SAS doctors

The term 'SAS doctor' includes staff grade, associate specialist and specialty doctors* with at least four years of postgraduate training, two of which are in a relevant specialty.

SAS doctors are a diverse group with a wide range of skills, experience and specialties. They are an essential part of the medical workforce.

Female hospital doctor with male patient

A career as a SAS doctor can be a very satisfying and rewarding alternative to becoming a consultant or GP and there are many different reasons for choosing it as a long or short term career option.

SAS doctor posts usually offer the opportunity to focus predominantly on providing direct patient care and less on the other clinical and non-clinical responsibilities required of a consultant or trainee. Depending on their personal interests and experience - and the available opportunities in their trust and specialty - SAS doctors can be involved in teaching, service development, research or management and leadership.

Becoming a SAS doctor may allow you to:

* Prior to 2008, SAS doctors were appointed to staff grade or associate specialist posts. Since 2008 these grades have been closed to new entrants, with all new SAS doctor appointments being specialty doctors. A copy of the contract for specialty doctors is available in NHS Employers' NHS terms and conditions of service handbook. There are also posts that have some similarities to SAS doctor roles but may not have the same entry criteria or terms and conditions of service. These posts include job titles such as trust grade, trust doctor, clinical fellow and senior clinical fellow. 

Career progression for SAS doctors

Specialty doctors and associate specialists (SAS doctors) have opportunities to access an increasing number of continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities through different national initiatives. They're regularly involved in teaching, leading service development, and research.

Contact your local Health Education England office or deanery for guidance on funding for CPD.

Watch videos featuring SAS doctors about: 

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers