1-year maternity leave and 2-week paternity leave. Employees are also granted 18-week parental leave for each child spread over 18 years until he/she turns 18. It can be used to help the child get settled into school, stay with them in the hospital in case of an emergency or just spend more time with them in general.


9. Study Leave and Study Budget


Trainees and sometimes even non-trainees are entitled to a paid study leave (usually 30 days a year). These are given so that you can attend teaching sessions provided by the training programme, conferences, some courses or to study for exams. You will also have access to some amount of money to cover for courses and conferences you attend. It may also cover travel and accommodation in certain cases too. It won’t usually cover the full expenses but surely is a help.


10. Quality healthcare at your fingertips


NHS is a very efficient system and can be used without having to worry about medical bills. Being a part of this system is an added perk as you have easier accessibility to the system, and you are more familiar with the system in case you have a medical issue. You can also possibly gain faster medical guidance or advice as you can get them from your peers from other medical departments depending on your medical issue.


Hence, working as a doctor in the UK for a prestigious healthcare system like the NHS is a great opportunity with lots of advantages and unsurprisingly attracts several overseas doctors and will continue to do so.


References


Written by

Siddharth Sunil,

Final Year Medical Student

Charles University,

Czech Republic

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