Boost Your English Just By Listening-British Nhs Doctors Strike Ep 667

Photo of NHS doctors and nurses. Uncover UK's healthcare secrets. Boost your English effortlessly!

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 4022 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 21 min

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What You Didn't Know About UK Doctors: Listen & Learn English Now!

Is it all worth it for UK's junior medics? Today we continue to improve your British English with real conversations from the heart of the UK. Join us and you will take a dive deep into the world of UK doctors, and sharpen your English language skills while getting a taste of life in British hospitals.

How Will This Lesson Help You?

  • 🏥 Authentic British Context: Discover the world of UK doctors.
  • 🎧 Engaging Listening Material: Real-life scenarios and dialogues.
  • 💬 Improve Pronunciation: Natural British accent exposure.
  • 👩‍⚕️ Culture + Language: Double win! Learn about the NHS as you refine your English.
  • 🚀 Fast-Track Your Progress: Not just English. British English.

✔Lesson transcript:

He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.
⭐ Sir William Osler

Ever wondered how a gripping tale from the heart of the UK's medical world could unlock the secrets to mastering English fluency? Diving deep into the world of the NHS's junior doctors, not only will you discover shocking truths and dilemmas they face, but you'll also find a unique pathway to sharpen your English speaking skills.

Don't let this rare opportunity to merge drama and learning pass you by. Dive in, and you'll be one step closer to speaking English with the fluency you've always desired.

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
⭐ Voltaire

Don't just learn English. Live it, breathe it, embrace the British way! 🇬🇧 🚑 Engaging content for English learners on Spotify, YouTube &! #StudyEnglish #DoctorStrike

More About This Lesson

Explore the world of the UK's NHS junior doctors, and leverage this captivating journey to amplify your English language skills. Through this podcast, you'll gain access to both the gripping tales from the heart of the UK's medical world and a unique method to master English fluency.

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
⭐ Rudyard Kipling

Things you will learn in today's English listening lesson:

  1. Introduction of common terms: “What does 'on strike' mean?”
  2. Differentiating synonyms: “Healthcare 'free at the point of delivery' vs. 'free'.
  3. Introduction of a new vocabulary word: “The NHS attracts 'altruists' (definition provided).
  4. Comparison of terms: “Consultant who's more narcissistic than altruistic.
  5. Explanation of rigorous training: “Most rigorous means it's really difficult.
  6. Elaboration on English requirements: “IELTS level 7 to 7.5 in English.
  7. Discussion about competition: “UK receives over 75,000 applications to medical schools.
  8. Clarity on terms: “'Public sector' means their salaries come from taxpayers.
  9. Practical insights: “Salaries – what people get paid.
  10. Comparative info: “Minimum wage in 2023 is £10.42 vs. doctors earning £14 an hour.
  11. Comparison with other professions: “Marketing in the UK vs. junior doctor salaries.
  12. Explanations of terms: “'Rota gaps' means not enough staff for a shift.
  13. Reiteration of main goal: “Listen multiple times to improve your English.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  • Engaging Content: This isn't just another English lesson. It's a deep dive into the world of NHS's junior doctors, intertwining real-life drama with unparalleled language learning.
  • Cultural Immersion: Learn English while also getting a taste of the UK's culture, understanding the context and real-life situations of the language.
  • Pronunciation and Usage: Repeatedly listening to the podcast helps you grasp nuances in pronunciation, making your English sound more natural.
  • Master Challenges: The podcast breaks down complex topics, making it easier for learners to grasp intricate subjects in English.
  • Expand Vocabulary: Engage with this content and find yourself expanding your English vocabulary, preparing you for academic and professional challenges.
Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides.
⭐ Rita Mae Brown
  • NHS Overview: The NHS, with over 1.5 million staff, offers insights into British healthcare and valuable vocabulary for learners.
  • Dialectal Nuances: British English has its unique idioms and pronunciations. This podcast introduces you to terms and their correct usage in the British context.
  • Global Perspective: The NHS model of "free at the point of delivery" is of global significance. Understand its pros and cons through the eyes of junior doctors.

