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Study Leave

19 posts in this topic

Considering the shift system for the out of hours on call and SHO's expected to do some studies during the free time during these hours.

So I thought it's good to see your opinion.

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I don't know about anyone else, but I find it extremely difficult to get much study done during night shifts. I just don't think my brain is capable of taking in a load of random facts at 4 am.

I think medical managers assume that doing a 12 hour night shift is exactly equivalent to a 12 hour day shift, which is patently incorrect. See here and here.

As for study leave, it's there to be used. If you don't take it then it's lost, so make the most of it! Take as much as you need to to be confident about covering all the material, or have a week of doing past papers or manchester notes as mock exams.

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Thanks Chris.

I hope more will vote or give their opinions.

or can debate about this.

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Many trusts dont give u any study leave for the exam apart from the exam day. They made u sit through boring MRCpsych courses organised by the them.

I  hv  used my annual leave for exams and at the end of the day it is worth passing ur exam than goin on a holiday and then finding it out that u hv to sit again  :'(.

I hope that i am not the only one with this view.

cheers

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Please do add your opinions and put your vote

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i am just getting on the day of the exam and the day before :'( :'(

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I think its unfair that people don't get study leave prior to exams.

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This is absolute madness. You are in a training post and exam is your first priority rather than working for the trust. It seems disgusting some of the trust are not happy with providing adequate study leave prior to exams. I think this is a national issue and all the trainees should come forward to take this further. :-/

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What else do trusts think we're going to do with our study leave at this stage in our training? It's bad enough that they won't fund revision courses and that we have to pay for our own exams, but to not give people time off to do personal revision is poor.

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This is absolute madness. You are in a training post and exam is your first priority rather than working for the trust. It seems disgusting some of the trust are not happy with providing adequate study leave prior to exams. I think this is a national issue and all the trainees should come forward to take this further. :-/

no you are in a training post which means that you provide some service and get some training. personal study leave is definitely not a right unless you have been told you are entitled to it.

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The problem though j, is that we have been told that we are entitled to it by the BMA JDC. It's just that different trusts still have inconsistent attitudes to granting study leave, and so there is inequality across the SHO grade. Personally I've not had problems getting time off for study leave, but it must be frustrating when you don't get it as revision or attending courses are key to passing the exams, and progressing (as well as keeping your job by showing adequate progress as an SHO).

Anyway, the BMA's minimum standards for SHOs and PRHOs are:

Practitioners in these grades should receive either day release with pay and expenses for the equivalent of one day a week during University terms; or leave with pay and expenses within a maximum calculated at a rate of thirty days in a year (the year for this purpose being counted from 1 October). This allowance may accumulate over the period of the appointment, provided that the total amount due in the period of appointment is not taken until one year of the appointment has been served.

They also say 'That study leave should be a right and not a privilege.'

The full text is here in the BMAs statement on valuing learning. (BMA 2004) Hope that helps.

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Chris, your quote doesn't say you're entitled to study leave for the exams. It only specifies how much study leave you're entitled to.

Personally, I've done what wetrain did: got few days of annual leave before the exam. It worked for Part I. I hope it'll also work for Part II. And I've had to pay some of my revision courses too... I'm not complaining though.

Exams are not an obligation. One can carry on being a doctor without them (e.g. as a Staff Grade). So it's up to the individual to decide if/when they want to sit their exams.

Also, one can ask for rights, but they come with responsibilities. One doesn't just get things for free in life.

;)

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In Yorkshire, SHOs get a total of 30 days study leave a year. The MMedSc course as a day release runs for 24 days (2 terms of 12 weeks) a year. SHOs are then given 5-6 days study leave that they can take prior to an exam or for a special course. So, in effect there are 5 spare days for study leave that runs from October to October, so if you fail the exam, you can't use it for the next one.

I'm not sure whether this system has changed. Prior to a written exam, i used to take 2 weeks off. 5 days annual leave and 5 dyas study leave. Paid off!

