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

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 21, 2019

Introduction 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.  The NHS 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.  

Brexit: What does it mean for IMGs?

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 15, 2019

What is Brexit? Brexit is an abbreviation of ‘British exit’ – and it is the word used to talk about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). What is the EU? The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries which trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between the countries to live and work. The UK joined the EU, then known as the EEC (European Economic Community) in1973. Why is the UK leaving the EU? On Thursday 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held when voters were asked one question: Should the UK leave or remain in the EU? The leave vote won by nearly 52% to 48%, which was equivalent to 17.4m votes to 16.1m – but the exit is yet to happen. IMGs in the NHS stats: Did you know that 37% of registered doctors gained their primary medical qualification outside of the UK and this rises to 42% for Consultants. Of every 1,000 NHS staff in England... 873 are British 56 are from other EU countries 43 are Asian 19 are African 9 are from somewhere else… The most common nationalities of NHS staff: British – 988, 363 Indian – 19, 142 Filipino – 16, 807 Irish – 13, 132 Polish – 8, 896 Portuguese - 6,899 Nigerian – 5,960 Zimbabwean – 3, 995 What does Brexit mean for international doctors? Reports reveal that since the UK voted for Brexit, the number of European doctors and nurses relocating to the UK and joining the NHS has declined. So, although we cannot say what the outcome will be post-Brexit, with the current trend of less European doctors joining the NHS – it has led and will continue to lead to a greater demand of non-EU doctors to come and join the NHS. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor - here, you will receive regular updates in the form of blogs and vlogs, have the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs! References BBC News. (2019). Brexit: A really simple guide. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46318565 [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019]. Baker, C. (2019). NHS staff from overseas: statistics. [online] Researchbriefings.parliament.uk. Available at: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7783#fullreport [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019]. RCP London. (2019). Brexit: What does it mean for doctors?. [online] Available at: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/brexit-what-does-it-mean-doctors [Accessed 15 Feb. 2019].  

Overview of FRCEM Primary

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 13, 2019

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine offers a series of examinations which can lead to either a Membership or Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM). How to achieve MRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ MRCEM Final: OSCE How to achieve FRCEM: FRCEM Primary FRCEM Intermediate: SAQ and Situational Judgement FRCEM Final: Critical Appraisal, Quality Improvement Project, Clinical Short Answer Question Paper, OSCE Cost of the FRCEM Primary Exam: £310 Format of the FRCEM Primary Exam: A 3-hour, multiple-choice question paper of 180 single-best-answer questions. Am I eligible to sit FRCEM Primary? The FRCEM Primary exam will test your knowledge against the Emergency Medicine 2015 Curriculum with more details information provided in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum (June 2010). To apply for the exam, you will need to hold a GMC approved primary medical qualification for the purposes of registration. Please note, typically, there is not a restriction on the number of places available for the FRCEM Primary examination, but candidates may not always be allocated their first-choice venue. 2019 FRCEM Primary Examination Dates Date Centre Application Open Date Application Closing Date 13th June 2019 London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Reykjavik, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat 2nd January 2019 4TH March 2019 5th December 2019 London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Reykjavik, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat 1st July 2019 3rd September 20119 Structure and Content of the FRCEM Primary Anatomy – 60 questions Lower limb, thorax, abdomen, head and neck, central nervous system and cranial nerve lesions. Physiology – 60 questions Respiratory physiology, cardiovascular physiology, gastrointestinal physiology, renal physiology, and endocrine physiology. Pharmacology -27 questions Gastrointestinal pharmacology, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, central nervous system, infections, endocrine system, fluids and electrolytes, musculoskeletal system, immunological products and vaccines, anaesthesia. Microbiology – 18 questions Pathogen and principles of microbiology. Pathology – 9 questions Inflammatory responses, infection, wound healing and haematology. Evidence-based medicine – 6 questions Statistics, study methodology and principles of critical appraisal. How to successfully prepare for FRCEM Primary? Give yourself enough time to prepare confidently and successfully Utilise the curriculum - according to doctors who have sat the FRCEM Primary exam, it is very representative of the exam content – making it a fantastic revision guide Practice mock exams – this will provide you with a good picture of your strength and weaknesses, allowing you to narrow down your revision Useful Revision Resources Books FRCEM Primary – All in One Revision Notes for FRCEM Primary Question Banks FRCEM Exam Bookstore Question Bank FRCEM Success YouTube Videos Bromley Emergency Courses James Rowley References Rcem.ac.uk. (2019). Dates and Fees. [online] Available at: https://www.rcem.ac.uk/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Dates_Fees/RCEM/Exams_Training/Exams/Dates_and_Fees.aspx [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019]. Ponder Med. (2019). Revision Tips for the MRCEM A/FRCEM Primary - Ponder Med. [online] Available at: https://www.pondermed.com/mrcem-exams/revision-tips-for-the-mrcem-afrcem-primary/ [Accessed 13 Feb. 2019].  

