Answering tricky questions

Q. Don’t doctors get sick pay if they fall ill?

A. Yes – but it can cover as little as four weeks if they’re recently qualified.

Q. Isn’t there an NHS pension?

A. Yes – but it is based on salary and years of service. Many of the doctors that the RMBF supports are still early in their careers when they encounter unexpected hardship such as a serious illness or accident, and have not yet been able to build up a financial safety net.

Q. Surely doctors have taken out insurance to cover themselves and their families?

A. Often, insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and, even when doctors are covered, it can sometimes be a struggle to get the insurance company to pay out.

Q. So why do doctors need my support?

A. There are probably more emotive causes than medical colleagues and their families – but that makes them well placed to appeal to the public. We rely on the support of medics and their families, many of whom have seen first-hand how unexpected hardship can seriously affect those already working in a high-pressure profession.

Q. Why do you only support medical students in their final two years?

A. We have to ensure that our limited funds are targeted as effectively as possible. Our support has a major impact on students facing unexpected financial hardship through no fault of their own. For students in the final years of study, it can make the difference between qualifying as a doctor and falling short.

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