Histopathology Jobs in the UK – a guide for Hong Kong pathologists
Are you a histopathologist from Hong Kong looking to live and work in the UK? Do you want to know how to find the best jobs for overseas pathologists in the NHS?
With recent experience of working with Hong Kong Pathologists on their journey to the UK, we thought that we’d share a few snippets of information to help get you started.
In this blog we will cover the following topics:
Skip ahead to the relevant section if you know what you’re looking for.
Requirements to work in the UK
To be eligible to work in the NHS, histopathologists from Hong Kong must have full GMC registration – this requires completion of the Royal College of Pathologists exams in the relevant specialty I.e. histopathology (FRCPath), as well as an English language exam and Certificate of Good Standing (CGS).
From our experience, the majority of Hong Kongers are either aware of the UK Royal College exams or have already completed these as part of their specialist pathology training, so great news - you are more than likely already halfway there!
If you are unsure about the requirements for FRCPath, you can find an overview of FRCPath Histopathology here.
How Hong Kong Pathologists fit into the NHS
Pathologists from Hong Kong are a great fit for the NHS. And no matter your specialist training or sub-specialty interest in within histopathology, our NHS clients would consider you to be a high calibre candidate. Why? The training in Hong Kong is thorough and highly regarded here in the UK among NHS clients.
If you are not sure about how your experience will translate to working in the NHS, then we are here to help - IMG Connect are experienced working with all areas of sub-specialty within pathology, across all major organ sites.
Senior Histopathology Jobs in the NHS
This all depends on the experience and qualifications you gained in Hong Kong. Whilst there are a lot of similarities between our two healthcare systems, there are also a lot of differences too.
Attaining full FRCPath demonstrates the ability to report on cases and as such typically qualifies candidates to work independently as consultants in the UK. Think of it as like the FHKCPath and the accompanying Fellowship of FHKAM (Pathology) examinations.
NHS clients will look out for your experience and training combined with this postgraduate qualification in order to work out what level you will start at.
For consultant histopathologists who have already completed their anatomical pathology specialist training in Hong Kong, you will most likely enter the NHS as a locum consultant or in other senior positions such as Specialty Doctor (SAS), or Specialist Grade. This is generally up to the NHS Client, although, if starting in a specialist position, the aim here is that you will receive support to acclimatise to the UK system, in order to quickly work towards a consultant post. This will be agreed before your arrival in the UK.
There is demand in all areas of histopathology, particularly at the consultant level. So, it is important to understand where you fit into the NHS, and we would be delighted to guide you through the process. Send in your CV or register with us through the buttons above or below, and we will arrange an informal chat with you to discuss your job options in full.
Finding NHS Histopathology Jobs
You can get full access to the most recent histopathology job postings straight to your inbox through IMG Connect.
The latest NHS pathology jobs cover general histopathology and cytology, as well as a number specialised or part-specialised posts where you may report one anatomical area extensively, or perhaps 2-3 areas. With just a few clicks, you can create an account and customise job preferences to receive email alerts on job that suit your professional and personal needs.
Sign up here to receive up-to-date information on NHS jobs which you can tailor to your job preferences and receive straight to your inbox.
CESR for Hong Kong Pathologists
As the UK FRCPath qualification is not commonly taken during the Hong Kong residency programme, CESR presents itself as a more favourable option for some.
CESR is a big process that involves submitting around 800 - 1000 pages of verified evidence that you’ll need to gather from the last 5-6 years of clinical practice, either in the UK or overseas.
Given the Hong Kong Royal College of Pathologists' curriculum is so closely aligned with the UK’s Royal College, pathologists from Hong Kong are actually some of the best primed to attain Specialist Registration via CESR, without working in the UK first.
Whether it’s quicker to complete FRCPath, or to prepare a CESR application directly from Hong Kong, entirely depends on your background and experience. With that in mind, if you want to understand more, please send across a copy of your CV to our team and we can talk you through your options.
For a detailed guide on CESR for histopathologists, see our IMG Resources library.
Routes to the UK for Hong Kong Pathologists
The standard test of knowledge in the Histopathology curriculum in the UK is FRCPath Histopathology, although you do not need this to register with the GMC.
There are four main routes to the UK for Hong Kong pathologists:
The differences between these routes can be best understood through our explainer blog here.
Essentially, whilst FRCPath can be more time-consuming and expensive than other routes, our advice is that it is well and truly worth the investment – histopathology is a consultant-led specialty in the UK and therefore FRCPath Histopathology opens up many more opportunities (particularly for more experienced pathologists) than alternatives such as PLAB or Sponsorship.
Clients look out for FRCPath, and combined with your experience, this will move your CV to the top of the pile.
As discussed above, although Hong Kong histopathology training is well aligned with the UK system, CESR can either be an easier or more arduous route to GMC Registration depending on your level of experience.
CESR = Specialist Registration and FRCPath = General Registration
If you would like to pursue the CESR route and would like to know more about pathology jobs that offer CESR support, do get in touch.
If you are just beginning your journey through the FRCPath Histopathology exams, please see our blog here for an overview of the exams.
We also have an online IMG Histopathologists community on Facebook which as well as providing support and resources on FRCPath, also offers guidance on GMC registration and other aspects of relocating to and working in the UK.
How to Register with the GMC
Once all the necessary components for GMC registration have been completed, Hong Kong IMGs can then apply for full GMC registration with license to practice.
There are further checks involved in the registration process, such as verification of medical degrees, however these are steps that will be taken care of with your IMG Connect recruitment specialist.
However, if you’d like to learn more about these processes, you can find information in our blog breaking down the steps to GMC registration for overseas doctors here.
Visas for Hong Kong Doctors
Honk Kong residents with British National (overseas) status can apply to travel to the UK to live for up to five years with dependent family members, through the British National (Overseas) visa.
You also have the option of securing a Skilled Worker visa, or Health & Care visa to give the most recent term. We know that securing a visa in Hong Kong can be challenging at the moment, so if you think that the Health & Care Visa is a good option for you, don’t hesitate to connect with us to discuss your options.
For a detailed guide to your visa options as a Hong Kong doctor, you can read our blog discussing the differences between the Tier 2 Skilled Worker and BNO visas here.
We are here to help with all questions, big or small, whether you are starting out on your journey or ready to look explore jobs. Register below or get in touch to speak with one of our dedicated histopathology recruiters.
We hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in your search!
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