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How to successfully pass your IELTS exam

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 11, 2019

To register with the GMC, you are required to obtain an average of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7 in each category) in IELTS. Or you could obtain a Grade B or above in OET. To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, you are required to obtain an average of 4 in each section. Alternatively, if your primary medical degree was taught in English you could use UKNARIC as evidence of your English language skills. How to successfully pass IELTS There are various ways to prepare for your IELTS exam and each individual person has a preferred revision technique to support their learning. However, we wanted to share some top tips to help you ensure that you successfully pass your IELTS exam. Tip #1 – Focus on building up your fundamental English language skills A common mistake international doctors make is to rush into booking their exam with not much preparation. It is important to remember that the IELTS exam is skill-based, not knowledge-based and this means that each IELTS exam will contain different questions asking you to evidence your skills within completely different topics. Therefore, before booking your exam you should ensure that you are confident in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. If you find your English language skills are lacking in one particular area it may be a good idea to find an English language tutor or take a course. The more English becomes natural to you, the more likely you are to pass the IELTS test. Tip#2 When improving your English – use authentic materials whenever possible A useful way to improve your English language skills is to read authentic materials. For example, you could visit BBC News Articles daily as their website offers interesting news stories, reports, interviews with a global focus. Another useful way to improve your English language skills on the go is to listen to songs or podcasts and watch YouTube videos. The more you read or listen to English, the more natural it will be to you! Tip #3 – Don’t memorise English, learn it It is tempting to look at example essay answers and memorise them, however, this will only hinder you in the exam. The IELTS questions change every exam sitting and so you could be asked about ANY topic. From the environment to transportation. Try and learn the language rather than memorise answers for the exam. This way, you are less likely to make a mistake because your answers are not based on memory, but skill. Tip #4 Learn the exam format Ensure you understand the exam format and so you will not be confused and overwhelmed when you first open the paper in the exam hall. Tip #5 – Mock exams Leading on from tip 4, it is wise to sit a few mock exams. Once you feel confident with your revision, you should frequently test yourself within a 2 hours and 45-minute time frame, replicating the exam day. This will allow you to know what it feels like to complete the four different tests consecutively. At the end of your mock exam, you can mark yourself to see what areas you struggled with the most and then put more revision time into that area. Tip #6 – Make sure that you answer all of the questions During the exam, you may feel overwhelmed and so it is important to go through the paper, check and double check if you have answered all of the questions. This way you will not accidentally miss out on a large portion of marks. Join our Facebook Group – IMG Advisor Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs. Are you looking to relocate to the UK? Send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch.

