After Medical School
As long as you abide by any regulations in place from the GMC or UK Foundation Programme Office, it is possible to take time out between graduating from Medical School and starting your Foundation Programme.
It is advisable to let the Medical School know your intentions of taking a gap year so that information transfers between it and your Foundation School happen at a later date.
During Foundation Training
Some Foundation Schools will support time out between FY1 and FY2, or accredit an FY2 year abroad. If you are interested, it is imperative that you talk to your Foundation School director as early as possible to discuss the options. Check out the Foundation Programme Reference Guide for more information.
Ciara Deall talks about how she organised her F2 training year in Australia
After Foundation Training
It is usually best to complete both F1 and F2 years before working or travelling abroad as you will have the required competencies signed off for Specialty Training if you decide to return to the UK. You may find it useful to speak to F2 doctors who have taken time out at the end of Foundation.
In a small number of cases it is possible to undertake your F2 training abroad. Usually this is only a handful of trainees each year. Not all foundation schools support this opportunity; currently around six.
During Specialty Training
It may be possible to get a placement abroad during Specialty Training which would count towards accredited training, although this is getting increasingly difficult in certain areas due to the recruitment of locums.
It is important to research your options and discuss your decision with your training programme directors, the Local Education and Training Board (LETB), GMC and relevant training college.
The Global Health Programmes enables applicants to take an Out of Programme Experience between their ST2 and ST3 years of GP training. It is currently available through four of HEE’s local offices:
- Health Education East of England
- Health Education North East
- Health Education South West
- Health Education Wessex.
The Wales Deanery also offers this opportunity to its trainees in their first year of training. The scheme is run through Africa Health Placements (AHP) and will be paid broadly equivalent to an NHS salary.
Successful Global Health candidates will rotate through bespoke hospital posts, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and emergency medicine. All successfully appointed candidates will return to a guaranteed ST3 post to complete GP training.
After Specialty Training
It is possible to gain employment abroad after Specialty Training which may give you additional experience at senior level. This experience could be a valuable addition to your CV if you decide to apply for senior posts back in the UK.
Doing all your Specialty Training abroad
While it is possible to do all your Specialty Training abroad it is imperative you check your eligibility to practice in the UK when or if you return.