Doctor examining a patient

Five things all FY1 and FY2 junior doctors should know

Your foundation years (FY1 and FY2) of medical training are your first taste of life in a hospital, clinic or general practice. This time can feel a little daunting, but there’s no need to feel anxious. We’ve put together five top tips to help first- and second-year junior doctors get through their foundation years – with guidance on working locum shifts, too. 

Five top tips for FY1 and FY2 doctors
As an FY1 and FY2 doctor, you may feel a little out of your depth at first. There's a lot to learn, often in fast-paced healthcare environments with seriously unwell or injured patients.
Introduce yourself to everyone

Get off to a great start by always introducing yourself to everyone, from porters to nurses to consultants. You never know who’ll have handy insights to share with you.

Prioritise downtime

Life as a junior doctor can be emotionally challenging and stressful. To keep yourself mentally well, give yourself time to socialise and enjoy fun, relaxing hobbies. Doing nothing but studying and practising is a recipe for burnout.

Spend time in the doctors’ mess

Most hospitals have a doctors’ mess, which is a space where junior doctors can relax and make new connections. Spend as much time here as you can, as you’ll be among peers who understand exactly what you’re going through.

Remember it’s not forever

Even the most talented, intelligent doctors aren’t suited to every rotation. If you’re having a hard time in your current department, remember that your FY1 and FY2 years help you decide which direction to take in your specialty training. A bad experience can be just as valuable as a positive one in shaping your career.

Don’t forget your portfolio

As part of your Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP), you’ll need to present an online portfolio at the end of the academic year. Make sure you’re compiling it as you go to stop it becoming a stressful and difficult last-minute task. 

Can you locum as an FY1 or FY2 doctor?

During your first foundation year, you’ll be limited to picking up locum shifts within the trust you’re training with. If you’re really interested in picking up extra shifts, speak to your training hospital’s Staff Bank, who can contact you if anything suitable comes up.

Once you reach FY2, you’ll have achieved a full license to practise and can pick up FY2 locum shifts at any trust. As you’re still learning, it’s sensible to choose locum shifts in areas you’ve experienced on rotation and you may find it easier to do so at hospitals you’re familiar with.

Group of doctors at work

Working as a locum in your FY3 year

After foundation training, most junior doctors will have spent five years at university and a further two learning on the job. Your foundation years can be financially challenging and mentally taxing, so it’s not surprising that many junior doctors choose an FY3.

Picking up locum shifts is a popular option for FY3 junior doctors. You can earn money to help support you through the rest of your studies and get experience in different areas before committing to your specialty training. With Global Medics, it’s simple to register and start finding work – from short-term, last-minute shifts for maximum flexibility to three- and six-month contracts that offer more stability.

Find a locum doctor role

Looking for locum doctor roles for your FY3 year? Global Medics can help find the right role for you. With flexible opportunities all over the UK, and international positions in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, you can find locum jobs that fit around your life and travel plans. We also offer free CPD training and one-to-one expert advice around the clock.

Contact us for more information or browse our latest jobs.