Overview of FRCPath Haematology

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 09, 2019

FRCPath The Fellowship of Royal College of Pathologist exams are broken into sub-specialty exams. In this post, we provide you with an overview of the FRCPath Haematology exam. Including exam fees, eligibility, exam formats, topics covered and tips on successfully passing. Haematology The FRCPath Haematology exam is designed to test the doctor’s knowledge, skills and behaviour within Haematology. Please note, if you train through the UK system then you will also be required to obtain MRCP prior to attempting the FRCPath Haematology exams. Further information on MRCP can be found here. Exam Fees Part 1 Examination £647 Part 1 Overseas Examination (outside of the UK and Ireland) £880 Part 2 Examination £1361   Haematology Part 1 Exam Eligibility It is expected for doctors to have obtained at least two years’ experience of specialty training within Haematology in order to achieve the standard required pass mark in the Part 1 exam. Exam Format The Haematology Part 1 exam comprises of two written papers. Paper 1 – Essay Paper This exam will last for 3 hours and you are required to complete four compulsory essay questions. The test will be broken down into four parts: Blood transfusions General Haematology (including laboratory management) Haematological oncology Haemostasis and thrombosis The examiner will test your ability to present a clear answer, organise and communicate relevant information and knowledge, display an appropriate knowledge of disease pathogenesis, diagnostic investigation, established therapies and new developments and relate this to clinical and laboratory practice, select an appropriate course of action and critically evaluate investigational strategies, treatment options or recent advances. Paper 2 – Multiple Choice Questions and Extended Matching Item Questions This exam will last for 3 hours and contains 125 multiple choice questions. You will be tested within: pathogenesis, investigation and management of haematological disease, the use of therapeutic modalities and aspects of laboratory and clinical practice. 50 of those questions are in the ‘best from five’ format and 75 questions are ‘extended matching’ format. Please note, no marks will be deducted for an incorrect answer. This paper is also broken down into four parts: Blood transfusion General Haematology (including laboratory management) Haematological oncology Haemostasis and thrombosis A small number of marks will go to your research methodology, ethics and statistics. Haematology Part 2 Exam Eligibility You will be eligible to sit Part 2 of the exam after successfully passing Part 1. The Royal College of Pathologists advises that doctors take the Haematology Part 2 exam after 3 years of specialty training within Haematology, i.e. equivalent to ST6 level. Exam Format The exam comprises of three written papers and an oral examination. The exam will be held simultaneously over three days at a number of accredited examination centres in the UK. This exam is not available to sit overseas. Please click here for a list of overseas examination centres. Topics Covered Morphology, transfusion and coagulation. Oral Examination You will be tested on 8 different topics that have to be answered in 60 minutes. The examination covers 2 topics in Coagulation, 2 topics in Transfusion Medicine, 2 topics in General & Laboratory Haematology and 2 topics in Haematological Oncology. The purpose of the exam is to test your ability to evaluate problems and demonstrate good clinical judgement. You will also be tested on your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Tips for helping you pass FRCPath Haematology   Register early – There is a high demand for sitting the FRCPath exams. If you register early you can plan your revision to fit the exam schedule and reduce the risk of missing out on your perfect time slot. Start revising early – We advise you to start revising at least six months in advance of each exam to prepare adequately. Although some doctors pass with less preparation time, do not risk it. If you start your exam revision as early as possible you will increase your chance of passing. Use a varied range of revision resources – do not just stick to one big textbook for your revision. The additional use of online courses, discussion forums and online tests will increase your knowledge and confidence when it comes to the exam itself. Please see the resources we have listed below. Try to cover all topics evenly – Excellent knowledge of smaller topics such as statistics, ophthalmology and psychiatry will allow you to collect extra marks for only a short period of study. Check the Royal College’s exam regulations. Useful Resources Revision Notes from iHaematology Practice Questions from iHaematology Online Revision Resources from HaemBase FRCPath Haematology Paper 1 Past Questions FRCPath Haematology Paper 2 Past Questions Join our Facebook Group - IMG Advisor  By joining, you will have access to specialist blog posts, relocation advice and support and the chance to meet other IMGs.  References Rcpath.org. (2019). Haematology. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpath.org/trainees/examinations/examinations-by-specialty/haematology.html [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

Tier 2 Dependent Visa

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 07, 2019

When you have been offered your first NHS post, you may want your family members (dependants) to come with you. If you are applying from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland then your family members who are coming with you must apply for a Tier 2 dependency visa.   Who is classified as my dependent? The UK Visa and Immigration department state that a ‘dependent’ is any of the following: Your husband, wife or partner Your child under the age of 18 Your child over the age of 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependant Evidence of funds When applying for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa, your dependents must evidence that they can be financially supported whilst they are in the UK. Each dependant must evidence that they have £630 available to them (in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself). When making the application, they must be able to evidence that these funds have been available for at least 90 days prior to the application being made. Please note, you will not have to evidence funds if your hospital offers you and your family “maintenance”. For further information on maintenance, visit our blog post on the subject. What is the process of applying for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa? To apply for a dependent visa, you can do so online. After the application has been accepted by the Visa and Immigration office all dependents will need to book an appointment at the local visa application centre to get their fingerprints and photograph taken to receive their biometric residence permit. Their biometric residence permit must be collected within 30 days after they have arrived in the UK. Please click here to find your nearest visa application centre. Can my dependents work whilst they are on a Tier 2 Dependent Visa? Yes – dependent visa holders can work freely in the UK, but they are not allowed to work as a doctor in training (they must apply for their own Tier 2 visa in this case). Cost Tier 2 Dependent Visa– £610 Health Surcharge – £200 per year of your visa Please click here to calculate how much surcharge will need to be paid Thank you for reading If you have any questions or you are an IMG looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, please email your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs. References GOV.UK. (2019). General work visa (Tier 2). [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/family-members [Accessed 8 Jan. 2019].

