Blogs > Useful Information / Life in the UK / Introduction to the NHS

What to expect working in Emergency Medicine in the NHS

  • May 13, 2020

Emergency Medicine, also referred to in the UK as A&E, ER and ED, is arguably the most in demand specialty within the NHS. Working as an Emergency Medicine Doctor in the NHS gives you the opportunity to secure jobs offering competitive salary, excellent career progression and access to specialty training.

What should I know?

Emergency physicians will be expected to liaise with other specialties, coordinating the initial phase of a patients journey through the hospitals A&E department. They also interact with many people during the shift, including patients, nurses, relatives, junior doctors, consultant colleagues, ambulance crews and even the police.

One very important thing to note, is that Doctors working in Emergency Medicine should expect to do an appreciable amount of night time and weekend work as ED’s are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making this a very demanding and rewarding specialty.

Where will I be based?

On a general basis, if you are a Doctor working in Emergency Medicine you will predominantly be in the specific hospitals A&E department, however some posts will be carried out in trauma centres, walk-in centres and in-patient hospitals.

What is the difference between Emergency Departments and Trauma Centres?

The Emergency Department is where patients go when they need emergency assistance, whether it be a sprained ankle, a heart attack or a stroke. In this way, the ED is a varied unit that has the facilities, doctors and expertise to handle almost any ‘emergency’ medical situation.

Trauma Centres are normally located within the ED, however some major units will be separate from the hospital. Here they handle the most extreme Emergency cases or life-threatening injuries. Here you’ll find highly trained physicians who specialise in treating traumatic injuries, who will include:

  • Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Cardiac Surgeons
  • Radiologists
  • Nurses

As a method of comparison, the following table aims to highlight the difference in medical cases in both Trauma and ED units:

Emergency Department

Trauma Centre

  • Broken Bones
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Heart attacks
  • Burns
  • Strokes
  • Severe vomiting/diarrhoea
  • Severe pains
  • Gunshot and stab wounds
  • Major burns
  • Serious Road Traffic Accidents
  • Blunt trauma
  • Brain or Head Injuries
  • Amputations

Relocating to the UK

If you are an international Emergency Medicine doctor 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. ER Vs. Trauma Center: What's The Difference? (Infographic). [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 12 May 2020].

UPMC HealthBeat. 2020. What Is A Trauma Center? | Trauma System Levels | ER Or Trauma?. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 12 May 2020].

London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. 2020. Emergency Trauma Care - London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 12 May 2020].


Get Email Job Alerts

Get email alerts tailored to just the jobs you're interested in.


Register With Us

Help us match you with jobs that are perfect for you.


Send Us Your Resumé

Upload it from your computer or via your phone from your cloud storage.

error: Content is protected !!