WAST: Widening Access to Specialty Training for IMGs

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 06, 2019

The NHS has launched a new initiative to allow international doctors to work and train in England, prior to obtaining NHS experience (as is required to apply for a training post). The new initiative will allow you to experience a programme which will ensure you develop the skills and competencies needed to apply a training programme after you have completed it. During the initiative, you will work six months in a Psychiatry post, six months in an Acute hospital setting and a two-week taster session within a General Practice Surgery. The NHS states that this post is perfect for doctors who want to pursue a career in General Practice (internationally known as family medicine) or Psychiatry. Bonus! A financial relocation package will be provided. How do I apply for WAST? First, you will need to update your CV and then make an online application here. If you are successful, you will then be invited to attend an interview and assessment centre located in the UK. It is likely that your interview will be held in Manchester.   Interviews are expected to be held in March 2019, August 2019 and March 2020 and then posts likely to start in February or August the next year. Please note, you will still need via the PLAB route to start a WAST post. What is the advantage of WAST? This is a fantastic opportunity for international doctors looking to pursue a long-term career within the UK and receive training. By completing WAST, you will have access to: Top quality training and development Good standard of pay Work experience within one of the world’s largest healthcare systems Am I eligible to apply for WAST? To apply, you must have the following: A GMC recognised primary medical qualification Eligible for full GMC registration Eligible to legally work in the UK Have additional qualifications such as ILS, ALS, Have recently completed your internship and have six-twelve months postgraduate experience For further information on how to access UK Specialty Training within the NHS, read our blog post here. Please click here to gain access to the WAST Application Form. Please click here to gain access to the Additional Employment History Form Please click here to gain access to the Fitness to the Practise Declaration Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? Here, you will have access to relocation blog posts and updates, the opportunity to receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs.  References training. (2019).  Training > Recruitment > Widening Access to Specialty Training > About the programme. ] Available at: https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/Widening-Access-to-Specialty-Training/About-the-programme [Accessed 5 Feb. 2019]. . (2019). Apply. ] Available at: https://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/Widening-Access-to-Specialty-Training/Apply [Accessed 5 Feb. 2019].    