UK Family visit visa

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 04, 2019

After you have settled into your new NHS job and life into the UK – you may want your family members to visit you. In this post, we go provide you with a detailed guide on how to apply for a UK “Standard Visit Visa”. Please note, if you are an IMG who has already relocated to the UK, you can apply for a Visit Visa on behalf of your family or friend – the maximum duration of a UK visit visa is 6 months. How much is a standard 6-month visit visa? £93 How long does the application process take? Typically, the Visa and Immigration department takes 10-15 days to process an application. Visit Visa Eligibility The person applying for the visa must evidence that: They will leave the UK at the end of their visit They have the financial means to support themselves and any dependents during the entirety of the trip They can afford to pay for the return journey back to their home country I am applying on behalf of my family member/friend – what do I do? Please click here to start the online application process. Remember to ensure all of the applicant's information is correct before you submit their visit visa request. Fill out the form according to the below: Who is the visa for? Question Asked The option you should choose My spouse or family member Reason for Visit? “Visit” Visa Type? “Family” Visa Sub Type? “Visit – family – 6 months” A friend, boyfriend or girlfriend Reason for Visit? “Visit” Visa Type? “Tourism” Visa Sub Type? “Visit – tourism – 6 months”   What documents will need to be included with their application? Identification A valid passport and any other relevant travel identification You will also need to keep a blank page in your passport for your visa. Please note, your passport must be valid for the whole duration of your stay in the UK You will also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English Other Information: Evidence of the date you are planning to travel to the UK Information about where you will be staying during your visit How much money you think your trip will cost you Evidence of your current home address and how long you have lived there Your parents’ names and dates of birth Information on your yearly income Your employer’s address and telephone number Your partner's details and contact information The name and address of anyone who is paying for your trip The name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you have committed Proving you have a genuine relationship If the person who is visiting you is not a family member, then it may be a good idea to include a letter with your application explaining that you hold a genuine relationship with this person. In your letter, you should include details such as how and where you met, how often you communicate with each other and how you communicate (for example email, text, calls). Support with your visa application If you have any questions or need any support with a UK Visit Visa or your Tier 2 visa application – please email [email protected] and our Relocation and Compliance Officer Isla will be happy to guide and support you. Join our Facebook Group Come and join our IMG family! Our Facebook Group IMG Advisor, will offer you access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Citizensadvice.org.uk. (2019). Getting a visa for family and friends to visit the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/visas-family-and-friends/getting-a-visa-for-family-and-friends-to-visit-the-uk/ [Accessed 3 Jan. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Standard Visitor visa. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/documents-you-must-provide [Accessed 3 Jan. 2019].

2018 - Yearly Round Up

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 31, 2018

2018 has been a fantastic year for BDI Resourcing and most definitely a year for celebration. In today’s post, we wanted to share some of our successes with you all and take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us along the way. The Tier 2 Visa Cap BDI Resourcing was set up in 2017 with the sole aim to solve the NHS staffing crisis by supporting international doctors and nurses to relocate to the UK and fill vacant NHS posts. However, in January 2018, this became difficult as a result of the Government’s Tier 2 visa cap. The Government placed a cap on accepted visa’s in an effort to regulate UK immigration and as a result, thousands of doctors and nurses were being denied entry into the UK every single month despite the 10, 000 vacant NHS posts. Here at BDI Resourcing, we experienced this detrimental effect first-hand with longer A&E waiting times, access to outpatient appointments and most importantly, the strain it was having on NHS doctors and nurses. Thus, in January, we made it our mission to get the Tier 2 cap lifted to ensure all doctors and nurses could enter the UK and take up NHS posts. We were the first body to go to the media, with articles from I-News being printed on the issue, we featured on Sky News television coverage, spoke to the head of NHS Employers, the Chair of the BMA, the Shadow Home and Health Secretaries and many other Senior Royal College and NHS figures. We were unrelenting in our campaigning and, on the 15th June 2018, it was announced by the UK Home Office that the visa cap will be removed for all international doctors – our mission was complete. Our Team Grew This year the BDI Resourcing team grew from five to thirteen with the introduction of Sebastian, Gabrielle, Luke, Sean, Isla, Georgia, Jonny and Rich. By expanding our team in all areas including Paediatrics, Social Media, Radiology, General Medicine, Relocation Support, Emergency Medicine, Surgery and Pathology it meant we could strengthen the support we offer all IMGs, nurses, NHS hospitals and improve our online presence.   Doctors and Hospitals Helped This year, we are proud to announce that we have helped 205 international doctors relocate from 20 different countries into 55 different NHS hospitals. These placements mean that thousands of more patients will be seen every year, waiting times are reduced and we have saved the NHS approximately £25 million, money that would have been spent on temporary staff. We are extremely proud of the number of doctors and hospitals we have been able to help this year – and we look forward to seeing how many more doctors, nurses and hospitals we can help in 2019! Awards We are also grateful to have been nominated for several awards: The Small Awards Best Business Start-Up New Kid on the Block Best New Business Awards Service Industry Business of the Year Business of the Year Lloyds Bank National Business Awards New Business of the Year It was an absolute honour to have our hard work and the dedication we give to supporting IMGs and NHS hospitals recognised nationally and even more of an honour to be have received the Runner-Up award for the Service Industry Business of the Year. BDI Resourcing’s passion is to help ALL international doctors and nurses on their journey to the UK and so it is great to see the service we offer acknowledged and we look forward to offering more in the New Year. Thank You We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who comes to us for advice and guidance over the last year. From reading our blogs to sharing our contact details with your friends – we truly appreciate your support and we hope that we can help find each and every single one of you your dream NHS post. See you in the New Year for a very big announcement!

