Tips for new doctors

We've worked with doctors to develop tips and advice for those new to practice.
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Look after yourself, so you can look after your patients

When doctors look after their wellbeing it positively impacts patient care. Remember to focus on your own health.

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It’s okay to ask questions

No doctor is expected to know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or raise issues with colleagues.

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Speak up if something seems wrong

Learn who to talk to if things don’t seem right where you're working. And find out what to do if you don’t think it's been taken seriously enough. We have advice and guidance on speaking up in our ethical hub.

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Get to grips with key processes early

When you start a new role, get to know the prescribing and referring systems. Have spare copies of paper forms where they are used.

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Keep useful information in your phone

Add the numbers you’ll need, such as your clinical and educational supervisors. You could also save links to guidance you’ll regularly refer to, including drug doses and referral guides. Your workplace may also have their own app with helpful information.

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Think about what to wear for your shifts

Follow hospital guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE). Comfy shoes and clothes with pockets will help you focus on the important stuff.

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Introducing yourself to your patients is an important part of compassionate care, and a simple way to build trust.

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Remember issues of consent and capacity

Find out about the legal requirements around mental capacity and consent, which might vary depending on the country you're working in. Read our consent guidance and check out our ethical hub for help with applying mental capacity considerations to your practice.

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Be honest

Sometimes things go wrong and a sincere apology helps to maintain trust and confidence.

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Keep clear records

Notes are important so everyone, including the patient, has a clear picture. When you’re writing notes, don’t forget that information can be accessed by Freedom of information requests. Only use your NHS email account to discuss patient issues.

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You're part of a team

Get to know the nurses, porters and ward clerks, and build a community around yourself.

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Keep your ePortfolio up to date

Identify the skills you’re learning and send out your requests for feedback. Keep a note of any areas of the curriculum you find challenging so you can follow up with e-learning.