Overview of First FRCR

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 04, 2019

To work as a Radiologist in the UK, you will need full FRCR and a pass in IELTS or OET – obtaining these qualifications will provide you with GMC Registration. Full FRCR includes passing: First FRCR, FRCR 2A, FRCR 2B. In today’s post, we focus on First FRCR. We cover the exam cost, structure, modules tested, exam test centres and useful revision resources. What is the purpose of FRCR? The First FRCR exam expects doctors to have gained an appropriate level of knowledge of the physical principles that underpin diagnostic medical imaging and of the anatomy needed to perform and interpret radiological studies. Cost Physics £253 Anatomy £253 Total £506 The Examination Structure The exam consists of two modules: Anatomy – examined by an image viewing session delivered on individual workstations Physics – is a multiple-choice question paper Both of the exams are held over a two-day period three times a year: typically, in March, June and September. The two exams will be held on different days. Click here to find out upcoming exam dates. You will be deemed to pass the First FRCR once both exam modules have been passed. Please note, you cannot attempt First FRCR more than six times. How do I know if I am eligible to apply? The Royal College of Radiologists requires applicants to hold a formal clinical radiology training post in which they are actively receiving clinical radiology training to enter the First FRCR exam. However, no minimum period is required to enter. Where can I sit the exam? UK locations: Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester. International locations: Hong Kong and Singapore. Examination Format Anatomy – Image viewing module You will be presented with 100 images with one question per image. Most of the questions will be structured as “what structure does the arrow point to?” however, you may also be asked “what anatomical variant is demonstrated?” or “at what age does the structure arrowed normally fuse during skeletal development”? The exam format will be as follows: Cross-sectional: 1/3 Plain radiographs: 1/3 Contrast studies: 1/3 You will be tested within the following modules: head, neck and spine, chest and cardiovascular, abdomen and pelvis and musculoskeletal. There will also be a few questions Paediatric images and normal variants.   You will have 90 minutes to view the images and record your answers. You will receive two marks for a correct answer and one mark for an answer which is correct but not completely accurate and zero marks for an incorrect answer. During the exam, keystrokes and screen activity are monitored and recorded centrally. What revision books should I use? Passing FRCR Part 1: Cracking Anatomy FRCR Part 1 Anatomy Mock Examinations Radiological Anatomy for FRCR Part 1 Physics – Multiple Choice Question Paper This exam consists of 200 true or false questions and you will be presented with 40 stems (question or statement) and then five statements for each stem which will need to be marked true or false. You will have two hours to answer the questions. During this exam, you will be tested in the following areas: basic science, x-ray imaging, CT imaging, ultrasound imaging, MR imaging, nuclear imaging, radiation dosimetry and protection and legislation. Please note, the exam is not negatively marked and therefore you are encouraged to answer all questions. What revision books should I use? Get Through First FRCR: Multiple-Choice-Questions for the Physics Module FRCR Physics Notes A Radiologist’s on Physics for the FRCR Exam Are there any online resources I can use? Radiology Café Revise Radiology Radiology Multiple-Choice-Questions Please click here to gain access to the Royal College’s Guidance Notes for Applicants. Are you looking for your first NHS post? Join our Facebook Group, IMG Advisor – Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to answer questions and receive professional support. If you have made steps towards obtaining your GMC Registration – email your CV to [email protected] and we would love to support you through the process. References Clarke, C. (2019). First FRCR exam. ] Radiology Cafe. Available at: https://www.radiologycafe.com/radiology-trainees/first-frcr-exam#physics_books [Accessed 4 Feb. 2019]. Rcr.ac.uk. (2019). First FRCR Examination | The Royal College of Radiologists. ] Available at: https://www.rcr.ac.uk/clinical-radiology/examinations/first-frcr-examination [Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].    

How much tax will I pay in the UK?

By Gabrielle Richardson
February 01, 2019

As an employee within the United Kingdom, you will need to pay both income tax and national insurance on your wages. Disclaimer: Tax figures are always open and to change and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) assesses everyone’s personal circumstances within personal tax codes and so this article is purely a guideline. How do I know if I need to pay tax? Every person is entitled to a tax-free Personal Allowance of £11,850 for the year (this is set to increase to £12,500 in the tax year of 2019-20). How much tax do I have to pay if I earn over the Personal Allowance? In the UK, the tax system is based on marginal tax brackets. This means that the amount you are taxed is worked out based on the income you earn against certain thresholds. As a UK employee: You will pay 0% of tax on incomes up to £11,850 (£12,500 for 2019-20) Then you will pay 20% on anything you earn between £11,851 and £46,350 (£12,501-£50,001 for 2019-20) You will pay 40% Income Tax on anything you earn between £46,351 to £150,000) (£50,001-£150,000 for 2019-20). If you earn over £150,001 and over, you pay 45% tax Examples of take-home pay for a doctor Annual Salary (before tax) Monthly take home (after tax) £30,000 £1,982 £40,000 £2,549 £50,000 £3,085 £60,000 £3,568 £70,000 £4,052 £80,000 £4,535 Please click here to work out your exact take-home pay with a salary calculator. Paying tax on foreign income You may need to pay UK income tax on foreign income. For example: Foreign investments and savings interest Rental income on overseas property Income from pensions held overseas This income includes anything from outside of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. What is a National Insurance contribution? You will also be required to pay a national insurance contribution on your earnings to help build your entitlement to certain state benefits, such as the State Pension and Maternity Allowance. Dissimilar to income tax, national insurance is not an annual tax. You begin to pay National Insurance once you earn more than £162 a week and it applies to your pay each pay period (i.e. monthly, weekly etc). This means that if you earn extra in one month, you will pay extra national insurance. Your National Insurance contributions will be: 12% of your weekly earnings between £162 and £892 2% of your weekly earnings if you earn above £892 Please note, your National Insurance contributions will be taken off along with Income Tax before your employer pays your wages. How do I pay my tax and national insurance contribution? If your Personal Allowance is spread out evenly across your wages for the year, then your tax and national insurance contributions should be taken before you are paid. The UK Government know how much to take through a system called PAYE (pay as you earn). Where does UK taxpayer’s money go? The money is used to help provide funding for public services such as the NHS, the education and welfare system as well as investment in public projects, such as roads, rail and housing. Personal Savings Allowance When you open a UK bank account, you can also earn some income from your savings without paying tax. If you pay a basic tax rate, then you can earn up to £1,000 in tax-free savings. Higher rate taxpayers can earn up to £500. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – Here, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs! References Moneyadviceservice.org.uk. (2019). How much Income Tax and National Insurance you should pay. [online] Available at: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/tax-and-national-insurance-deductions [Accessed 1 Feb. 2019]. S, H. (2019). Tax Rates 2018/19. [online] MoneySavingExpert.com. Available at: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/tax-rates/ [Accessed 1 Feb. 2019].  

