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Contract debacle prompts medical students to consider careers overseas

Nearly three-quarters of medical students admit they are more likely to look for work outside the NHS

Ingrid Torjesen

Friday, 22 April 2016

Almost three quarters of medical students in England are likely to look for a career outside of the NHS in England because of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose a new contract on junior doctors, a survey of medical students carried out by the BMA has found.

The survey conducted between 7 and 15 April received 1,197 responses and showed that 82.4% of students were less likely to pursue a career in the NHS in England because of the junior doctors’ contract situation. Asked if they were now more likely to pursue a career in the NHS outside of England, 72.2% said that they were, 74.5% more likely to consider a career in medicine outside of the NHS (such as the private sector), and 82.9% said that they were now more likely to consider working outside of the UK altogether.

The looming new juniors contract has also made more than half (55.5 %) of students more likely to reconsider the discipline of medicine that they planned to pursue in the NHS in England, and more than a third (36.6%) to consider taking a career break or working less than full time.

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