Blogs > Introduction to the NHS / Useful Information

Diabetes and Endocrinology within the NHS

  • June 30, 2021

Diabetes and endocrinology within the NHS is a varied and interesting specialty combining a mix of complex specialist problems with general internal medicine.

As an international recruitment agency, BDI Resourcing recommend that Diabetes and Endocrinology specialists that are wanting to work within the NHS, take the MRCP route to their GMC Registration.

What should I expect?

Typically, NHS specialists work in both diabetes and endocrinology, although some specialists work predominantly in one rather than the other. They work with all age ranges and many also contribute to acute or general medicine inpatient care. A specialist may see 40 to 50 patients in a day.

The range of activities for an NHS Doctor working within the specialty of diabetes and endocrinology should include:

  • Outpatient clinics including list sizes
  • Inpatient specialty and GIM ward
  • Any specialist list sizes, such as insulin pump clinic or pituitary MDT clinics
  • On-call commitment will vary depending upon the local arrangements
  • Commitment to GIM depends on whether the service has a bed base of diabetes / endocrine/ GIM patients under their care
  • Additional activities could include research, management, external work such as deanery posts etc.

A typical day may also include a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting and ward work to manage specialty referrals or to care for inpatients with general medical problems.

Diabetes patients are often in hospital with other medical problems, but the fact they have diabetes is associated with increased lengths of stay and rates of complications. As such, you can expect to frequently work with a wide range of healthcare professionals, including specialist nurses in both diabetes and endocrinology, dieticians, podiatrists, orthotists, community teams and specialist midwives. Specifically in Endocrinology, you will be liaising closely with neurosurgical specialists and radiologists when managing pituitary disease and with thyroid surgeons or with oncologists to help people dealing with endocrine effects of their cancer treatments

It’s also important to note, that most units have active audit, journal review and research meetings specifically related to the specialty.

Can I specialize?

There is a large list of subspecialty areas/interests that can be developed by an NHS Endocrinology and Diabetes specialist. These include:

  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • Paediatric and adolescent diabetes and endocrinology
  • diabetic renal disease
  • diabetic neuropathy and foot problems
  • diabetic eye disease
  • thyroid problems
  • pituitary and adrenal disease
  • reproductive endocrinology
  • endocrine late effects of cancer treatment
  • lipid disorders
  • bariatric medicine
  • metabolic bone disease
  • neuroendocrine tumours

When and Where will I be working?

In a typical 10 PA job plan, consultants will only have time in their job plan to offer a maximum of three or four outpatient clinics a week. Specialty referrals, general medical referrals generated from others, and their follow-up appointments require 0.5 to 1 PA a week.

Increasingly, complex endocrine diseases, and especially endocrine tumours are being managed in large referral centres. As the specialty is predominantly outpatient based, an average working day will comprise one or more hospital outpatient clinics.

Diabetes teams often now see patients in an MDT setting (insulin pump, foot clinics, young adolescent, transition, and joint antenatal and renal clinics).

According to the NHS Health Careers - Around 65% of consultants say they are routinely on-call at weekends.

Relocating to the UK

If you are an international Doctor interested in working in Diabetes and Endocrinology 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


RCP London. 2021. Specialty career profile: diabetes and endocrinology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 June 2021]. 2021. Workforce and job planning | Medical Care - Guidance for Desiging Services and Developing Physicians for Specialties. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 June 2021].

Health Careers. 2021. Working life (ED). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 June 2021].


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