At BDI Resourcing we are often asked questions from our doctors about their suitability and the sort of roles that they should be applying to. This series of articles offers some insight in to different hospital departments and how they work, starting with General Medicine and MAU…
The UK healthcare systems is full of interesting nuances which are often aligned differently to other systems around the world. One such difference which has emerged over recent years is the development of Medical Assessment Units (MAU) which are only really common place in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
MAU departments are short stay wards in hospitals which are usually very closely linked with A&E or Emergency Medicine departments, however they usually function as a completely separate entity. The departments deal with emergency medical issues as well as GP referrals and act quickly to assess a patient’s requirements before sending them in the correct direction. Patients will usually undergo tests, minor treatments or be stabilised before they can either be discharged or eventually admitted to the relevant medical ward for further treatment or surgical procedures. Patients can be moved from the Emergency Department to MAU, but only new admissions will be accepted and wards wouldn’t refer candidates back to MAU.
The department will usually be made up of Emergency Medicine, General Medicine and Critical Care Consultants with Registrars from the same specialisms. Since these departments are quite unique in their setup it is often the case that specialist doctors from overseas either overlook applications to them or simply misconceive their value in such departments. A prime example of this comes from doctors who treat medical patients in an Emergency Medicine Department, Emergency Room or A&E setting who go on to apply for A&E roles in the UK when their skill set may well be much better suited to MAU. Equally, CCU and ICU doctors from some parts of the world work on similar MAU style departments, however the names of these specialisms in the UK are usually interpreted as Anaesthetists or Intensivists leading doctors to apply to the wrong type of roles.
Recent census data from the Royal College of Physicians tells us that the demand for doctors in MAU departments, particularly as Specialist Trainees and Consultants, continues to grow across the UK as the increasing healthcare demands of the population, pressure to offer 7 day services and social factors far outweigh the expansion of the medical workforce. In fact, 40% of Consultant appointments are unable to be filled and the number of speciality trainees has fallen so much that 10% of Consultants are acting down in more junior roles and a further 30% have acted down as a one off.
For these reasons many departments are looking to overseas recruitment as a sustainable long term investment and are particularly interested in speaking to candidates who are currently going through or have already completed their MRCP qualifications. It is a very exciting time to join the NHS and the prospects for doctors from around the world remain incredibly good.