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Are you an overseas psychiatrist looking to move to the UK? Have you always wanted to hear first-hand the experiences of an international psychiatrist who has been through the process, from receiving full 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 Francesco Spadaro, a brilliant consultant psychiatrist who relocated to the UK from Italy. Francesco has been living and working in the UK after receiving full GMC with specialist registration. He is now working in the NHS at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, where he is making a positive impact on the service and the wider community. Tell us about yourself - what should the IMG community know about Francesco Spadaro? My work is my passion. I really love the clinical aspect of it, especially talking with patients. I enjoy trying to help my patients as much as I can and giving them a hope in trying to improve their clinical condition. No matter who they are, where they come from, or how serious is their disorder may be. At the same time, studying and looking at how the mind works has always been such an important part of my life. What motivated you to move to the UK? I was very keen to move to the UK. London is such a special place and completely unique in my opinion. The city is so open and inclusive and really encourages you to get involved in so many ways. This was a really big motivating factor for me. Was Brexit an issue for you at all? It was definitely something to consider, but I was lucky enough to be able to anticipate my leave at my previous job in order to avoid any potential Brexit complications. How did you find a general adult psychiatry job within the NHS? I personally found IMG Connect to be a great help on this. The team really encouraged me with lots of advice and suggestions on how I could tailor my CV to specific roles I was applying to. Most importantly, they really listened and took into consideration all of my needs and difficulties. They go far beyond any of the simple questions you may have for them and cover all angles, including things you may not have considered yourself! Tell us about a day in the life of an international General Adult Psychiatrist. I work in a secondary care, Community Services facility. We work in teams which cover several boroughs and are led by a senior practitioner, ans supported by health professionals with a range of expertise: nurses, social workers, support workers, psychologists and NGO volunteers. We start each day with an MDT (multi-disciplinary team meeting) where we discuss our first assessments, feedback and cases with cause for concern. The great thing about these meetings is that we're all equally involved - everyone participates, sharing knowledge specific to their experience and role. Consultants are involved in the most severe cases. They will also have slots where they will supervise trainee GPs and junior doctors. We also have lots of meetings throughout the week: scientific meetings, journal clubs and meetings concerning the organisation. Sometimes it feels like there are too many meetings, but I'm still getting used to the differences between the UK and Italian healthcare systems. Tell us about your journey to the UK... It was really quick! Once I'd passed had my interview and been offered the job, I just organised my affairs and hopped on the plane. Of course COVID-19 complicated things, but that was the case for everyone in almost every country at the time. What has been your experience working with IMG Connect? My experience with IMG Connect has been excellent. They carefully listened to my needs and requests and were always able to offer me appropriate jobs along my requests. They also prepared me in coping with any type of difficulties I would face in regards to relocation to London and my new role in the NHS. They were such a solid presence throughout this process for me and were always there to offer support, both before I had the job and afterwards. Within the IMG Connect team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ruaihdri MacKay in particular, who is an excellent professional recruitment consultant. He was a wealth of guidance, advice and support for me during, and also after, my entire recruitment and relocation. He showed what I consider a unique commitment, dedication and foresight and completely kept me at ease with his justified optimism and knowlegde of the steps in my journey. I was really lucky to have him on my side. How are you settling into life in the UK? Things were a little difficult to begin with due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but things have really eased and I'm enjoying living here. What’s next for you now that you’re working in the UK? At the moment I'm still settling in, learning a lot about the UK's system and procedures. Once things have settled a little more for me, I'd like to see whether I can incorporate some teaching or lecturing work into my career path in the UK. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in moving to the UK? One of the challenges I've faced has been finding really affordable housing, but this was expected in moving to such a large and popular city as London. Have you experienced any culture shocks living in the UK? I wouldn't consider it so much of a cultural shock, instead I'm pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of people. It really is a special experience that connects you to cultures and people all over the world. What have you missed about Italy the most? Most of all, I miss the lifelong friends I've made in Italy. Do you have any tips or advice for international doctors who want to move to the UK? I would just say, do it. Take a chance and live the experience! 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.
