A physician's journey to the UK - Dr Rehan Qureshi

  • January 28, 2022

Are you an overseas physician looking to move to the UK?  Here, you can hear first-hand the experiences of an international general physician who has been through the process, from completing their MRCP and GMC registration, to securing an NHS job and relocating to the UK?

IMG Stories is our series introducing you to international doctors who we have helped to relocate to the UK - sharing their personal journeys from working overseas to securing a new job as a doctor in the NHS. 

Today we introduce you to Rehan Qureshi, a brilliant general medicine specialty doctor who relocated to the UK from Saudi Arabia with his wife, children and his mother in 2020. Having passed the MRCP and English language exams, Rehan received full GMC registration with license to practise. He is now working in the NHS at Scarborough General Hospital in the north of England – where he is making a fantastic impact on the service and wider community.  

Tell us about yourself - what should the IMG community know about Rehan Qureshi?

I'm a physician with a special interest in acute and renal medicine and over 19 years of multi-centre clinical experience. My other areas of interest are clinical research, healthcare quality and patient safety, medical education as well as medical leadership.

What motivated you to move to the UK? 

I was practicing overseas where despite working very hard, I had very limited prospects in terms of career progression and growth. I have always admired the NHS’ policy of ‘fair and equal opportunities for all’, and I view the UK in general as a fair and multicultural society.

Tell us about your experience with the Royal College of Physicians exams...

Honestly, these were some very hard times … as a family, it was quite tough for us while I was taking my MRCP exams. Each time I failed, my wife cried … but I didn't because I knew, the only way to get through the process and past failure was resilience! That helped and in the end I passed!

Do you have any tips or advice for overseas doctors who are currently working towards MRCP?

Never lose hope. Set a goal, work hard towards it and keep trying until you succeed! Avoid negativity and people who discourage you. Remember, MRCP is very much doable, though not easy. Practice is the key!

How did you manage to navigate and juggle the different aspects of registration whilst working?

I divided my day into four parts: work, MRCP, family and rest. I'd ususally finish work by 5pm and immediately begin my MRCP practice from 5pm - 8pm at the hospital. After getting back home at about 8:30pm, I'd have time for dinner and to spentd a couple of hours with family before going to sleep. The weekends were definitely better, but I'd still spend at least 6 hours in the library. I'd suggest you start your intense preparation no sooner than 6 months in advance. You need to work hard, but try to avoid burnout. For me, it worked.

Did you have any major or unexpected issues with the GMC registration process or your visa application?

I had none at all - everything went smoothly.

How did you find a medical oncology job within the NHS? 

To be honest, I connected with Marcus & Ruaidhri, who did everything for me. They actually made my journey to getting my first NHS job a piece of cake! This was to the extent that when we arrived in the UK and reached our hotel, (at a time when the UK was in lockdown due to COVID), we had all our groceries promptly delivered by them. What more could anyone ask for? I knew some friends who were working with other agencies that left everything to them. With how much IMG Connect had helped me, I used to ask Ruaidhri questions to help my friends as well.

My advice: find yourself an agency that is known to be responsible and is keen to truly help. I personally found IMG connect very very helpful!

Tell us about your journey to the UK...

It was scary to travel at a time when the UK was in lockdown and COVID-19 cases were so high. However, my journey was made very simple, since all the logistics including visas were sorted by Ruaidhri, so we did not face any unnecessary hassle. I would say, it was a very smooth transition, we enjoyed two weeks of quarantine as we had been longing to spend some quality time together as a family and enjoy a good rest before starting up again.

What has been your experience working with IMG Connect? 

The support I received on this journey was amazing. I absolutely could not ask for more. For the first time in my life, I traveled without any need to think or worry about logistics because they were being so well-managed by Ruaidhri and his team at IMG connect. My wife and I were traveling with young children and my elderly mother, and I must say, we have been taken care of very well!

How are you settling into life in the UK?