Paediatrics Training Pathway

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 27, 2018

After you have completed your medical undergraduate degree and foundation/internship years, you may decide to pursue a career in Paediatrics. In this post, we provide you with details on the UK training pathway and information on how to become a UK Consultant Paediatrician if you completed your training overseas. The Training Pathway The Paediatric training pathway consists of three levels. All doctors must complete level one and two of the General Paediatric curriculum and then, at level three they can decide if they want to pursue General Paediatrics or to complete their training within a sub-specialty. Level Duration Training 1: ST1-ST3 24-36 months General Paediatrics 2: ST4-ST5 12-24 months General Paediatrics (12 months) Neonatology (6 months) Community Paediatrics (6 months) 3: ST6-ST8 24-36 months General Paediatrics (24-36 months) with 12 months within sub-specialty OR Sub-specialty training (24-36 months) Level 1 – ST1-ST3 During your first three years, you will be training within General Paediatrics based in acute settings including emergency duties, in and outpatients and neonates. Please note, you must have completed all of your MRCPCH exams by the end of ST3 level. Level 2 – ST4-ST5 Your training during this period will be held mainly in a District General Hospital using existing core training posts and rotations including community Paediatrics and Neonatology. You will also receive training within Community Paediatrics. During this time your training will place greater emphasis on outpatients, child development and safeguarding. Level 3 – ST6-ST8 When you reach this level, you may choose to enter into sub-specialty training or stay in general training. Please click here for a list of the 17 Paediatric sub-specialty training. When you apply for sub-specialty training it will be done via a competitive selection into what is known as GRID training. Once you have completed your sub-specialty training, you will then be entered onto the Specialist Register with the GMC. Consultant Level To work as a Consultant in the UK, you must be on the Specialist Register. How do I get onto the Specialist Register? There are three routes to getting onto the Specialist Register and working as a UK Consultant: Route 1, obtaining your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT): All of your specialty curriculum must have been completed within a UK training post. Route 2, Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme (CESR CP): To be eligible for this award, your training would have been undertaken both in the UK and overseas (a non-approved training post). Route 3, Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR): This route is for doctors who believe they do not need to undergo further specialist training because they have acquired sufficient non-GMC approved training, experience and qualifications for direct entry onto the UK specialist register. For further information on the difference between the three pathways please click here. If you are an international Paediatrician who holds MRCPCH, please email your CV to [email protected] and our Paediatrics Specialist Sebastian will be in touch about helping you find your first NHS post. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! References JRCPTB. (2018). Routes to the register. [online] Available at: https://www.jrcptb.org.uk/training-certification/routes-register [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/582.5#applying-to-paediatrics [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. Rcpch.ac.uk. (2018). Training guide | RCPCH. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/training-guide [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018].

