BMJ Careers - Planning an “F3” year: opportunities and considerations for aspiring surgeons
I was interested to read about the increasing popularity of taking a year out between the F2 year, the second 'compulsory year' of British (and Maltese) medical graduates and the beginning of specialty training.
One should not be surprised by this - to be 'forced' to make such an important life lasting career decision barely 36 months after leaving med school is just too early.
In the past (or when I were a lad - said in the most Monty Pythonesque of Yorkshire accents), you could delay starting proper specialty training for as long (within reason) as you liked. It is strange, is it not, that doing extra things in your life like a Duke of Edinburgh award or taking a gap year before University, maybe working on a ward, is seen as an asset whilst after graduation there is an almighty mad rush to get you on the specialty register and working for the greater good of 'THE SERVICE' as soon as possible.
I don't think that is a good thing - medical graduates are not just NHS fodder - they need time to plan a fulfilling career for themselves and this may involve looking at different options. Young doctors are now increasingly saying so by voting with their feet.