We have been settling in very well. In Scarborough, we have a beach that my children enjoy going to, and they also love their new school. Not for a single day have we felt that we are in a country of different culture, ethnicity or faith. My daughter had a pleasant surprise when her school teacher greeted her with 'Eid Mubarak' on the day of Eid festive, which was a great welcome during our first time celebrating Eid in the UK. The UK is truly wonderful and people are very welcoming here. It's beautifully blended multi-cultural society and we consider the UK our home now.

What have you enjoyed most about living in Scarborough in particular?

So many things: the beach, the variety of fun activities for children - like steam engine trains and parks. We've even enjoyed snow for the first time. Fish and chips are great! Traveling in the UK is absolutely easy and fun and there's so much to do and see.

What opportunities have become available to you through your work?

I am really enjoying my current role. Within a year of joining the NHS as a specialty doctor, I now hold 4 different roles: I'm a senior lecturer at Hull York Medical School, an SAS regional representative for RCP London, an SAS Teaching Fellow and a member of the RCPQI. I’m also starting my postgraduate certificate in health professions education funded by the HEE. I have the support of mt Trust with my CESR application and have been given the opportunity for research and to become a medical examiner. 

For comparison, I was in my previous position for a decade, and only had one role with no career progression prospects.

What’s next for you now that you’re working in the UK?

I think you should always aim high with your goals. I aim to establish myself as a clinical leader as well as an academic leader, a clinical researcher and principal investigator. In the short term, I look forward to taking on the new 'Specialist' role and making progress on my CESR application with my hospital's support.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in moving to the UK?

This would be my mother's visa. I'm an only child, so I couldn't relocate without her. Before finding IMG connect, many agencies had contacted me with job opportunities and all refused to help with my mother's visa. IMG Connect on the other hand, never give up. Marcus & Ruaidhri, perhaps, enjoy such challenges :-) Ruaidhri literally went out on a limb to help me on this. He contacted people, introduced me to an agency, helped me prepare the entire case and finally - we got it done and my mother was given her visa! I can't tell you what a huge relief it was. A big thank you to Ruaidhri, Marcus and the entire team at IMG Connect for this!

Have you experienced any culture shocks living in the UK?

Not at all! As I said, the UK is a multicultural, multi-faith country. People here in Yorkshire are very welcoming. We can easily find Halal food from local shops which also sell vegetarian food. We have a mosque in town, and there are separate prayer rooms for both male and female Muslim staff in the hospital. We feel so at home here.

What have you missed about Saudi Arabia the most?

We've definitely missed our old friends, and relatives.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before you began your journey to live and work in the UK?

I already had most of the information I needed before I came by Ruaidhri and Marcus, so there was nothing that came as a shock or surprise to me.

Do you have any tips or advice for international doctors who want to move to the UK?

I have a couple of pieces of advice. Firstly, if you are struggling to progress in your career, consider relocating to the UK. Here, it does not matter who you are, or where you come from. What matters is how dedicated and hardworking you are and I think your hard work always pays off. The NHS is a great institution and wonderful place to work. Secondly, I'd say consider taking an specialty doctor role. It's a great position where you'll have career prospects to develop as a locum consultant and enjoy a good work-life balance.

Moving to live and work in the UK is a big decision to make but can be massively rewarding in many ways. International doctors have the chance to find a new home and the NHS presents an incredible opportunity to secure rewarding jobs, progress within their field and explore adjacent opportunities such as CESR (for non-EEA doctors), writing publications and research. Whatever route an overseas doctor may take on their journey to the UK, IMG Connect is here to support them through every step and welcome them to the IMG Connect family.   

To receive the latest news and updates on the Royal Colleges, GMC registration and the NHS, as well as more #IMGStories, follow us on social media and join the conversation. 



