Bangor Clinical Fellow Posts:

How they work & who comes to work here


Our very first Clinical Fellows arrived in 2011, and we are now recruiting our 8th cohort. The story began with “posts with 20% PHEM” to which we added MedEd and Mgt/QI (all of which can be mixed ‘n’ matched) in 2013.

Our new Global EM and Mountain Medicine options (new for 2018) are a major development for us, and we are very excited about the possibilities they bring.

How the posts work

The crux of the posts are very simple. These are middle grade EM posts for ST4+ equivalent doctors, with some special feature that - until we led the way - were almost  unheard of in UK EM posts:

  1. “Playtime” plus paid SPA time (totalling a fraction under 25% of the job plan) 

  2. Flexible, annualised rota

  3. You pick how many sessions you want to work (usually between 10 and 13), making your own decision about maximising pay vs. optimising work/life balance

  4. Enthusiastic educational supervisors who want to help you get the best out of your time in Bangor

  5. Generous study leave funding - it’s not unusual for us to pay £3-4k+ in study leave per person.

  6. Small, friendly ED

  7. Wonderful part of the world to live in!

This recipe has revolutionised our department, which is overflowing with proportionately more middle grades than any other UK Emergency Department... with the possible exception of our friends in Brighton (who also offer fantastic posts).

Why do 12-month posts get such a great deal?

if you’ve read through our Clinical Fellow Information Centre, you’ll know that 12-month posts get a much better deal than 6-month posts, primarily when it comes to study leave (basically, 12-month posts get an expensive course paid for!)

This is simple recruitment economics. We know that to recruit, we have to offer posts that are much better than average - it’s what we do and we know it works. In order to make our posts much better than average, we have to offer a package of benefits that is attractive to our potential applicants. We choose to spend the extra money this costs us in the “playtime” and study leave funding, instead of the traditional purely financial “Golden Hellos” incentive.

But of course, we need something back for it - this is taxpayers money after all - and it is better for the service (and, incidentally, our Fellows) if doctors stay at least 12 months. Which is why the best packages are for those committing to us for 12 months.

For those who wish to stay longer (and almost all our Fellows who aren’t locked into OOPE dates do extend, though we will only extend doctors who are fitting well into the team, thankfully this is almost everyone!) we can often think of other very nice packages for Year 2. 

Important things to remember

With experience of more than 50 Clinical Fellows now, we can say with a degree of assuredness that we see two main types of Fellows in our team.

The vast majority are doctors who have moved to Bangor primarily to take advantage of the unique components of our posts (e.g. PHEM experience) and are “in a good place” (albeit usually a bit knackered on arrival). We’ve also usually got a couple who have been unhappy in some element(s) of their previous post. Most commonly, this turns out to be “just” exhaustion and burnout from a tough EM ST3 year (which really does seem to break a lot of trainees, with some deaneries appearing to be markedly worse than others) and it is swiftly fixed by a few weeks of a decent rota.

Of course, our posts aren’t just for EM trainees: we also get AM and anaesthetic trainees who are considering a switch into EM (or want to get more EM experience, or try PHEM) and we’re used to handling Fellows who are staring at a multitude of career options (EM/PEM/ICM/PHEM/anaesthetics) with no idea where to turn. We have welcomed returners from Australia, European specialists wanting  to consolidate their experience in an country where EM is better established than at home, and doctors who are deliberately taking the slow and more enjoyable road to consultancy (and, it has to be said, tend to have far better resilience strategies than those who have been hot-housed through today’s medical training), and finally the odd ST3 or 4 who takes a 6-month post with us to “get back in synch” with their deanery’s HST rotations.

NB - There’s additional information on resilience, and realistic expectations, in this section and in our Feedback section.