Many doctors in postgraduate training need to rethink their career pathway or specialty choice. They may recognise they are not suited to their chosen specialty, or they may experience a change in personal circumstances.
Doctors with career dilemmas sometimes have reduced confidence, especially where progression in training has stalled.
Career support expert
Case managers may identify that a doctor requires career support. The doctor is offered (up to three) confidential, individual support sessions with a career support expert to enable them to explore their career options.
The career support expert uses a coaching approach, including supportive challenge, a focus on future possibilities and identifying clear development plans. This approach enables the doctor to focus on their individual skills and preferences. Various techniques and frameworks are used, such as personality preference approaches, for example, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This helps the doctor to identify a more suitable career path for them – whether this is within their existing specialty, an alternative specialty, or outside of medicine (medical degrees and doctors’ skills are highly regarded elsewhere).
Career coaching is supplemented with information and signposting, enabling increased self-awareness and individual reflection. The individual prepares a summary/proposed development or action plan at the end of each meeting, which is shared with the case manager.
Most doctors complete their career coaching sessions having gained greater confidence and awareness of their own abilities and, increased self-awareness and clarity over their future career pathway.
Hilary Boddington is currently the Wessex PSW career support expert.