A registrar survival guide - Managing work with a young family

Contributed by Dr Sudha Subramanian, a locum GP in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

A young family may help you relax after a busy day at the surgery (Photograph: Istock)

Set priorities early
Decide how you would prefer to train - part or full time. Speak to the deanery and course organiser early to enable them to make suitable adjustments to your training schedule.

Liaise with the practice
Liaise with the practice for surgery times to suit childcare commitments. Most practices are flexible but it helps to inform them as soon as possible.

Choose a flexible childcare provider with timings that would not put pressure on your work. This helps when the surgery runs late or you have a late visit. Friends and grandparents are a valuable source of support.

Unforeseen circumstances
It is difficult for practices to find cover at short notice. If you need to care for your child, inform the practice as soon as possible. Speak to HR about the carer leave policy as it varies across regions.

Manage stress
Learn to switch roles quickly. Juggling work and family can be demanding. If things are getting tough, opt for working part-time or delay sitting your exams. Have a positive self-image and keep smiling.

Look after yourself
Take time off to have a family holiday or to pamper yourself. Talk to someone who can empathise with you. You may find that after a busy day at work, a young family can actually help you unwind and relax, making both roles rewarding.

Essentials Checklist
  • Good communication with the practice.
  • An organised approach.
  • An ability to manage stress.
  • Some time off to relax.

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