Junior Doctors PAID by NHS To Abandon Medicine, Find New Jobs

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By Dan Newling | 3:32 am, June 13, 2016

The NHS is paying junior doctors to learn how to land lucrative new jobs outside medicine, Heat Street can reveal.

Four hundred and fifty doctors – all trained at taxpayers’ expense – attended a conference recently designed to help them jump ship to industries like finance, management and pharmacology.

“Diversify 2016: Alternative Career Paths for Doctors” featured deep-pocketed recruiters including the Boston Consulting Group and GlaxoSmithKline.

It included workshops on “Starting Your Own Business”; “Management Consultancy”; “Investment Banking” and “Pharmaceutical Opportunities”.

But rather than the being frowned upon by the NHS – many of whose doctors are moving to work abroad and in other professions – the premium jobs fair was actually endorsed by the health service.

The Royal College of Surgeons accredited the event, held in April, as “Continuing Professional Development”.

This means that merely having attending it counts towards a doctor’s medical training.

The stamp also means helped attendees were also able to claim a day’s pay, expenses and the cost of their £195 ticket.

Assuming all 450 attendees claimed a paid “work day” and had their ticket refunded, the NHS shelled out £150,000.

Each junior doctor costs the British taxpayer £300,000 to train. Official figures show that, at the time of the conference, the average junior doctor’s salary was £37,000 a year.

Despite this – and perhaps predictably, considering the conference took place at the peak of the junior doctor contract dispute – it appears to have turned into an anti-Government event.

The event’s “mystery guest speaker” was Johann Malawana, the firebrand Chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee recently exposed as a hypocrite for his conduct in the headline-grabbing dispute.

It’s not clear whether Malawana encouraged attendees to dump the NHS.

But he did tweet a photo of a packed conference hall with this message:

Dr. Malawana also uploaded videos in which various attendees complained about their work. The videos included:

– An oncologist who said she was there “because the sense of value in what I do and being appreciated by departments and the bigger institutions generally is reducing”

– An anaesthetist who said she was impressed by exhibitors who, she claimed, appeared to “show appreciation to their employees….. I don’t believe we get this within the NHS.”

– A GP from Birmingham explaining how he attended to learn more about work outside the NHS after five of his colleagues “jumped ship” to New Zealand.

The Diversify event was organised by a company called Medical Success Ltd. which is owned by Dr. Rishi Duggal, an anesthetist who appears to run the company in his spare time.

Companies House documents show that in the financial year 2013/2014 – the most recent year for which accounts are available – Dr. Duggal’s company made a profit, after tax, of £20,620.

This year’s was the company’s sixth Medical Success conference. Exhibitors at previous events have included Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey and Company and CitiBank.

A spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons said that it “has a fairly broad conception of what can be included as a CPD event for members”.

The spokesman went on: “The conference included sessions focused on Medical Law, Medical Volunteering and Relief, Doctors in Business, Medical Journalism, and Pharmaceutical Opportunities.

“Although not directly clinical, these are still very much related and important to the wider medical profession.”

Dr Duggal did not respond to a request for comment.