Doctors on the waiting list to become bankers

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Forget the NHS (or even BUPA) - a growing number of medics aspire to careers in financial services.

"We've had quite a few applications this year from junior doctors looking to move into banking," says Emma Halls, director of recruitment firm Finance Professionals. "Most of them are very mathematical and have excellent people skills. They are keen to go into research or quant focused roles, although we've also had a few who are interested in areas like product control and risk analysis."

Halls attributes the upsurge in interest from doctors to problems earlier this year in the system used by the NHS to allocate junior doctors to training positions - at one point it seemed as many as 10,000 doctors would be left without jobs.

With NHS training places now allocated, Halls says interest from doctors has now tailed off, but not disappeared entirely.

A consultant at a rival research-focused firm says he too receives CVs from medics interested in moving into areas like pharmaceuticals, healthcare and biotech research.

However, making the move from medicine into banking may not be quite as easy as medics would like.

Although research teams have a history of hiring ex-medics, he says their appetite for former healthcare professionals isn't what it used to be: "Nowadays, financial services experience is what counts. Most banks are more interested in taking on fresh medical graduates and training them up through their graduate programmes than hiring a doctor who's been working for a few years and has no financial experience."

In the current market, Halls confirms that doctors aren't always banks' flavour of the month: "The big banks tend to be concerned that they're a second-choice career option. The easiest option for doctors is usually to go in on the bottom rung at a small boutique."

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