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Exams are not an obligation. One can carry on being a doctor without them (e.g. as a Staff Grade). So it's up to the individual to decide if/when they want to sit their exams.

In an training post though they are. Certainly I've been expected to sit both parts at the earliest opportunity to justify my continued place on the training scheme and ensure my contract is renewed. If trusts are going to advertise their posts as being approved for educational supervision status and recognised by the college as training posts then they have to accept that one of our key aims is to progress through that training. They have responsibilities to us, and that also comes with a price.

Trusts tell us how many days annual leave we get, but they can't force you to take your holiday in a particular place, or only use it for holidays sanctioned by the trust. Why should study leave be any different? Why should we as professionals not be able to decide what is most relevant and appropriate way to use our allocation of study leave?

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I still believe it is your choice to sit the exams. If you want to remain in a training post, it's up to you to demonstrate you want to do it, and not up to the Trust to cater for all your wishes. I know of Trusts who'd be more than happy to have Staff Grades instead of Trainee doctors (and some who've done just that).

They have responsibilities to us, and that also comes with a price.

Yes, but what about your responsibility to them? (and that also comes with a price)

I agree with you in that Trusts shouldn't force you to take study leave when they want. If you're expected ('forced'?) to attend a local MRCPsych course, it is because the College (not the Trust) puts it down as a condition to be able to sit exams (at least it was last time I checked with them). The remaining of the days you have left, you can take them as you want. But the Trust won't be happy for e.g. six Trainees to suddenly go on study leave for two weeks (Trusts also expect Trainees to fulfill their clinical commitments)

Why should we as professionals not be able to decide what is most relevant and appropriate way to use our allocation of study leave?

Probably because, while one is 'in training', there are aspects in which one 'has to be guided'. Something to be discussed in appraisal? (One thing I'm very aware of is that today not even consultants have the freedom they once had)

I've never expected a Trust to look after me and help me on my way up (other than by offering me the training and a paid job etc). I've always known it is up to me to do it.

Good luck  ;)

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well summarised Oreta !!!!!!!!!!!!!

But i still feel that all Trusts shouls be consistent in alloacation of study leaves. The frustration arsies when you learn from other colleagus and friends that they are allowed more than you are (Its human to compare and feel envious/jealous and complain).

As i mentioned in one of my mails in this forum that i know of trusts that have allowed trainees to take a week off to USA and attend APA (all costs funded by trust) and in addition you could attend MRCPsych course one day a week, Half a day for Psychotherapy, Half a day for in house teaching and also attend one week of Guildford course and also attend few other short coureses throughout the year and to top it up you could have a week off as Personal study..

Yes things have changed now and getting study leave for your personal study is more difficult than before and needless to say the massive cost reduction in allocation of study budgets per trainee

Howver I do agree with Oreta

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This poll will close tomorrow.

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But the Trust won't be happy for e.g. six Trainees to suddenly go on study leave for two weeks (Trusts also expect Trainees to fulfill their clinical commitments)

Yes, but then it's just as likely that those six trainees could all be on annual leave at the same time (or be using annual leave to revise just before the exam). As long as arrangements are in place for your clinical commitments to be covered by other junior staff, then the trust doesn't lose out.

I know of Trusts who'd be more than happy to have Staff Grades instead of Trainee doctors (and some who've done just that).

Then they should do that instead. But if they have advertised for and employed trainees, then they need to accept that there will be times when they are away for study. If they aren't prepared to accept that then they just shouldn't employ trainees.

At the end of the day, the NHS needs specialists. By sitting exams and becoming qualified we are helping to keep the organisation running, and helping the government to fulfil its aims to have more patients treated by specialist doctors. While I don't expect the trust to bend over backwards to meet my every training need (like paying for the exam, as most other employers would) I do expect them to accept our resonable requests to use the time due us in the way we see most appropriate.

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Thank you all for your views.

Any comments after this poll.

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