How to survive working over the Christmas period

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 24, 2018

Christmas can often be the busiest time of year for hospitals. Did you know that there are over 141,000 doctors, nurses and midwives who work on Christmas day? Although healthcare staff may be all too aware that working during the festive season is a job requirement, it does not always stop people from feeling less than full of Christmas cheer. Therefore, in today’s post, we wanted to share some ways to cope with working over the festive period. 1. Remember your purpose You may start to feel overwhelmed that your loved ones are at home celebrating and you are at work – but try and remember why you are there. Whether you are caring for the elderly, the young or attending to emergency cases, use this as motivation in order to uplift your festive spirits! 2. Invite your loved ones to work Some hospitals allow their staff to invite guests for short visits during the holidays – so ask if this may be possible for you. A quick visit from family or friends will cheer you up and help the day go a lot quicker!   3. Emotionally prepare Remember that working on Christmas Day may not just be difficult for you, but it will also be hard on the patients that you are treating. Be flexible, and expect extra emotion from everyone, including other team members!   4. Enjoy the perks It is likely that your employer will pay you time and a half, double time or sometimes triple pay for working on Christmas Day and they may also offer a free meal from the hospital canteen. If your hospital is not offering such perks, perhaps you could organise to bring in some festive dishes/desserts with other staff members! Bringing Christmas Day to work! 5. Find time to worship One of the difficulties of working on holidays is missing the religious ceremonies. So, try and visit your hospital’s chapel, prayer room or quiet zone – this will help add to the joy of the holiday. BDI Resourcing would like to say a very big thank you to all doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who are working within the NHS over the Christmas period. We are incredibly grateful for all of your hard work, dedication and passion for providing care. References Baltimoreconsultinggroup.com. (2018). 5 ways to cope with working on Christmas day. [online] Available at: http://www.baltimoreconsultinggroup.com/blog/5-ways-to-cope-with-working-on-christmas-day-blog-53511712566 [Accessed 24 Dec. 2018].

Why do we celebrate Christmas?

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 21, 2018

Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The term Christmas comes from the Old English ‘Cristes Maesse’, which means Christ’s mass. And it has been a festivity celebrated from the Middle Ages, filled with customs, music and food. Did you know that most scholars are unsure about the true date for Christ’s birth as there is no date stated in the bible? But most countries celebrate on the 25th December. How is Christmas celebrated? Christmas Eve In England, there is less emphasis placed on Christmas Eve than other countries that celebrate – much more is made of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Some families will go carol singing, attend midnight mass or go out to the pub. However, Christmas Eve is a very exciting time for young children – as it is the time when Father Christmas visits with presents. Traditionally, children will hang up their stockings, leave some milk and cookies out for Santa and then go to sleep ready for the day ahead. Christmas Day Christmas Day in the UK typically involves exchanging gifts, eating a traditional turkey with all the trimmings, watching the Queen’s Speech, games and drinking alcohol! British Christmas Traditions Explained Why do we exchange gifts? According to scripture, when Jesus Christ was born, three wise men brought gifts to celebrate the birth. Giving gifts to your loved ones symbolises not only the gifts given by the wise men but also the gift of baby Jesus to the world. Why do we put Christmas trees up in our home? The simplest explanation – previously, people viewed God as the sun and thus when the winter came people thought God was weak. Trees such as evergreens were reminders of strength and that spring would soon come. However, the tradition soon caught on when Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, set one up in Windsor Castle for the holidays. A sketch was posted in a newspaper, and a festive must-have was immediately born! Fun fact: Scandanavians added candles to Christmas trees (pre-fairy lights) to represent hope through the winter months and the red apples (later baubles) were hung to symbolise the Garden of Eden fruit. Why eat turkey on Christmas day? Geese and peacocks were previously the bird of choice for the British. However, when turkeys made their way to Europe, these soon became a popular choice. They were cheaper and easier to fatten up – making a turkey on Christmas Day, a fashionable choice. References The White Company Journal. (2018). Christmas traditions explained - The White Company Journal. [online] Available at: http://blog.thewhitecompany.com/do/christmas-traditions-explained/ [Accessed 19 Dec. 2018].