Relevant Jobs

110,257 - 164,372

An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Acute Medicine Department. They are looking to appoint an Acute & General Internal Medicine Consultant, a great opportunity to further your medical career in the UK. This NHS job offers CESR Portfolio Pathway support, and international applications from IMGs are welcome.

The successful candidate will be the clinical lead and will drive the development and transformation of acute medicine, where patient-centered care is at the heart of the services. The role involves working within the Acute Assessment Unit, which consists of a 25-bed inpatient area including a 5-bed enhanced care area and an adjacent 6-space Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit.

Health Service

Working for this health service is professionally rewarding, offering high-quality, patient-centered care. Their clinicians lead in developing and managing services, supported by strong links with UK specialists. With a generous study leave budget, doctors are encouraged to pursue further education. Exciting developments include a new general hospital and a new mental health inpatient unit. They foster strong relationships between mental health, primary, and secondary care, promoting joint learning and teaching in their modern education center.

The health service, separate from the NHS, is an integrated, taxation-funded system, free at the point of delivery, managed by the Health and Community Services Department. This is a unique opportunity to help shape an integrated care system with closer political engagement than in the UK.

Department & Team

Medicine in this health service is fully integrated by age and specialty, with three medical wards: . The EAU has a 5-bedded Enhanced Care Area and a separate intensive care unit led by intensivists. The AEC Unit is supported by a SAS doctor and consultants. The department comprises a 16-bed EAU, staffed by 11 consultants, 8 SAS doctors, 7 FY1 doctors, 2 FY2 doctors, and 6 Clinical Fellows, organized into 8 medical teams and the EAU team.

The specialty of Acute Medicine is based within the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU). The service includes a 25-bed Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) featuring 5 enhanced care beds and an Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Unit. The post holder will work across both the AAU and the AEC.

Continued Professional Development

The health service offers further training & accreditation within psychiatry, including CESR Portfolio Pathway Support, access to specialty training, and the opportunity to develop sub-specialist interest. The post holder will have ample opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and experience through attendance at relevant courses, conferences, and locally organized CME events. Health & Community Services supports Continuing Medical Education with time and financial support, offering study leave of 30 days in 3 years, and an annual study leave allowance. 

Life in the area

Living in the area presents significant financial benefits. The flat income tax rate is notably advantageous compared to the U.K., and they provide a generous public sector pension scheme that isn\'t constrained by U.K. lifetime or annual contribution limits. The Consultant Contract closely mirrors the U.K. model but offers higher incremental levels. Incremental progression is automatic from points 1 to 17 on the pay scale based on satisfactory performance, while formal applications are necessary for points 18 to 20.

Am I eligible for this role?

UK based candidates:

•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine

EEA candidates: 
•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine
•    European Specialist Qualification

Non-EEA candidates:
•    MRCP
•    Experience in Acute & General Internal Medicine

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a full-time Consultant in Acute Medicine within this ambitious new medical inpatient model. A leading healthcare provider is seeking a dedicated individual keen on embracing recent technological advances in patient care, contributing to their evolving vision for the future of the multi-specialty medical team. This position offers support for CESR. Join them in shaping the future of acute and general internal medicine in the UK healthcare system.

This is a high performing and supportive department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK-based doctors looking to further careers in the UK.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust, a leading healthcare provider in East Anglia, serves a population of nearly 800,000 residents with hospital and community health services spanning a wide geographical area. Operating two main hospitals in Colchester and Ipswich, alongside six community hospitals, clinics, and home-based care, their extensive network ensures comprehensive healthcare coverage. With a dedicated team of nearly 10,000 staff and an annual budget exceeding £650 million, they are the largest NHS organization in the region.

Committed to delivering exceptional care and enhancing patient experiences, the Trust has allocated £100 million over five years to upgrade hospital facilities, prioritizing optimal environments for both patients and staff. Emphasizing a supportive workplace culture, they offer diverse opportunities for development, innovation, research, education, and training. Their patient-centered philosophy revolves around the value of time, aiming to reduce stress and optimize care delivery while empowering staff to utilize their skills effectively.

