How your support is helping a single mum through GP training

I’m currently in my last year of GP training. I’m also a single mum to a son who has serious disabilities, which makes life a bit harder at times.

My son has trouble with his breathing, so we have specialist equipment that has to be left on at night. He can’t regulate his temperature, which means leaving the heating on too. With current energy prices, my gas and electricity bills have been more than my mortgage.

In early 2022, I was really struggling financially, because I’d had to take extra time off work to care for my son. I had exams coming up, which were essential if I wanted to continue my GP training, but there was no feasible way to pay for them.
For the first couple of years of my son’s life, I had assumed “I’m a doctor, there won’t be any help for me.” But by this point, I was receiving Universal Credit, I had taken on credit card debt, and I was going to have to stop my training because I couldn’t afford the exams. It seemed like such an absurd situation. I wondered if there might be help available for me as a doctor, so I searched online – that’s how I found out about the RMBF.

Having some help to pay those bills has been huge

I applied for support, and now I have a grant in place which will mean I can sit my exams later this year, finish my training, and go on to work as a GP. I’ll still need some understanding from my employer, but this is a big step.

The RMBF were able to give me support towards living costs – having some help to pay those bills has been huge. Getting help from the RMBF’s money adviser was really useful too. I’d already done a lot of difficult work, finding out the benefits I was entitled to and applying for them – I wish I’d been able to talk to a money adviser sooner, it would have saved me a lot of time.

To other doctors who are struggling, I would say: don’t assume that there’s no help available. It’s well worth reaching out for support as soon as you can.

More information