Home » Membership » SAS week 2023 - Your questions answered by RCP SAS lead Dr Jamie Read

SAS week 2023 - Your questions answered by RCP SAS lead Dr Jamie Read

As part of our celebration of SAS Week (9 – 13 October 2023), we asked RCP members what they wanted to know about being an SAS doctor. SAS lead Dr Jamie Read answers your questions and explains why being an SAS doctor can be a fulfilling route through a career in medicine.

What is the role of a SAS doctor?
SAS doctors are everywhere and are doing most things! Most importantly, they are excellent colleagues who deliver care to patients in lots of different settings, working as part of the wider healthcare team.

What are the duties of a specialist doctor?
It really depends on where you work, but in general specialist doctors can expect to have significant autonomy and responsibility around the care of patients in their field of expertise. Plus, they a chance to take on leadership and management roles in a wide range of areas, as well as education and research too.

What is the difference between a consultant and an SAS doctor?
Consultants in substantive posts have received something called a certificate of completion of training (a CCT) or the equivalent (often called a CESR). This means that they are on different contracts compared with SAS doctors and can have different levels of autonomy and responsibility.

What are the pros of being an SAS doctor?
More than I can answer here! However, for me the best positives have been flexibility, greater control over my job plan and an ability to meet and make friends with a diverse and friendly group.

What should I expect if I take the SAS doctor route?
It depends on what sort of job that you decide to take. I’d advise looking for a role that gives you the best possible balance of things you enjoy, and which has the opportunity to further develop your skills and interests over your entire career span.

How do I become a SAS doctor in the UK?
The best piece of advice I can give is to have a look at the job adverts that are out there across the UK and apply to those that best suit.

Do you need an RCP representative at an interview for a specialist post?
We’re always really keen to have RCP representatives on the panels for specialist posts, but unlike for some consultant positions, it’s not a contractual requirement to have an RCP representative. If you are thinking of advertising a post, or applying for one, having an RCP rep can be really helpful to ensure that job plans and roles contain the best mix for patient care, personal development and job satisfaction. Please do drop us a line if we can help!

Can SAS doctors do private practice?
It depends – it’s to check with your defence union.