- Quotes from trainees who've taken a year out
- Why take time out of training?
- Pros and Cons
- FAQs in brief
Are you thinking about taking time out of training? You might have some questions about whether it's a good idea of not, and when is the best time to do it.
There are several opportunities to take time out of training and each has its own positives and negatives. Many people now decide to take a year out after F2 and this is becoming increasingly popular. In 2011/2012 more than a quarter of F2s in the Severn Deanery decided to take a year out before going onto specialty training. Many found it a helpful and worthwhile experience.
Some people prefer to take time out whilst training in their particular specialty but there is a process which needs to be followed and approval must be gained in advance.
See Out of Programme Experience' (OOPE) for GPs or the relevant pages in the Gold Guide for Specialty Doctors.
“having some time out of training gave me the time to try out some more specialities and make a much more informed career decision than I could have made in F2. And it has given me some valuable life experience that has helped me prioritise what I want from career vs life.” (Jenny N)
"After F2 in 2009/10 I had 6 months of travelling - fantastic and much needed break!" (Katy H)
"Taking a year out of training is something I would recommend to any trainee, and taking time out after F2 is certainly not too early." (Chris G)
"My year out of training involved a lot of careful planning but was well worth it." (Ruth D)
Common reasons include:
- To gain further experience
- To take a break
- To study
- Unsuccessful in gaining a training place
- Time to think
- Opportunity to travel
- To start a family
- Health reasons
- An opportunity to gain experience in areas of potential interest
- To be able to look at things from a different perspective
- Thinking time
- An opportunity to research or do further study
- Specialty research
- To get a break from training
Con's of taking time out
- Needs to be planned: time will go quickly
- You may change your mind: about your specialty, long term location or even medicine as a career
Q/ Will taking time out go against me?
A/ No it won’t, provided the time is used constructively.
Q/ Will doing something abroad look better?
A/ No it is the experience not the location
Q/ Can I defer a specialty training place?
A/ Generally no
Before making a definite decision about taking a year out of training do discuss it: with Educational Supervisors, other trainees who have taken time out or the Deanery Careers Adviser.
- Helena Barton's guide to a year out in Australia
- Year out accounts - hints and tips from trainees that took a year out
- Useful Websites - not exhaustive, but some useful starting points for taking a year out