What is the department & team like?

The Department of Acute Medicine, nestled within the Division of Medicine, operates as a vital component of their healthcare ecosystem. The team of seven dedicated consultants collaborates within the recently refurbished Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU), equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. With a primary focus on providing efficient and compassionate care for their local community, the department remains committed to adapting and expanding their acute services in response to evolving emergency care strategies.

As a Consultant in Acute Medicine, the successful candidate will play an integral role in their interdisciplinary approach, working closely with Specialty Medicine, Surgery, and Diagnostic Imaging departments to ensure comprehensive assessment processes for all medical emergencies. Effective communication and seamless collaboration with allied health professionals and consultant colleagues within EAU are essential components of their mission to deliver excellence in emergency care.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The Trust supports the consultants with opportunities to support the multi-professional teaching and development along with active participation in teaching programmes for Foundation, IMT, GP, Higher Specialty Training. Consultants on the specialist register will be given autonomy and will freedom to develop their special interests, with access to additional leadership, research and teaching duties available for those that want it. 

All consultants will receive a full induction process and will be involved in clinical audit and governance.

Life in East England

East England offers a diverse landscape, blending urban centers with picturesque countryside. Residents can explore historic landmarks like Cambridge University or unwind in scenic areas like the Norfolk Broads. The region boasts esteemed schools and universities, including the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University. Transportation links are robust, with efficient train services connecting to major cities like London and airports such as Stansted Airport. Housing options range from charming cottages in rural villages to modern apartments in bustling towns, catering to varied preferences and lifestyles. East England provides a perfect balance of urban amenities and rural tranquility.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • European Specialist Qualification 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP or equivalent
  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
99,532 - 131,964
Step into an exciting NHS job opportunity to become an integral part of the NHS Acute Medicine team at this Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. With the Hospital boasting 570 beds and the sister Hospital offering community beds, the trust is a cornerstone of healthcare in the region. The bustling Acute & Emergency Department caters to over 310,000 individuals annually, providing round-the-clock care to 85,000 new patients. Their facilities span a wide range of specialties, ensuring comprehensive medical services, and their recent \'Good\' rating from the CQC underscores their commitment to excellence in care. Join them in shaping the future of healthcare.

This NHS vacancy is ideal for overseas Consultants, Specialist Grades, or Specialty Doctors seeking to establish themselves in the NHS. Suitable for EEA specialists or experienced IMGs aiming for CESR completion.

What is the NHS Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust epitomizes compassion and innovation, dedicated to ensuring optimal patient outcomes and fostering a supportive environment for our staff. Their vision extends to excellence in patient care, community service, and staff satisfaction, making them a premier destination for healthcare, employment, and education. Their hospitals serve a combined population of over 330,000 residents, strategically positioned to meet the evolving healthcare needs of their communities.

One of the NHS Trust\'s main site serves as the epicenter of their emergency and critical care services, alongside women\'s and children\'s health, including maternity care. Their other hospital, on the other hand, specializes in elective procedures and houses an Urgent Treatment Centre, complemented by shared services across both sites and community hubs within their catchment area. Having garnered a \'good\' rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with notable \'outstanding\' attributes, they are on a trajectory toward university hospital status, having achieved teaching hospital status in 2019.

Their diverse workforce, representing over 50 nationalities and comprising nearly 5,000 individuals across both sites, underscores their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. Recognized as a trailblazer in these areas, they strive to maintain an equitable and inclusive environment for all staff, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation.

The Acute Medicine Department and Team

The Acute Medical Unit (AMU) serves as the primary gateway for all medical admissions, with exceptions for those requiring direct admission to specialized units such as ITU, HDU, CCU, or Stroke Unit. Recently reorganized, AMU comprises an Assessment area, an ambulatory area, and short-stay beds with a maximum duration of 48 hours. The unit is staffed by three consultants, who provide flexible coverage throughout the day, gradually reducing to two consultants in the afternoon and one in the evening. A goal is to ensure all patients, barring overnight admissions, are seen by a consultant within 4 hours of arrival, with a further consultant review within 12 hours of admission.

The Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit, inaugurated in July 2022, aligns with national guidelines, facilitating the swift evaluation and management of patients within a single day. The unit, jointly serving surgical and medical specialties, promotes collaborative care. Plans within the initial year involve optimizing patient throughput. Consultants allocate one day per week to the unit, which also offers rapid access Acute Medicine clinics to support early discharge from the Acute Medicine department.

In terms of consultant medical on-call responsibilities, the medical team admits an average of 50 to 75 patients over a 24-hour period. Consultants conduct reviews of medical admissions in the afternoon of their on-call day, commencing with a post-take ward round around 1:30 pm. The following morning, acute physicians review admissions to AMU from the previous evening and overnight, with the on-call consultant attending the 9 am handover and completing reviews of any remaining admissions on outlying wards.

Life in the Cheshire

The area offers a blend of urban convenience and nearby rural escapes, catering to varied lifestyles for doctors. Residents enjoy scenic walks along the rivery or exploring historic landmarks. The area boasts a range of quality schools and accessibility to nearby universities such as the University of Chester. Excellent transportation links via train and bus networks connect the area to neighboring major cities like Liverpool and Manchester, as well as to airports such as Manchester Airport. Housing options range from modern apartments to traditional suburban homes, accommodating diverse preferences.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The NHS Foundation Trust provides a myriad of career development and advancement opportunities for Acute Medicine consultants. Firstly, consultants can benefit from ongoing professional development programs tailored to their specific needs, including access to training courses, workshops, and conferences to enhance clinical skills and knowledge. Additionally, the Trust fosters a culture of innovation and research, encouraging consultants to engage in academic activities, publish papers, and contribute to advancements in the field of Acute Medicine.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist in Acute Medicine

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
99,532 - 131,964

The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust is seeking to appoint a consultant in acute medicine, CESR is supported. You will collaborate closely with acute consultant colleagues in this NHS job, as well as Emergency Department consultants, medical specialties, and AMU staff across each hospital site to provide optimal patient care and ensure the team remain leaders in Acute Medicine. The NHS vacancy is suitable for overseas doctors (IMGs) including candidates who are pursuing CESR Portfolio Pathway. Specialists in Acute Medicine, holding a specialist certification would be suitable for this post, based on experience entering at either Specialty Doctor or Consultant grade. 

Overseas applications from experienced Specialty Doctors and Consultants are welcomed. 

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

The NHS Foundation Trust is a district general hospital trust managing three hospitals. The Trust serves the different towns, delivering a broad range of medical services. They are performing at a good level across their services and continuously provides huge opportunities and benefits to the way they deliver patient care. The Trust focuses on delivering excellent general hospital services, serving a population of approximately 750,000 with the help of more than 9,000 staff members. The hospitals have around 1,100 beds in total, offering services including General Medicine, General Surgery, Neurology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Gynaecology, and Paediatrics.

The Trust achieved foundation status in 2005 and, in October 2020, merged two of its hospitals to create a new organization, establishing one of their hospitals as the emergency care site and another as the planned care site. The Trust remains dedicated to continuous improvement, striving to provide high-quality, patient-centered care across all its facilities.

What is the department & team like?

The Acute Medical Unit (AMU) is a 30-bed assessment and short stay unit for general and acute medical patients, handling approximately 8,000 to 9,000 patients annually. Adjacent to the unit is the Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) area, which includes three clinic rooms and a four-trolley assessment area. The AMU team comprises one ACM SpR, one ACCS trainee, one F1, two Physician Associates, and two F2/3s, along with 10 ANPs for Ambulatory Care (two per day, Monday to Friday, and one on weekends), and a dedicated DVT Band 6 nurses. The on-call medical team is based within the AMU in blocks from Monday to Thursday and Friday to Sunday. This team includes one SpR, one SHO, and one F1.