Are you an overseas Psychiatrist looking to move to the UK? Have you always wanted to hear first-hand the experiences of an international Psychiatrist who has been through the process, from completing their MRCPsych exams to GMC registration, and from securing an NHS job to 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 Kevin Li, a brilliant psychiatry specialty doctor who relocated to the UK from Hong Kong in 2021. Having passed the MRCPsych and English language exams, Kevin received full GMC registration with license to practise. He is now working in the NHS at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust in the north of England – where he is making a fantastic impact on the service and wider community. What motivated you to move to the UK? Psychiatrists are in demand in the UK and Hong Kong psychiatrists who have years of experiences would be very much welcomed to work in the country. With some NHS Trusts there is also a well-established CESR program to help overseas psychiatrists with MRCPsych to attain specialist registration. Specialist registration in the UK is also well recognised in a lot of other English speaking countries. Tell us about your journey through the Royal College of Psychiatry exams… I had completed my specialist training in Hong Kong quite some time ago. I only decided to sit the MRCPsych exams last year. Due to the pandemic, all exams were conducted online which actually facilitated a lot of Hong Kong doctors to sit for the exams. Having always been involved in training and supervision of junior psychiatrists, it helped me a lot to keep myself updated with the knowledge and skills required for sitting examinations. Do you have any tips or advice for overseas doctors who are currently working towards MRCPsych? For the MCQ based paper A and B, it is important to set aside time for some intensive studying before the exam as a lot of the knowledge asked would not come up in everyday work. It is also important to pay attention to minute details in each topic which would often come up in the exams. For CASC exams, it would be useful to form a study group with colleagues and have practice sessions together, as well as watching demonstration videos (such as some paid online courses) to learn the skill required to pass type of different stations. Time management (7 minutes) to complete the tasks in each station is also crucial. How did you manage to navigate and juggle the different aspects of registration whilst working full time? For overseas doctors having attained MRCPsych, registration with the GMC is fairly straightforward after taking an English proficiency exam, which should not be too difficult if one received medical education in English. However as the GMC closes an application if it could not be completed within 90 days, I found it important to have all the documents ready prior to submitting the application, especially letter of good standings, further proof of qualification and training from the university faculty which took time to be prepared. Did you have any major or unexpected issues with the GMC registration process or your visa application? There had been no major difficulties in terms of the registration. The HR team and IMG connect have been in constant touch with me to see what my needs are and accommodate my relocation schedule. How did you find a general adult psychiatry job within the NHS? For Hong Kong doctors coming to the UK, it is better to look for job openings that specifically states that IMG applicants are welcome. It would usually take IMGs quite a while to adapt to the system in the NHS and it is important that the Trust would give time for induction and support for IMGs during the initial phrase when they start their job. It is also good to keep one’s mindset open to offers in locations that might not be the most popular at first look. Posts in popular locations such as Greater London or Greater Manchester are usually a lot more competitive and the support provided to IMGs could be less sometimes. It would also be a good opportunity to experience life in the UK out of the usual few big cities. There are always opportunities to move to another place after gaining experiences working in the UK. Tell us about a day in the life of an international General Adult Psychiatrist, newly started in the NHS… As a specialty doctor with the MRCPsych qualification, one is expected to take an active role in the MDT team with the support of the Consultant, for example on deciding on medications, deriving a care package with other stakeholders. There is a strong focus on mental health legal and human rights compliance in the field of psychiatry, as well as adherence to treatment guidelines in the UK. Some doctors may need certain time to adjust to such differences in practice from their home countries. There are junior doctors who can readily assist with physical problems of patients, which might make it easier for an Hong Kong psychiatry specialist to adapt after years of working in psychiatric setting only. What was your journey like to the UK during a period of COVID-19 restrictions? I arrived at a time when restrictions were gradually easing. It was very easy to arrange mandatory COVID tests according to the government requirements. Most hotels or airbnbs would welcome arrivals into the UK to be used as self-isolation. What has been your experience working with IMG Connect? I had received excellent support from IMG connect in terms of securing a job offer that suits my level and experiences, as well as advising on the career prospect and negotiating an attractive numeration package. The IMG connect team also gave me a lot of useful suggestions about finding accommodation in a suitable area close to work. Most importantly they have excellent communication with the HR team in the Trust, which makes formalizing the offer and completing the necessary paper works much easier. 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.
