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What to expect when working as a Geriatrician in the NHS

  • October 28, 2020

The largest medical specialty within the NHS, is Geriatrics. The specialty itself is exciting and rapidly growing – concerned with all aspects of health and illness in older adults.  There are presently around 800 Consultants in the specialty within the NHS and numbers are expanding, so career prospects are excellent. This Blog article aims to provide insight into what working within the field of Geriatric Medicine Doctor in the UK is like.

As an international recruitment agency, BDI Resourcing recommend that aspiring Geriatricians, wanting to work within the NHS, take the MRCP route to their GMC Registration.

What should I expect?

It is important to note that almost all geriatricians within the NHS will take part in the unselected medical take (seeing hospital patients with acute medical conditions) or perform other out-of-hours work in clinical decision or medical assessment units.

Additionally, when working as a Geriatrician you should expect to be working closely with large multidisciplinary teams alongside a variety of other NHS staff including specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, GPs, pharmacists, social workers as well as other medical specialties. The individuals you work with will depend on where you are working within the Hospital and Community – which may change daily.

Of course, whilst it is impossible to predict the daily procedures and interventions you may be carrying out on a day to day basis within the NHS, you will commonly be:

  • performing a comprehensive assessment of an older person, including mood and cognition, gait, nutrition and fitness for surgery, including physical examinations where necessary
  • assessing a patient’s suitability for continuing care in the NHS or community
  • assessing the outcome of rehabilitation

Can I specialize?

Working as a Geriatrician allows you to maintain a generalist approach while also developing a sub-specialty interest. This can range from stroke to Parkinson's disease, falls and fracture prevention, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Geriatric medicine has one official GMC recognized sub-specialty, Stroke Medicine. If you are a Geriatrician within the NHS practicing at ST3+ level, you can choose to partake in a specialist program (ST3-ST6) which would then make you eligible to have the sub-specialty of Stroke Medicine included in your entry in the GMC’s specialist Register alongside the award of a CCT in Geriatric Medicine.

Where will I be working?

Due to the fact that Geriatrics is such a large specialty and most Doctors will also operate within Acute Medicine, you could expect to be working in a number of different hospital and community settings, including:

  • outpatient departments
  • A&E
  • medical assessment units
  • acute care wards (eg coronary care, high dependence, intensive care and acute stroke care)
  • rehabilitation wards
  • intermediate and long term care wards
  • day-care centres
  • care homes
  • hospices

Relocating to the UK

If you are an international Doctor interested in working in Geriatrics who would like to relocate to the UK , email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your relocation journey to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we have just launched our new Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing

References 2020. A Career In Geriatric Medicine | British Geriatrics Society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 October 2020]. 2020. Geriatric Medicine | Royal College Of Physicians Of Edinburgh. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 October 2020]. 2020. Geriatric Medicine Curriculum. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 October 2020].


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