BDI's Christmas Giveaway

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 18, 2018

With Christmas just seven days away we wanted to celebrate the festive season by sharing some merry posts with all our doctors and nurses over the next week. There will be giveaways, festive photos and special stories! Stay tuned! To enter the above competition please visit our Facebook Page for further instructions.  Terms and Conditions:  T&C: -A winner will be chosen on Monday 24th December -The promotional prize for winning the giveaway shall be a dinner voucher for two (valued between £40-£70) -BDI Resourcing's decision is final with respect to all matters relating to awarding of the promotional prize and shall not be subject to review or appeal by any entrant or by any third party. -The prize is neither transferable nor exchangeable and cannot be exchanged for money or money's worth. -By entering the giveaway each entrant unreservedly agrees to these terms and conditions which govern the giveaway and the awarding of the prize. -By entering the giveaway each entrant agrees to release, discharge and hold harmless BDI Resourcing, its legal representatives, affiliates, subsidiaries, agencies and their respective officers, directors, employees and agents from any damages whatsoever suffered or sustained in connection with the giveaway or the acceptance of the prize. -BDI Resourcing reserves the right to alter these Terms and Conditions at any time and in its sole discretion.

How to choose your medical specialty

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 17, 2018

One of the most difficult decisions you will make in your medical career is what medical specialty to pursue. There are over 60 specialties and more than 30 subspecialties to consider after foundation training – making it an extremely tough decision. Many factors can go into your decision, such as your clinical interests, your experience during rotations and financial and lifestyle considerations. Although some medical students have decided what specialty they will pursue before finishing their undergraduate degree, most medical students and doctors change their minds several times before making the final decision. Within this post, we provide you with our advice on how to choose and how not to choose your perfect specialty. First… Before you start researching into different specialties you should consider what type of person you are. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, your interests and your overall ambition. Do you have a social personality that prefers staying busy? Or do you prefer to work on detailed data and solve complex problems? Questions to ask yourself… 1. Do you enjoy a lot of contact time with patients? Most doctors will have patient contact unless they specialise exclusively in research and even then, they may sometimes deal with patients. However, certain specialties involve more patient contact than others. If you do enjoy patient contact then you may consider Emergency Medicine, General Practice or Psychiatry – all specialties allowing you to spend time with your patients. Alternatively, if patient contact is not one of your interests – then you may choose to specialise in Radiology or Pathology. You may also want to ask yourself the question - which patients you enjoy spending the most time with? Some doctors have a love for working with children hence choosing Paediatrics or perhaps you have a love for the elderly leading them to specialise in Geriatrics. 2. Do you enjoy variety? Some people prefer variety whilst working, whereas others prefer routine. If you would like to attend your shift and not know what patients you will be caring for, you could consider Emergency Medicine or General Practice. However, if you prefer a more structured work day you could consider Radiology or Ophthalmology. 3. How well do you work under stress? Working under pressure is enjoyable for some and can often lead to them thriving in stressful situations. If you find this is yourself, you could consider a career in Emergency Medicine or Surgery where doctors regularly treat life-threatening conditions. However, if you prefer a more relaxed and low-pressure environment you should consider General Medicine or Dermatology. Ways of how not to choose your medical specialty 1. Pay - Medicine is not a career that should be entered into for financial gain. Choosing a particular specialty for satisfaction is much more important than the amount it will pay. 2. Competition – You should also try and pick your medical specialty based on your personality and interests rather than choosing a specialty that may be “easier to get into”. Please note, training applications differ year on year and thus although a senior has told you one particular specialty is competitive, it does not mean it will be true when it is your turn to apply. 3. Influence from others – During your time, you will hear a lot from family, friends and peers giving you advice on what medical specialty to choose. This can feel overwhelming, but it is important to listen to your own needs and desires. Click here for a list of possible specialties. If you are an IMG looking to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS, send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group, IMG Advisor! Here, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Kaptest.co.uk. (2018). How and When to Choose a Medical Specialty | Kaplan. [online] Available at: https://www.kaptest.co.uk/blog/uk-medical/how-and-when-choose-medical-specialty [Accessed 17 Dec. 2018]. Price, J. (2018). 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Your Medical Specialty. [online] Gap Medics US. Available at: https://www.gapmedics.com/blog/2015/04/10/10-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-choosing-your-medical-specialty/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2018].