How to get a CoS for your Tier 2 Visa

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 29, 2019

Once a hospital has agreed to employ a non-EEA doctor, they will need to allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to that doctor in order for them to make their Tier 2 Visa application. What is a CoS? A CoS is not a physical document, but a reference number which an international doctor can use to apply to enter or remain in the UK. There are two types of CoS: Unrestricted and restricted. Unrestricted – The CoS will be automatically allocated to the doctor Restricted – The application has to go to panel on the 11 month and there will be a wait for approval Unrestricted CoS When the Tier 2 visa cap was lifted in June 2018 – it meant that all doctors and nurses would be automatically allocated a CoS regardless of their point score (based on salaryprovided the application goes through as unrestricted. How the hospital applies for an unrestricted CoS A job offer is made to the doctor and pre-employment checks are carried out The hospital will apply online to the UK Home Office Visa and Immigration Office (UKVI) for an allocation, taken out of the yearly amount The CoS is granted and added to the sponsorship management system assigned by the hospital to the doctor The doctor applies for a Tier 2 visa within three months of receiving CoS The doctor’s Tier 2 visa application is successful and entry clearance granted Please note, there is no need to apply for an unrestricted CoS before a deadline as there is no panel – typically, you will receive the approved CoS within 48 hours. Restricted CoS Despite the Tier 2 visa cap in June, the hospital a certain number of unrestricted CoS’ per year – meaning, they may have to use a restricted CoS to apply for a doctor’s sponsorship licence if they do not have any unrestricted applications left. How the hospital applies for a restricted CoS The Resident Labour Market test is met, a doctor interviews a post, a job offer is made, and the pre-employment checks are completed The hospital will then apply online to the UKVI Office for a certificate from the limited monthly allocation Applications are assessed on the 11 each month when a panel meeting takes place. A hospital must submit their CoS application for a doctor the 5 each month to be considered on time When the CoS is granted, the hospital will assign it to the doctor and they will have three months to use the COS The doctor applies for a Tier 2 visa The doctor’s Tier 2 visa application is successful and entry clearance granted If you apply for a restricted CoS, the turnaround time could be around a month as you will need to wait for the panel to meet and approve the application. Our Advice Where possible, we advise for NHS hospitals to apply for an unrestricted CoS for their doctor. This means that the CoS could be returned in a matter of days. Whereas, if the CoS is applied for as unrestricted, it can take a number of weeks to be returned thus delaying the doctor’s ability to apply for their Tier 2 visa and starting employment within the Trust. If you are a doctor waiting for your CoS – do not worry about whether your job is on the shortage occupation list or whether your salary is high enough. The Tier 2 visa cap lift means that ALL doctors CoS’ will be approved, regardless of those issues. To speed up the ability to apply for your CoS – have all of your documents in order. This includes: -Passport -Proof of address x 2 -References to cover the last three years of employment x 2 -Police Clearance Certificate -Certificate of Good Standing Any questions? Email [email protected] and we will be happy to help. Are you a member of 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!      

