The aim of counselling in connexion with career choice in medicine is to assist the individual with a series of decisions he must make during the postgraduate period. In the UK there is a minimum span of about eight years between qualification and independent practice in any specialty, which usually includes the age-range in which very major personal developments occur through marriage and parenthood. Several geographical moves are almost inevitable, hours of work can be arduous and preparation for examinations can be burdensome. Considerable adaptability and resilience are therefore necessary for success, compensation taking the form of interest and enjoyment in making progress with professional practice. During this time the young doctor will be concerned to assess whether he is suitable for a career in the specialty he is pursuing and whether he has longterm career prospects. Information concerning the specialty and the way in which its practice is structured is the main assistance which formal counselling can offer, although opportunities for general discussion and the exploration of specific career problems with an informed person are usually found to be useful. It has to be stressed that the future is uncertain.


National Health Service Career Choice Postgraduate Training Consultant Post Young Doctor 
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© The Royal Society of Medicine 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rue

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