::Career options: an overview::
Once you have finished your VTS, and got your certificate from the JCPTGP (or PMETB very shortly), there are many career options open to you. Some are obvious - become a principal in a partnership, take a salaried post, or work as a freelance (locum) sessional GP. However there are other options that you may not be aware of, or may not have considered. These include the Flexible Careers Scheme, the GP Retainer Scheme or even becoming a full time Out of Ours (OOH) doctor. What you decide to do will depend on your personal circumstances, including factors such as whether you are single or in a relationship (and what your partner is doing), your finances, the opportunities in the area you wish to work in and how you like to work.
This article will outline the different options in brief. To find out more about each option, read the more detailed articles which explore the benefits and drawbacks of each option further.
Freelance (Locum) Sessional GP
This option gives you the most control over where and when you work, and can potentially be very lucrative. You are self employed, so are responsible for your own tax, national insurance and pension contributions. You can either arrange sessions yourself with practices locally, or work through one of the many GP locum agencies.
This option will provide you with a fixed timetable and a fixed income. You are an employee, so have certain rights and protections (sick pay, holiday pay and maternity / paternity), and you will not have to worry about tax, NI or pension contributions as this will be taken care of by your employer. Pay varies according to region and between practices and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).
Partnership / Principal
This option provides stability and is often very attractive financially, although it is a big commitment and you may have to "buy in" to become a partner. You will share responsibility for running your own business. This option often gives you the most control or say over how the practice develops.