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Palliative medicine

Doctors in palliative medicine provide holistic, quality-of-life care of patients with serious, advanced progressive illnesses and for whom curative treatment is no longer possible.

Training and qualifications required

Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine. 2 years foundation doctor training, 2 years core training (CT1-2), followed by 4 years specialists training (ST3-6). This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends, on call possible. Pay scales (2017): Consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.

Desirable skills and values

For this role you will have highly developed communication skills, with the added ability of dealing with sensitive and difficult circumstances. You'll be able to take responsibility for your own work, and will work well as part of a team whilst having great leadership skills. You'll be able to be adaptable and have resilience, presenting yourself to others with a high level of personal credibility as a clinician. This will be supported by your compassionate and empathetic approach, including your flexible outlook and sense of humor. You'll have an interest in enhancing end of life care and it's quality for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Prospects

There are 298 consultants in palliative medicine in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.
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