Are you a psychiatrist from Hong Kong looking to live and work in the UK? Do you want to know how to find the best jobs working in the NHS? To be eligible to work in the NHS, psychiatrists from Hong Kong must have full GMC registration – this requires completion of the Royal College of Psychiatry exams (MRCPSych), as well as an English language exam. From our experience, the majority of Hong Kongers are either aware of the Royal College of Psychiatry exams or have already completed these as part of their specialist psychiatrist training - great news you are more than halfway there! If you are unsure about the requirements for MRCPsych, you can find an overview of MRCPsych here and get in touch to discuss in more detail. With recent experience of working with Hong Kong Psychiatrists on their journey to the UK, we thought that we’d share a few snippets of information to help get you started. As a Hong Kong doctor, where do I fit into the NHS? Psychiatrists from Hong Kong are a great fit for the NHS. And no matter what specialist training or specialist interest in psychiatry you have experience with, our NHS clients would consider you to be a high calibre candidate. Why? The training in Hong Kong is thorough, highly regarded here in the UK amongst 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 specialisms in psychiatry, including general adult, child and adolescent, old age, perinatal, forensic, liaison, substance misuse & addictions, eating disorders, learning and intellectual disabilities. What kind of jobs can I find in the UK? This all depends on your experience in Hong Kong. Whilst there are a lot of similarities between our two healthcare systems, there are also a lot of differences too. MRCPsych typically qualifies candidates to take specialty doctor or middle grade posts. Think of it as like the FHKCPsych and the accompanying Fellowship of FHKAM (Psychiatry) examinations. NHS clients will look out for your experience and training combined in order to work out what level you will start in. However, before you can work as a consultant, there are a few certifications that you will need to achieve when in the UK, namely Section 12, Approved Clinician (AC) and CESR. For consultant psychiatrists who have already completed their specialist training in psychiatry in Hong Kong, you can enter the NHS as either a Specialty Doctor, or Specialist Grade, and in some cases as a consultant (dependent on experience & NHS Client). If starting in a specialist position, the aim here is that you will receive support to complete the aforementioned certifications in the UK, before quickly moving to a consultant post – this will be agreed before your arrival in the UK. There is demand in all areas of psychiatry, covering all grades. 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, and we will arrange an informal chat with you to discuss your job options in full. Where can I find NHS jobs in psychiatry? You can get full access to the most recent psychiatry job postings straight to your inbox through IMG Connect. The latest NHS psychiatry jobs cover clinical settings from inpatient and outpatient to community services. With just a few clicks, you can create an account and customise job preferences to receive email alerts, whether you are a consultant, SHO, resident trainee or specialty doctor. 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. Can I get access to CESR? Our experience tells us that CESR is a fantastic option for Hong Kong Psychiatrists joining the NHS. So far, we have found that the quickest route for psychiatrists has been to secure a Specialist Grade or Specialty Doctor post, with CESR support. This route will ensure access to a broad range of UK experience helping you to build your evidence for a future CESR application. It can be a little confusing, so the best advice here is to speak to us about your options for CESR and how best to prepare for a future application. What if I haven’t taken MRCPsych? There are two routes to GMC registration for overseas psychiatrists, PLAB and MRCPsych. Whilst MRCPsych can be more time consuming and expensive, our advice is that it is well and truly worth the investment – especially for more experienced psychiatrists. Clients look out for it, and your CV will be moved to the top of the pile. The MRCPsych exams can now be taken online. Sample questions as well as information about how the three parts are marked are available on the MRCPsych website and can be accessed here. We have also created a detailed guide to MRCPsych for international doctors which you can find on our website here: MRCPsych – a Guide for Overseas Psychiatry Doctors For more information about the online MRCPsych exams, click here. How do I register with the GMC? Once both the MRCPsych and English exams 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 licenses, 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. What visa will I need? BN(O) or Tier 2? 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 is a challenge 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. What are the next steps? 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. Get in touch with us or register below. We hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in your search!
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.