Don't let fear hold you back. Whether you're worried about understanding complex subjects, or feeling out of touch with real-world language applications, this podcast is the solution. Dive into real-world topics like the UK's NHS and merge drama with learning. Plus, this isn't just about grammar; it's about understanding context, culture, and real-life scenarios.

🎧 Join Us: Dive deep into UK NHS healthcare, while you improve your British English. Boost your English fluency and unravel the secrets of the NHS. Subscribe now and enjoy more English lessons like this! 🚀

Questions You Might Have...

This English podcast lesson is like opening a two-sided book: one side reveals the pulse of the UK's young healers, and the other guides you through the maze of English, one word at a time.

  1. How does the podcast help improve my British English fluency?
    Learning a language is about immersion, and what better way to immerse yourself than through real-world topics? When you explore the challenges faced by the UK's junior doctors, you're exposed to authentic British English pronunciation, vocabulary, and contexts, which naturally boost your fluency.
  2. Can I understand the medical jargon in the podcast as a beginner in English?
    Absolutely. While diving deep into the challenges of junior doctors, the podcast ensures that explanations are given in clear, simple English. By the end, you'll not only have learned about the British medical system but also enriched your vocabulary.
  3. Why focus on the UK's junior doctors for an English lesson?
    Diverse subjects help language learners stay engaged and curious. By exploring a topical issue, you're not just learning language, but also culture, societal challenges, and current events in the UK. This holistic approach makes the learning experience both rewarding and comprehensive.
  4. How frequently should I listen to this podcast to enhance my English?
    In language learning, consistency is key. I recommend listening multiple times: first, to understand the content; second, to note down new vocabulary; and then as many times as you like to practice pronunciation and fluency.
  5. Are there other podcast episodes focusing on different aspects of British culture and language?
    Yes, branching out into various subjects helps to grasp the breadth of a language and its culture. The beauty of learning this way is the ever-changing landscape of topics, ensuring you always have fresh material to enhance your English.

Most Unusual Words:

  • NHS: National Health Service; the public healthcare system in the UK.
  • Altruist: A person who cares about others and wants to help them, often without expecting anything in return.
  • Narcissistic: Having an excessive interest or admiration for oneself.
  • Consolidate: To strengthen or reinforce; to make something more solid or united.
  • Rota: A schedule or plan that shows when workers are required to work.
  • Morale: The level of confidence and enthusiasm in a group or individual.
  • Under-funded: Not receiving enough money or financial support.
  • Paediatric: Related to medical care of children.
  • Registrar: A medical doctor in the UK who is receiving advanced training in a specialist field.
  • Inflation: The rate at which prices for goods and services rise, leading to a decrease in purchasing power.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: Boost Your English Just by Listening-British NHS Doctors Strike

UK junior doctors are on strike. Why?

Hi there. Today, let's tackle an intriguing topic, the British National Health Service or NHS and its junior doctors. Let's practice some facts and figures while talking about doctors in the UK. And this podcast will give you some insight into what people earn too. What they get paid for their jobs, and how much a junior doctor earns, even in an expensive city like London.

And why is it, despite high quality medical training in the UK, many choose to abandon the NHS and go and work in other healthcare systems around the world? Junior doctors are again on strike at the moment. It's their fifth strike. What does 'on strike' mean? It means when people refuse to work in protest about their pay and conditions. So junior doctors being on strike, this is very serious, but there's no sign of agreement with the UK government on this.

