Working with IMG Connect – Dr Rehan Qureshi's Journey to the UK

  • November 05, 2021
 

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.  

A specialty doctor’s journey to the UK

When I was first contacted by Marcus at IMG Connect about an NHS general medicine specialty doctor job opportunity at Scarborough General Hospital, I was a little nervous about where to start, and what lay ahead. We were moving from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which is a very lively city, and I was going to quit my permanent job to relocate to the UK. I have always been keen to work for the NHS, but I wasn’t sure what it’d be like to start my first NHS job in a small coastal town. What would the hospital be like? How would I be treated? Would it be wet and dark like you hear about online? Would the hospital be supportive in my career progression, or would I be simply thrown into the wards to struggle? As an ethnic Muslim minority, would we struggle to find Asian, vegetarian and Halal foods and mosques? All these questions were going through my mind, and after working through these together with Marcus and the team at IMG Connect, and with only a few more fears remaining, I decided to take up the challenge and proceed.  

 

"Ruaidhri put in so much effort to turn this impossible task into reality for me."

 

During my recruitment process, the biggest challenge was getting my mother’s visa. This was absolutely crucial for me as my mother has always lived with us and is such an important member of our household. We have also been her primary carers. Ruaidhri at IMG Connect put in so much effort to turn this impossible task into reality for me. During the process, it was a real team effort from IMG, and I’m also thankful to the MP for Scarborough and Whitby who responded to Ruaidhri’s request and supported our efforts in this matter. Needless to say, my mother is now very happy and settled into life in Scarborough!  

The hospital was also very supportive and did not push me to start by any given date. They were very accommodating and gave me ample time to sort out my relocation process. While some of the other international doctors I knew were struggling to travel before the deadlines set by their NHS trusts, I never felt this pressure. I was supported throughout, knew where to turn for answers and ultimately it was such a big relief that my mother was able to come with us. 

When we arrived at London Heathrow Airport, the UK was in a lockdown due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. We had to quarantine on our arrival, and during this time, we were very well taken care of. Our groceries were paid for, and Ruaidhri checked in with us often to see how we were and if we ever needed anything. All my queries were promptly answered by Ruaidhri and the hospital’s recruitment team. 

The very next working day after our arrival in the UK, I received an email from the medical recruitment team at Scarborough General Hospital, and the process for opening my bank account was promptly initiated. I know a number of people who have also struggled with opening their first bank account in the UK, however mine was just set up for me by the recruitment team, who put me in touch with the bank representative. All I had to do was visit the branch for 15 minutes for an ID check once our quarantine had finished and everything was set up!  

At work, I found everybody to be very helpful. I received a tremendous amount of help as I struggled to get used to the new system. Whenever I got stuck somewhere, there was always someone to offer a helping hand by my side.  

Initially we struggled with accommodation - finding suitable housing in Scarborough was challenging, especially when we had no previous tenancy history in the UK. However, with some help we were able to get our first accommodation which was a lovely fully furnished apartment. We enjoyed our stay there for a month before moving to a long-term let property.  

There are two types of institutions, I believe: those that hire people, use them and lose them, and those that hire people, explore their interests and goals, help them progress in their careers as per their interests and preferences, and turn them into effective and happy members of staff. Scarborough Hospital is definitely the latter. Very soon after I started, my consultant sat with me and discussed my goals and personal development plan. I had always been interested in teaching, so he presented me with a number of teaching opportunities in the area. I received great support from him in my career development and with his support, I was appointed an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Hull York Medical School within only 2 months of my joining. Not only this, but he assured me of his full support in my career progression, which is very encouraging for me. When I meet other IMG doctors in the hospital, the thing that is quite noticeable among them is a great deal of professional satisfaction, no matter what grade they are working at. 

Scarborough Hospital has a very friendly, multicultural environment and people work together with mutual respect and support for one another. Scarborough Hospital implements and fully supports the SAS charter of NHS and provides every possible opportunity to SAS doctors for their career progression and growth.  

As a town, Scarborough is a lovely place to live in. It’s beautiful, peaceful, lively and even at night, the streets are very well lit, and the town is not dark or dead at all. It has all the amenities to cater for a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and we faced NO difficulty whatsoever at finding some Asian, vegetarian and Halal food to eat. We also love Scarborough’s local fish ‘n’ chips!  

Scarborough has plenty of entertainment options for children. A forest on one side, seacoast on the other. Boating, hiking, cycling, parks, children’s train ride, the sea life aquarium, and castles with so much more to explore.  

The town also has an Islamic centre where prayers are regularly offered. At the hospital, there are separate prayer rooms for both males and females, as well as a Chapel where Friday prayers are offered. I was very impressed when I first saw the Chapel being offered for prayers, which is a great gesture of inter-faith harmony at the hospital.  

"I am immensely thankful to Marcus and Ruaidhri"

I am glad that I made the decision to come to Scarborough. It is a wonderful place to live, and people are genuinely nice and welcoming. Scarborough General Hospital is an excellent place to work. We got settled here very quickly and we have fallen in love with this place. My family and I are enjoy living here and have started to consider Scarborough our new home. 

I am immensely thankful to Marcus and Ruaidhri at IMG connect and everyone else who played a role in my recruitment, relocation, and induction processes. I really appreciate all their efforts to make the entire process as swift and smooth as possible for us – they gave me the confidence to move to the UK with my family to work as a general medicine specialty doctor in the NHS. 


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.   

 

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.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

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.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

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.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

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.

WHAT IS THE HEALTH BOARD LIKE? 

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.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN THE REGION?

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.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU?

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.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

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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