Flexible Working

By Working LTFT My Family & My Career Get The Very Best Version Of Me

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Dr Ayisha Khan-Kheil
Coventry

I am an ST6 Cardiology Registrar in the West Midlands, training in cardiac MRI and heart failure. I am one of the West Midlands BJCA Training Representatives and am passionate about cardiology and improving training. I am also a mother of three daughters aged 12, 9 and 3 who together with my husband, put life into perspective during the times when cardiology can be all consuming.

I have worked less than full time at 80% (4 days a week) since ST4. My day off helps me balance the family dynamic and takes the pressure off getting everything done at the weekend. I do the school runs, spend the day entertaining my toddler and catching up with my friends. I do try to forget about work but can be found guilty of spending some of my time planning the events I organise for training and working on publications.

My working week is divided into CMR sessions, heart failure sessions and 24 on-call hour shifts. My CMR sessions involve learning how to scan and report cardiac MRIs and my heart failure sessions involve referral rounds and a community clinic once a week. My hours on my working days tend to be long, so in order to balance this, I exercise every morning before work to get me energised for the day ahead.

There are multiple advantages to training LTFT. The extra training time is useful to gain further experience before CCT and my week is more productive and enjoyable. Working LTFT has enabled me to have a happier life beyond medicine and helps relieve some of the intensity from my training commitments. The departments I have worked in have always been supportive and flexible towards my job plan.

In terms of disadvantages, the main one would be missing certain sessions that only occur on your day off. Also, as there are so few LTFT trainees, you often compare your progression with your full time colleagues. This can be stressful, because accrediting in echo and MRI or being signed off for curriculum procedures is not always tailored to trainees working part time. However, there are ways to navigate this by planning ahead, working with your supervisors and maximising training opportunities.

I really love what I do and as the saying goes: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I feel that by working LTFT my family and my career get the very best version of me.

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