The Acute Medicine Directorate has experienced rapid change and improvement in its SDEC models over the past year. With new investment, they are looking to build on this progress and continue their transformation journey towards the 2026 Major Emergency Site model, as outlined in the Dorset Clinical Services review. This fixed-term position is to replace a colleague who is leaving, with the expectation that it will become a full-time substantive post. New post holders will be expected to work flexibly across both sites.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.

  • Attractive salary and relocation package
  • Training and development opportunities
  • CESR support for those eligible
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process
Life in the area

Nestled along England\'s picturesque south coast, the area offers a unique blend of urban amenities and coastal charm. Doctors enjoy proximity to both bustling city life and tranquil seaside retreats. Residents indulge in sailing adventures around harbour or stroll along its sandy beaches. The area boasts reputable schools and universities, nurturing young minds for future success. Transportation links are robust, with easy access to neighboring cities like Bournemouth and Southampton, as well as major airports. Housing options range from waterfront apartments to quaint cottages, catering to varied tastes and lifestyles. Poole epitomizes the quintessential coastal living experience.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine
  • Board Certified Specialist

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP
  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in General and Acute Medicine
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
51,000 - 83,000

An outstanding opportunity for motivated and enthusiastic Middle Grade Doctors in General Medicine with medical sub-specialties being considered, such as stroke, neurology, respiratopry, acute and general medicine, gastroenterology and diabetes & endocrine. The trust houses four main hospitals, offering busy, modern & well-equipped departments. This is a great NHS job opportunity suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.


The University Health Board provides healthcare services to a total population of three towns. The Health Board provides Acute, Primary, Community, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services via General and Community Hospitals, Health Centres, GP\'s, Dentists, Pharmacists and Optometrists and other sites. They also provides a range of services for people living in south Gwynedd and Powys. Integrated health boards are a key first step in creating a world class NHS in Wales. The Health Board has 11,000 members of staff provide primary, community, in-hospital, mental health and learning disabilities services for around 384,000 people across a quarter of the landmass of Wales. 

The University Health Board have always aimed to provide safe and timely care for their patients. The Health Board continuously make improvements in order to be better. The Health Board partners with the local government and the third sector to improve local care services and ensure that the right care is provided in the right place, at the right time.

The Health Board shape the identity of their organisation and act as a guiding light for their employees. They aim to be an enjoyable and fulfilling place to work at.


The University Health Board is in an area wherein there are excellent choice of schools and very reasonable property prices while having a picturesque countryside view. Carmarthenshire is home to the Brecon Beacons, National Botanic Gardens of Wales and some of the longest and most beautiful beaches. West Wales provides wonderful lifestyle opportunities.

There are other activities such as climbing and mountain biking, as well as walking, surfing, fishing, sailing and hiking. There are also excellent road and rail connections to London and the larger cities. Wales has a low crime rate and is a safe and friendly place to live and work.


The Health Board has University status with strong links to other Universities to develop and strengthen multi-profession teaching. This initiative programme aims to engage and capture the enthusiasm and commitment of their up and coming clinicians in Wales in addressing Prudent Health Cares. 

They have an 8-room Clinical Research Facility in PPH, with state of the art facilities that opened in 2012 and new initiatives involve BioBanking, EU Lead for telemonitoring at scale and new Clinical Research Fellowships.


EEA Candidates:

  • Board Certified Specialist (desirable)
  • Experience working across / in medicine specialties

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience working across / in medicine specialties
  • Full MRCP UK
  • Eligibility for GMC registration

UK based applicants

  • Experience working across / in medicine specialties
Overseas doctors with interests in entering specialty training programmes and working towards CCT are strongly encouraged to apply for this post in a beautiful region of the UK.

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