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Q&A with Jil Shah, A&E CT1 Doctor

  • February 21, 2019


1. What speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at?

I work at the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust Hospital in the Emergency Department and I work at CT1 level.

2. What country did you relocate from?

India (Mumbai)

3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor?

Going to medical school was always my childhood dream, but I did face a few difficulties whilst I was studying and training to be a doctor. One reason was because I was the first doctor in my family and so I felt there was nobody there to guide me. However, I must say it is worth all of the effort.

4. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to relocate to the UK? What were your motivations for wanting to do so?

I was working in one of the renowned corporate hospitals in Mumbai, when I decided that I needed to get trained in a better way and so I started to look for other options.

I read many articles about practising Emergency Medicine in the UK and that the UK's training programmes are of higher standards. And so, I started to do my own research to look for ways to obtain GMC Registration. 

The Relocation Process

5. How long did it take you to relocate, how difficult did you find the process and do you recommend it to other IMGs?

It took me about 9 months to relocate to the UK. 

I sat my IELTS exam in January 2018 and then I sat my PLAB 1 exam in March 2018. I studied on my own for these two exams. For PLAB 2, I decided to join Swamy's Academy and I came to Manchester to attend the course two months prior to sitting my exam. I also decided to study with my friends (you definitely need a study partner for PLAB 2).

Whilst I was waiting for my PLAB 2 results, I came across a job advertisement by Elliott Burrows from BDI Resourcing. I contacted Elliott and told him the entire situation and I also requested for him to secure me a job in Leeds or around Leeds. Elliott then went on to set up my interview. I had two rounds of interviews and I was offered a job. 

From the point of contacting Elliott to receiving my offer letter from the hospital, it took me about 3-4 weeks. As, I was in the UK on a Visit Visa, I had to go back to India to apply for my Tier 2 visa. I applied for UKNARIC since my IELTS certificate was not UKVI. By the end of September, I applied for the visa and I got my visa approved within 10 days. 

I returned to the UK with the hope to start my new job as soon as possible, but BRP was delayed because the Home Office was having a backlog due to the students entering the country around the same time.

The process I went through was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Elliott helped me throughout the entire process of relocating.

6. Would you have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? And now once you live in the UK?

Elliott had told me about almost everything, how to travel to my work place, how to open a bank account and how to rent accommodation. So, I don't think there was anything that I did not know before coming to the UK.

Thoughts on the UK

7. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK?

The UK has a better lifestyle, better clinical practice and scope to flourish in a desired .

8. How do you feel you in your chosen location within the UK?

I have never lived alone in my entire life and so I am definitely home sick. Initially, I felt lonely but over a period of time you get used to a new place. I found it difficult to settle into Leeds as I came from a Metropolitan city, Mumbai - which is very lively at any single time of day. 

The shops in Leeds are easily accessible and settling into the culture was not difficult. 


9. How did you feel on your first day of working within the NHS, your first week, month and then how do you feel now compared to when you first started?

The first day was difficult because the UK healthcare system works in unique way compared to India. I took time to understand the system, but when your clinical knowledge and skills are strong, it is not difficult at all. After 3 months of working in the NHS, I began to feel confident when working with my patients.

10. How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position?

The hospital is very supportive, everyone is very helpful and kind enough to teach you and guide you. They do not differentiate you from others and give equal opportunities as a trainee, in spite of being in a non-trainee post.

11. What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care?

Like every health care system, the NHS also has few drawbacks.

The first is the insufficient number of doctors, which burdens the present doctors working within the system. This also increases the waiting time for the patients to be seen by a doctor. But everyone working in the NHS does try to provide the best care possible.

12. How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country?

It is difficult to compare the health care system in the UK to India. The Indian health care system is based more on the Private health care system. But working in the NHS is very different from working in India. You take decisions more rationally while working in the NHS and it helps to develop your clinical skills.

The Future

13. What are your hopes and goals for the future?

I hope to enter the training program in Emergency Medicine and become a Consultant in the UK.


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