It is a good idea for all international doctors new to working in the UK to attend a workshop, course or training programme aimed at helping doctors understand the ethical challenges faced in UK practice. We advise all IMGs to take part in the GMC workshop - 'Welcome to UK Practice' In this short article we will explore why, focusing on the GMCs ‘Welcome to UK Practice’ training programme. The NHS relies on overseas doctors to deliver the highest quality of healthcare, and so are now taking extra steps to ensuring that they are addressing some of the vital aspects of settling into the system that have perhaps been missed in the past, and that other healthcare systems perhaps don’t offer. As such the GMC have considered the following questions: how to provide a better induction so that doctors can practice safely how do we help doctors to work to a different set of social norms, such as when dealing with confidentiality and consent how do we ensure that overseas doctors have a successful first year in the NHS In doing so they have established the free training programme ‘Welcome to UK Practice’, which is designed to help doctors adjust and adapt to work in the UK, and subsequently the NHS. It addresses the fact that there can be differences in practicing medicine across the world, as well as the time it can take to adjust to a new culture at work. It offers practical workshops and guidance through ethical scenarios, as well as the opportunity to work with and meet other IMGs coming to practice in the UK. The GMC also offer workshops designed to guide doctors with their practice, covering topics such as confidentiality, raising a concern, use of social media, consent & making joint decisions, and leadership & management. We recommend attending the ‘Welcome to UK Practice’ course before you start working in the UK Or the very least just after you start your new post in the NHS. Not only will this give you a boost in terms of how to approach your new role, working with peers, senior colleagues and patients, but it will also give you a chance to discuss your concerns with doctors in similar situations. It is a great forum and platform for a successful first year in the NHS. IMG Jobs Search and find live NHS doctor jobs in the UK IMG Resources Read more useful articles on finding an NHS trust doctor job, pay scales & doctor’s salary in the UK, relocation and much more! Get in Touch Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) to discuss doctor job options in the NHS, including discussions regarding a typical doctor salary in the UK and the most suitable hospital locations for you.
One of the main reasons that overseas doctors want to work in the Emergency Medicine departments across the UK, is the excellent opportunity for access to training such as the Specialist Training Programme, career progression, including CESR, and sub-specialty development. This short article provides useful information on the training and development available, how to access the training, the best route to becoming a consultant in the UK with entry to the specialist register, no matter what stage of your training. Emergency Medicine Training, leading to CCT We start with an overview of the Emergency Medicine Training in the NHS. Trainees may enter the emergency medicine training programme via: The EM (Emergency Medicine) core training programme at ST1. This is a three-year core training programme (starting from ST1 and ending at ST3). For the first two years, trainees will spend 6 months in EM, Intensive Care Medicine, Anaesthetics and Acute Medicine. This is followed by a further year in trauma and paediatric EM. The start of specialty training (ST4-6) subject to having achieved the necessary competences required for completion of ST3. Once ST6 is completed, then a doctor will be added to the specialist register for medicine and hold the title of CCT. This means that they can apply for and practice at a consultant level in the NHS. CESR For senior Emergency Medicine doctors (experienced specialty doctors, consultants and heads of departments) there is also the option of CESR. You can apply directly for CESR from overseas, or secure a post in the NHS with CESR support and complete your application in the UK. This is a good option for those wanting to take up their first role in the NHS as a speciality doctor (leading to consultant) or as a locum consultant. Applying from abroad can be lengthy, and it is certainly not the quickest route towards specialist registration. Most IMGs prefer to secure a post with CESR support, so speak to your IMG Consultant to learn more about the best route to the UK for senior doctors seeking consultant jobs in Emergency Medicine. Most senior Emergency Medicine job vacancies advertised will offer support with CESR, access to training and career progression, and senior managers will encourage you to develop your own professional interests. Emergency medicine departments in the NHS are particularly supportive of doctors seeking to develop both personally and professionally. To find out what jobs are on offer take a look here. If you think that a Specialty Doctor post with CESR support is suited to you, or if you are a consultant or head of department, then you can find out more information here. For further advice on how to secure the right job for you in the NHS, take a look at our the following article. IMG Jobs Search and find live emergency medicine NHS doctor jobs in the UK IMG Resources Read more useful articles on finding an NHS trust doctor jobs, doctor salary & relocation for emergency medicine specialists Get in Touch Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) to see what Emergency Medicine job opportunities there are for you, including access to CESR support, Core and Specialty training.