So let's delve into this subject, look at training in medicine in the UK, especially if you want to come from overseas to do it. And let's find out why the junior doctors are on strike. It's very unusual for medical staff to want to do this. And by watching this podcast, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the UK's healthcare system, the NHS, as well as improving your English language skills at the same time.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Before I do this, don't forget that our Most Common 500 Words Course will help you consolidate your basic English. If you're at the stage where you can understand English, but you can't yet speak it, this consolidation is really important. If you have a really solid grasp of basic English, it's much easier starting to speak the language. So, go to our website at and look on 'Courses' for the Most Common 500 Words Course.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

UK has world-renowned healthcare, 'free at the point of delivery'

Now, imagine being a young medical student. Having got good grades in the most difficult exams and dreaming of serving in the esteemed NHS, you find yourself juggling with intense working hours, not being well paid, and questioning the system you once held in such high regard. This is the real life story of many junior doctors in the UK.

The background to all of this, of course, is that we have in the UK, one of the best systems of healthcare in the world. I don't mean by that that the NHS has the best figures or statistics on healthcare. It doesn't. And from the junior doctors' actions at the moment, it isn't working. But what sets it apart? It's a system where you get healthcare that is 'free at the point of delivery'. You don't pay. It's not actually free. We do all pay tax to fund the NHS, of course.

But if you have a health problem in the UK, as long as the NHS is good in your area and doesn't have long waiting lists, you can be treated quite quickly and it's free. So, unlike in the US, if you have a major health problem, you're not worried about money or whether your insurance will pay for it.


A young NHS Doctor. Real stories, real growth. Don't miss out!

©️ Adept English 2023

Altruists are attracted to the jobs within the NHS

That's a relief for many people. That's a valuable thing for the people of the UK. And a lot of dedicated people work for the NHS. The NHS as an employer tends to attract 'altruists', that's A L T R U I S T S, to a great number of its healthcare roles. An 'altruist' is someone to who is motivated to do good in the world. An 'altruist' has a strong motivation to help other people.

Of course, not everyone in the NHS is like that, and notably you find the odd consultant who's perhaps more narcissistic than altruistic! But that isn't true of most people, particularly among nurses and junior doctors. They are dedicated staff, mostly with an altruistic aim at their core.

If you want to be a doctor, prepare for rigorous demands

And junior doctors go through the most rigorous training. That means it's really difficult. If you're familiar with the A level system, then to be a doctor, you're probably going to need three A stars at A level. Those are the exams that you take at the end of school at 18. Sometimes you can get onto a medical training with three A's, but A stars are more usual. And you need Maths, Physics, Biology or Chemistry. So difficult science subjects as well.

And if English isn't your first language, you'll have to listen to a lot of Adept English too! Typically, medical schools require IELTS level 7 to 7. 5 in English.

And even if you get the grades and have the English, competition is tough. Did you know that every year, the UK receives over 75, 000 applications to medical schools, but only a mere 12% succeed. That's about 8,600 students are accepted. Once you're on a course, it's five year's training at university and work experience in hospitals within the NHS, of course. And after that, it's an additional five to 11 years of training, depending upon what you want to specialise in before you're fully qualified.

Despite these challenges, many students from overseas take up places on UK medical trainings every year, and their qualification in medicine is recognised around the world.

The National Health Service is 70 years old now. And the idea of 'free at point of delivery healthcare for everyone' is something that most people in the UK are very proud of. It's an important part of British culture too. And students of medicine in the UK get to experience this first hand, this system.

If you're interested in studying medicine in the UK, worth noting the University of Central Lancashire is the one which accepts most applicants from overseas. Probably worth knowing that!

By my observation, many of the medical staff, especially the doctors in the UK do come from overseas, but of course, there are plenty of British people who train to be doctors as well. So although conditions are difficult, many do succeed. Don't be discouraged.

So why are our junior doctors on strike?

So given this altruistic motivation and given that the UK is a great place to study medicine, and a country that is at the forefront of research, and a country whose healthcare is supposedly run according to the fairest and most equal system, why are our, junior doctors on strike?

Well, first of all, it's important to understand that junior doctors in the UK working for the NHS are 'public sector' workers. That means their salaries, their pay is determined by the UK government. So their salaries, like all the money in the NHS, comes from taxpayers. T A X, that is. So this can limit their pay.

