I have finally completed my first year of foundation training and have just started as an FY2 and an SHO just this Wednesday. Just 2 days into the job, these are some points that I wanted to highlight.
Self-development time incorporated into our rota
I think this has been around, and whether you get protected time as an F1 is up to the trust's discretion. But I believe due to F2s needing to focus on portfolio for the upcoming specialty applications, F2s should have self-development time every week to work on this. This is very welcomed as there can be quite a lot to be done to create a competitive portfolio. I have managed to negotiate with the practice I work in to have Wednesdays off (with the morning being my SDT and afternoon for the weekly FY2 teaching).
I start on a general practice placement, which mean I get to spend time training in primary care away from the hospital setting. I think this is a fresh breath of air given how hectic F1 has been in the hospital, but at the same time it is somewhat daunting. The prospects of needing to travel to a different site, the new computer system, referral pathways and support network aside, the clinical work is challenging for many reasons. You have limited capacity for investigations, meaning a lot of using pure clinical judgement. This is complicated by the fact that most consultations still take place over the phone, which hinders a complete assessment as no physical examination is performed. You would often need to decide between bringing a patient in for limited consultation slots or just directing them to A&E. I feel like I would need some time to adjust to this new environment and workflow.
Now that I have stepped up to become an SHO, I think expectations change surrounding how we perform in a clinical setting. We have juniors who would come to us for advice, and more complex cases get escalated upward to you. I just very recently felt confident enough to start as an SHO, but it would certainly take time to decide whether I actually am a competent one.
Salary rise ?
The basic pay rises as we increase a grade, but from what I have been told, GP placements tend to have lower pay on a per month basis as there is less out-of-hour shifts and on-calls. However, I think this can be offset by the significantly higher locum rates offered to SHO compared to F1. Having fewer on-calls means you can be flexible and pick the best times to take up locum shifts, and therefore you get paid more per hour compared to if it were contracted hours.
Hopefully my F2 year will be enjoyable! Shorter post this week as things have been very busy, and all the best to the new F1s starting!