Flexible Working

The Amazing Benefits Of LTFT Training Are Often Overlooked

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Dr Joshua Wilcox
Surrey

I’m currently an ST4 Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) and registrar in cardiology working in the South London deanery. Towards the end of my year out between foundation and core training I was delighted, though utterly surprised, to become a father. LTFT training followed soon after, and was enthusiastically maintained when we discovered our second pregnancy was twins. I went back to full time training 2 years later during my second year of ACF/registrar training.

LTFT training is not an easy option, particularly in procedural specialties like cardiology. Clinical exposure becomes more sparse and progress can be frustratingly slow. Already interrupted with other commitments, specialty training can suffer. It takes organisation and confidence to ensure your vital training opportunities aren’t further disrupted than they need to be – for instanc eensuring childcare days fall on lab days or echo lists, or insisting that on-call shifts only occupy the proportion of working days they should.

The amazing benefits of LTFT training, however, are often overlooked – time to spend with your other commitments without the intense pressure that full-time rotas can exert. And whilst I’m in awe of doctors who juggle care commitments with clinical rotas and their training needs, I hope I’m one of a growing number of examples of men in medicine able to ask for LTFT training (which will help support the number of women in cardiology).

At the end of a career as a cardiologist, I won’t look back at missed clinics and procedures as missed opportunities; I know I would have regretted forever not being part of my children’s early lives. I hope to show others that they can make similar choices even in a career as competitive as cardiology.

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