In the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the levels of doctors are typically categorized according to their stage of training, which is based on a combination of factors such as experience, education, and responsibilities. The categories are as follows:
- Foundation Year 1 (FY1): Doctors in their first year of post-graduate clinical training after completing medical school. They are also known as junior doctors, and they work under the supervision of senior doctors.
- Foundation Year 2 (FY2): Doctors in their second year of post-graduate clinical training. They have completed their FY1 training and are considered to be slightly more experienced than FY1 doctors.
- Specialty Training Year 1 (ST1): Doctors who have completed their foundation training and are now in their first year of specialty training. They have decided on a particular medical specialty and are training in that area.
- Specialty Training Year 2 (ST2): Doctors in their second year of specialty training. They have completed their ST1 year and are now building on their knowledge and experience in their chosen specialty.
- Specialty Training Year 3 (ST3): Doctors in their third year of specialty training. They have completed their ST2 year and are becoming more advanced in their chosen specialty.
The training and career paths for doctors in the NHS can vary depending on the specialty they choose and their individual circumstances, but these categories provide a general framework for understanding the different stages of training for doctors in the NHS.
What is there after ST3 until GP or consultant?
After completing their Specialty Training Year 3 (ST3) in the NHS, doctors typically continue their training as Specialty Trainees. The duration and structure of this training varies depending on the specialty, but it generally involves several additional years of training and development in the chosen specialty.
During this time, doctors may progress through further Specialty Training Years (ST4, ST5, etc.), or they may undertake a Fellowship or Advanced Training post. These training posts provide doctors with the opportunity to develop specialized skills and knowledge in their chosen area of medicine.
After completing their specialty training, doctors may choose to apply for a consultant post, which is a senior medical position in the NHS. However, competition for these positions is often very high, and many doctors may work in a middle-grade or associate specialist post for a period of time before securing a consultant post.
In addition, some doctors may choose to pursue a career as a General Practitioner (GP) rather than a hospital-based specialist. After completing their foundation training and passing their Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) exam, doctors can work as GPs and undertake further training and development throughout their career.