How to address a career gap on your CV

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 12, 2018

Returning back to work after maternity leave, a period illness, study leave (or if you had some time away for another reason) can seem rather daunting, but it is important to remember that you are not the first doctor to experience this and the GMC and NHS hospitals recognise that sometimes a break in practise is necessary. In this post, we give you our top tips on how to successfully find a post after a career gap and some advice when you are feeling overwhelmed. Tip 1 – Remain honest It is important to ensure that you state the exact dates of your career gap and within this section, you should state what you did with your time. Tip 2 – Stay up to date Whilst you are taking a break, try and stay up to date with medical news and developments – both generally and developments within your speciality. Speaking of recent medical developments and news with prospective employers will demonstrate that you have a passion for your speciality and you will be able to quickly adapt once you take up employment again. Tip 2 – Make use of your career break Although you have decided to take a break from practising, you can use this opportunity to maintain your skills and develop new ones. This could include volunteering work or a training course – experiences that will enhance your CV. Tip 3 – Preparation When you are invited to your first NHS interview, it is important that you take the time to prepare. It is very likely that the interview panel will enquire about your career gap, especially if the gap was more recent. Therefore, it is vital that you prepare your answer to ensure that your break comes across in a positive way and it will not impact your ability to practise safely as a doctor. When you feel overwhelmed about the gap impacting your invitations to interviews, you should try: To obtain an NHS Clinical Attachment for a couple of weeks to adapt and obtain exposure to the UK system Talk to other doctors who have been in this position Remember you are a qualified doctor and all your accomplishments to date Go on a course to update your skills When you start, ask for a mentor and an educational supervisor, who can help you organise a Personal Development Plan Get in touch with us If you are an IMG who would like advice on the above article or you are interested in relocating to the UK and working within the NHS – we can help you. Please email your CV to [email protected] and the relevant Specialist will be in touch with you. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! By joining, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Health Careers. (2018). Returning to medicine. [online] Available at: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors/returning-medicine [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018]. Career Advice. (2018). How to address a career break on your CV | CV-Library. [online] Available at: https://www.cv-library.co.uk/career-advice/cv/how-address-career-break-cv/ [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018].

How to apply for an NHS Clinical Attachment

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 07, 2018

Clinical attachments are an opportunity for international doctors to gain NHS experience and get an insight into the working lives of UK doctors. The clinical attachment allows an IMG to observe a Consultant within their desired specialty without being medically responsible for patients. In this article, we provide you with a guide on applying for an NHS clinical attachment and the benefits of doing so. What can I expect from a clinical attachment? An NHS clinical attachment will allow you to prepare for working within the NHS. You will gain an insight into UK medical processes and the way the NHS functions as a system. During your attachment, you can expect to: Observe the Consultant’s work Patient administration Take patient histories Physical examinations (under supervision) Please note, you will never be given sole responsibility for a patient and you will not be expected to provide clinical advice or make a clinical decision. Is a clinical attachment useful when applying for GMC Registration or an NHS job? It is not a requirement to have an NHS clinical attachment for GMC Registration or to apply for an NHS job. However, the experience will most definitely enhance your application when applying for your first NHS job. It will demonstrate to the hospital that you are aware of UK standards and the care and conduct required of doctors. Are there any requirements to apply for an NHS clinical attachment? You will need the following: Criminal record check Proof of identity A pass in IELTS or OET Occupational health clearance from the NHS Trust providing you with the attachment Satisfactory references What visa will I need? To participate in your NHS clinical attachment, you should apply for a UK Standard Visit Visa. How do I apply for an NHS clinical attachment? Unfortunately, there is not a single application process to apply for a clinical attachment. To apply, you should search online for the desired hospital you want to conduct the attachment within with the words ‘clinical attachment’ – and they will provide you with an email contact. For example, if you wanted to conduct a clinical attachment at East Sussex Health Care NHS Trust, you should search “East Sussex NHS Trust clinical attachment”. And you will be directed here -https://www.esht.nhs.uk/medical-education/our-training-programmes/clinical-attachments/ Alternatively, you could ask any friends who currently work within the NHS if they know of any opportunities. If you would like support in finding your first NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be in touch. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor. Here, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Bma.org.uk. (2018). BMA - Clinical attachments. [online] Available at: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/work-life-support/life-and-work-in-the-uk/clinical-attachments [Accessed 6 Dec. 2018].

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