FY3 Q&A with Dr Zara Qureshi, Locum SpR in Acute Medicine
Are you a Junior Doctor Healthcare Professional thinking of pursuing an FY3 year?
If you’re coming to the end of your foundation training programme but don’t fancy going straight into a specialty post, taking an FY3 might be for you. An FY3 gives you the perfect opportunity to take some time out, assess what you want from your career, explore different options yet still earn money!
Read first-hand what taking an FY3 year can look like in our latest blog with one of our Healthcare Professionals, Dr Zara Qureshi, who reflects on her years as an FY3 doctor and the benefits of taking a gap year, as well as her outlook for the future.
Hello! What is your full name, grade and specialty?
My name is Zara Qureshi and I am a Locum SpR in Acute Medicine.
Where do you currently work?
I work in Inverclyde Royal Hospital – NHSGGC.
What is your motivation for training as a Doctor?
It’s what I have wanted to do since I was in my nappies – literally!
What led you to pursue an FY3 year? As opposed to applying for a training post?
I wanted to take some time out to experience different areas of medicine. Doing Locum work allows me to work in many areas, picking up different skills. The fantastic flexibility in FY3 – I can pick and choose my shifts – also means I can study and sit my exams alongside working and earning money!
What does a typical day look like as a Locum SpR?
On a normal daytime shift, I will start with a ward round of patients. After the round there is coffee and a huddle with all the ward staff.
Each patient is discussed at length and plans made for those being discharged.
The afternoon consists of helping junior staff with jobs, performing procedures, updating families and reviewing new patients arriving on the ward. The evening call shifts are often very different though! Overnight, I am often the most senior Doctor on for medicine. I accept Emergency Department referrals and review sick patients on the ward, look after medical HDU and lead the resuscitation team.
What are the pros and cons of an FY3 year?
There’s so many pros! It’s a fantastic way to gain more experience and the flexibility is great; you can pick the type of shifts you want and you don’t need to work during days like bank holidays or at Christmas. Being able to earn and learn is such an advantage too, and you can really take the time to explore which specialty is right for you as you don’t need to commit to any speciality immediately.
Cons… it can be a pain organising your own portfolio, but it doesn’t actually doesn’t take too long and if I need help, my Recruitment Advisor at ID Medical is always happy to help! Another ‘con’ is the lack of sick pay, but that is pretty much combatted by the higher rate of basic pay!
If you had to give advice to an FY1/2 doctor considering an FY3 year, what would it be?
No one regrets them and no employer or specialty looks down on them. It’s useful to get off the conveyor belt for a bit and breathe!
An FY3 year is a year known to offer flexibility, what do you love to do outside of the hospital?
I love taking holidays! I can work my shifts around what I want to do! I love going skiing, writing, volunteering in local dog shelters and having my own dog!
What’s your favourite thing about being a Doctor?
I can’t think of just one thing, for me, it really is the greatest job in the world!
What are your career plans? Do you plan to obtain a Royal College qualification?
I have sat my MRCP and plan on applying for Acute Medicine training or Cardiology.
You managed to progress your career to become an SpR without going back in to a training role after your FY3 year. What made you decide to carry on as a locum rather than going back in to training?
I was able to apply for alternative competencies after working at a SpR level position in the same trust. I was also able to complete all the relevant portfolio tasks, have my GWR procedures signed off and complete my membership exams. This allowed me to apply for alternative competencies without any problem!
What has your experience with ID Medical been like?
Excellent. My consultant Perry is amazing. He listens to my needs and always accommodates. I also thank him for helping me get to a wonderful place – Glasgow, which is also where I met my partner! He not only found me a fantastic job in a fantastic place, he kind of helped my find my partner too!
We’d like to thank Dr Qureshi for her time and wish her all the best for the future… and we also look forward to helping her with her career aspirations whenever she needs us!