What if I can’t go back to being a GP?

There are likely to be at least three potential implications, namely:


  • Your life style will probably be based on your earnings as a GP – with, for instance, a mortgage and car and possibly school fees to match. Unless you’re still on sick pay or have income protection insurance, money could be a big issue for you, so:
  • Look for ways to cut your spending. What is essential and what is just nice to have but not affordable? See www.moneysavingexpert.com for up to date money saving information, ideas and contacts. • Consider alternative work, to boost your income and fill a gap in your cv.


Being a GP didn’t just pay the bills. It gave you a reason to get up in the morning, a sense of purpose and structure for your life and, very im portantly, a sense of identity and self-esteem. So not being able to continue as a doctor can be stressful and challenging.

It usually helps to recognise this so that, with self awareness, you can understand and work through the lows and not let them prevent you working out an action plan to achieve a new career – and then putting it into action.

Faced with change we’re not happy with we often go through a number of distinct phases, from denial (this isn’t happening) through anger and frustration (why is this happening) to acceptance (coming to terms with the change) and then development (finding a way to make the change work for you). This is normal, although what we’re focusing on in this guide is mainly how to make this change work for you.

For Family and Friends

This can be a difficult time for your family and friends too, so don’t forget them – and remember they can be a resource when it comes to looking for an alternative career, through their varied knowledge and contacts.