The NHS offers extensive training schemes and career development for all of its doctors, and such programmes are recognised as a gold standard across the medical world. Training in the NHS is always in keeping with advances in medical sciences and the progressive landscape of the medical profession, including the more complex ailments of a growing and ageing population. The NHS frequently updates and develops its training programmes, making them attractive to UK graduates and doctors, as well as overseas doctors seeking the very best training. In this article we will cover the following topics: Why is it important for IMGs to understand the NHS Training Pathway? The NHS Training Pathway From Graduation to Foundation Training Specialty Training Programmes Different types of Specialty Training programmes Uncoupled specialty training programmes Run-through Training Programmes Completion of Specialty Training Programme Should I apply for a training or service post? As an IMG can I get onto the specialist register? How do I secure a service post? With the view to securing training at a later date. Why is it important for IMGs to understand the NHS Training Pathway? Most IMGs looking to move to the UK will be keen to enter into UK Specialty Training at some point, and as such it is important to understand the UK training pathway from start to finish in order to map your NHS career effectively. Furthermore, greater understanding of the NHS structure and training offered to doctors in the UK will help an IMG to understand at what grade they can likely enter the system. The NHS Training Pathway The NHS Training Pathway is the term given to the journey from medical school to completion of GP or specialist training and is the path most commonly followed by UK trainees. From Graduation to Foundation Training Upon graduation from a medical school, doctors gain provisional registration with the GMC allowing them to enter the Foundation Programme - a two-year work-based training programme. Upon completion of the first year (FY1) doctors will gain full registration with the GMC and can apply for further study and training in a specialised area – known as Specialty Training. Specialty Training Programmes Completion of the Foundation Programme allows doctors to apply for Specialty Training in an area of medicine or general practice. There are 60 different specialties to choose from. A doctor entering year one of Specialty Training is known as an ST1 doctor. Specialty Training programmes can take between three and eight years depending on the specialism chosen. Doctors can pass through the training quicker depending on how fast they achieve their competencies. However, rarely do doctors complete the training pathways in the indicated time for a variety of reasons. On average the training takes between 1 - 4 years longer than indicated in the curricula. Different types of Specialty Training Programmes There are a number of different types of Specialty Training programmes, which are different for each specialty. Uncoupled Specialty Training Programmes These programmes split into Core Training and Higher Specialty Training. Core Training lasts for either two or three years and once complete, allows you to apply for Higher Specialty Training, which can take between 3 – 5 years. Overall, Specialty Training programmes can take between 5 – 8 years in their entirety, depending on your medical specialty. Doctors will be known as ST1-3 during their Core Training and ST4-6/7/8 level during Higher Specialty Training programmes. Higher Specialty Training programmes are very competitive, and completion of Core Training does not guarantee a Higher Specialty Training post. It is worth noting that in August 2019 the core medical training programme will be replaced by the Internal Medicine Training Programme, described as ‘a new training model designed to equip doctors with skills and confidence to lead on the care of patients in general ward and acute care settings’. Run-through Training Programmes For these training programmes you only have to apply once, at the beginning of the programme, as you are recruited for the full duration of Specialty Training. They can last from approximately three years for general practice, to five or seven for other specialties. Completion of Specialty Training Programme Upon successful completion of either a run-through or coupled training programme doctors are awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). At this point doctors are entered onto the specialist register (or GP Register) and are recognised as a consultant. Should I apply for a training or service post? As above, competition for places on training posts within the NHS is highly competitive. As such for IMGs interested in securing a place on a training post in the NHS, we advise that IMGs obtain a service post for 1 – 2 years. Following this contract you can apply for a training post, for which you will be given priority. Not only will this approach give you the best chance of securing excellent training and career progression opportunities in the NHS, it will also give you the chance to settle in to the UK, get to know your trust better, and help you understand the training post that will suit you the most. Service posts also offer very competitive rates, so whilst you are getting to know the NHS and settling into life in the UK, you can also ensure that you are financially rewarded. As an IMG can I get onto the specialist register? IMGs that enter the UK training programmes later on and have not completed the full programme can still get on the specialist register via the CESR route (Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration) Check to see if you're eligible via the GMC website or read through our overview on CESR and eligibility for CESR. How do I secure work as a trust doctor? With the view to securing a training post at a later date. You can apply for Trust doctor or service roles online via the NHS Jobs website. However, working with IMG Connect can offer more jobs than are available online with the added benefit of an IMG Consultant speaking directly with services on your behalf to expedite the process and negotiate the best doctor salary for you. IMG Jobs Search and find live NHS doctor jobs in the UK IMG Resources Read more useful articles on finding an NHS trust doctor job, pay scales & doctor’s salary in the UK, relocation and much more! Get in Touch Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) to discuss doctor job options in the NHS, including discussions regarding a typical doctor salary in the UK and the most suitable hospital locations for you.
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