And the NHS is under-funded. It's not the same as working for a business or a commercial organisation. The NHS is short of money. In part because there's a great demand on it, but also because medical treatment moves on and becomes more and more expensive too. Research constantly generates more treatments and medicines. This, of course, costs more, and naturally, 'big pharma' takes quite a 'cut of the pie' as well.

Have you ever wondered how much a junior doctor earns in the UK? Especially in an expensive city like London.

Doctors might earn more serving coffee than treating patients

So salaries - what people get paid - is part of the problem that's making the junior doctors go on strike. It's been quoted in the UK news that some junior doctors get paid only £14 an hour!

And the doctors' union, the British Medical Association or BMA earlier this year, famously said, and I quote, that 'pay had fallen so far behind inflation that its members would be better off serving coffee than treating patients'. Well, if you've got those excellent grades... and you passed all those exams and your medical training, I agree. You don't expect to be earning £14 an hour. It's not enough. Minimum wage in the UK in 2023 is £10.42 per hour. ' Minimum wage' means 'the lowest amount you can be paid for any job'.

The government argued back against the BMA, saying that actually many junior doctors earn £20 to £30 per hour. The problem is doctors are classed as 'junior' for up to 10 years after they finish their medical degree. So there is a broad range.

They do get, paid more as they acquire skills and take on more responsibility. So there is also truth in that statement.

Listening Lessons

'Brain drain' - some UK doctors feel they'd be better off abroad

The BBC News article on this topic - you can find the link in the transcript - gives the example of a junior doctor called Robert. He earns £29,384 per year and works in a London hospital. Now it is possible to live in London on that kind of salary, but it's quite tight. You don't have a lot of money.

He earns £3,117 per month before tax and his 'take home salary', that's when you've taken off all the deductions, is only £2,164. That's quite difficult to live on in London.

Robert talks of wanting to move to Australia to be a doctor instead. He wants to leave the UK and the NHS.

Decline in morale

Another junior doctor quoted in the same article, Kiran, is further forward in her career. She qualified from medical school, from university in 2011. Her pay is a little better, but still only £28 per hour. She works as a 'paediatric registrar', or a 'children's doctor', looking after sick children.

And she says 'The vast majority of junior doctors at my level end up working extra unpaid hours before they can go home at the end of the day. I just can't leave a sick patient because it's unsafe'. She talks about a decline in morale in the health service. And she says, 'This was not the job that I signed up for'.

First of all, just comparing these salaries, with other professions in the UK. If you work in Marketing in the UK, you'll earn between £25,000 and £52,000 per year. That's quite a lot more than a junior doctor. And you'd earn £27,000 a year as a Warehouse Manager. It's hardly the same level of responsibility. And nothing like the level of training and skill that the junior doctors need.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

The leader of the doctors' union, the BMA, Professor Philip Banfield, has talked also about how the problem is the waiting lists and the pressures that doctors are under. And this makes their working conditions poor. He said that 'Waiting lists for treatment were getting steadily worse for 10 years leading up to the pandemic arriving. Now they're even worse. And in fact, it is these waiting lists and doctors being unable to do their jobs because of under-investment, work force shortages and rota gaps that lie behind the strikes they're being forced to take now'.

'Rota gaps' means that there are constantly situations where there are not enough doctors and other medical staff to cover the shift, to be safe with the patients.

Job satisfaction difficult for altruists, in a compromised system

Listening to, some of our junior doctors being interviewed on the radio this morning, I think many of them are supporting the strikes because of pay in part, but more because working conditions do not allow them to feel satisfied with their jobs. If you're motivated by altruism and you constantly feel that you're unable to do a good job, through no fault of your own, even if it's because the system is under-staffed and under-funded, it's hard to keep your morale high and feel that you are doing a good enough job.

These strikes will have quite an effect as junior doctors make up at least half of the medical workforce.


Let us know what you think of this issue. What is medical care like in your country? And do you see the British NHS as a good thing or not? Let us know. Oh, and don't forget to listen to this podcast a number of times to improve your English!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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