NHS Jobs vs A Medical Recruitment Agency

By Ryan Halliday
January 25, 2019

Hello IMGs! We have seen a lot of questions online recently, asking what the advantages are of using a Recruitment Agency against applying directly via NHS Jobs. So, in today’s post we wanted to share an honest comparison of the two – so you don’t have to! Applying directly via NHS Jobs Advantages 1. Easy to find vacancies hosted under one website. 2. Straightforward application – simply set up an NHS Job account, upload your CV and apply to various posts. 3. You can receive job alerts directly to your email address. 4. Job descriptions and departmental information will be provided in detail. Disadvantages 1. Not all NHS job adverts are open to IMGs outside of the EU for at least 28 days – as the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) needs to be satisfied first. 2. NHS Jobs receive a huge volume of applications for each job – sometimes in excess of 50 per position in certain regions. 3. Time – The process can be lengthy, taking several weeks to receive any feedback. 4. Lack of Constructive feedback on unsuccessful applications. 5. You will have to negotiate the salary and relocation allowance on your own. 6. You will have to deal directly with the hospital regarding all queries (Tier 2 visa, relocation). Some HR departments are overwhelmed, so may not respond in a timely manner. Applying via a Medical Recruitment Agency Advantages 1. All agency jobs should be applicable for IMGs outside of the EU – as the RLMT will have been satisfied. 2. An agency will give you free advice on how to improve your CV. 3. Some agencies will help you with interview preparation, supporting you with Skype set-up, possible interview questions and a practice interview. 4. A recruitment agency may have access to vacancies that are not on NHS jobs. 5. Some agencies will provide you with 24/7 support from application through to your first day of working within the NHS. Disadvantages 1. Not all agencies provide equal support – Like anything in life there are good and bad companies – Do your research on the company if deciding to work through one. 2. Lack of impartiality with some agencies – they will put pressure on doctors to accept jobs that are not suitable for the doctor’s individual situation. 3. Some agencies only work with a limited number of NHS Trusts – which offers a lack of choice doctors. If you decide to work with a recruitment agency to find your first job – here are some useful tips to finding the perfect NHS post. 1. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel that the job is not for you. It is good to be honest with the Recruitment Consultant you are working with and so they can help you find the perfect position. 2. Have a look at the agency’s website and their social media presence, their reviews and the support they offer, prior to sending your CV! If they look unprofessional and have bad reviews, it is probably best to avoid them at all costs! 3. Ask the Recruitment Consultant lots of questions. Do they sound professional? Are they knowledgeable about the relocation process? Do they have a sound understanding of the specialism you work in? If not, do not work with them. 4. Make sure that the agency is UK based and a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation). This is the professional body which governs the standards and ethics of recruitment professionals in the UK. 5. Remember that it is illegal for any UK based recruitment company to charge a fee to any job seeker. 6. And remember – have they tried to find out exactly what you are looking for? Join our Facebook Group – IMG Advisor Here, you will gain access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask relocation queries and receive prompt, professional and correct guidance. And the chance to meet other IMGs!      

EU doctors now have until June 2021 to apply for UK settled status

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 21, 2019

If you are a European doctor working within the UK, you will have until June 2021 to apply for a settled status in the UK, as the post-Brexit registration opens nationwide.  Cost:  Over 16: £65 Under 16: £32.50 The Process The UK Government has made the process an easy one! By allowing you to apply for status, simply by downloading an app. They have hired 1,500 new caseworkers and have invested £175m in the scheme.  People applying for status will need to prove they have lived in the UK for at least six months in any 12 month period over a total of five years. If their settled status is granted, they will be able to stay and work in the UK for as long as they like, use the NHS, access benefits and pensions, and travel in and out of the country. A person given pre-settled status will be allowed to remain in the UK for a further five years. After the five years, the person can apply to change their status to “permanent”. References , A. (2019). How many people will have to apply to EU settlement scheme to stay in North East. ] . Available at: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/how-many-people-apply-eu-15699622 [Accessed 21 Jan. 2019]. Sky News. (2019). Millions of EU citizens can now apply for settled status in UK. [online] Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/eu-settled-status-launch-sparks-fears-of-a-new-windrush-11613355 [Accessed 21 Jan. 2019]. Log in to use Ginger Limited mode Five years ×

Overview of FRCPath Histopathology

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 18, 2019

The Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologist exams into sub-speciality exams. In this post, we provide you with an overview of the FRCPath Histopathology exam. Including exam fees, eligibility, exam formats, topics covered and tips on successfully passing. Fees Exam Type Cost Part 1 Examination £647 Part 1 examination overseas (outside of the UK and Ireland) £880 Part 2 examination £1361 Eligibility Part 1 You are expected at least one year of Histopathology training and be equivalent to ST2 level before applying. Part 2 The Royal College expects you to sit the Part 2 exam after three years of training in Histopathology. You should not attempt Part 2 until at least 12 months after successfully passing Part 1. The Royal College of Pathologists suggests that prior to applying for the FRCPath Histopathology should ask for guidance from your educational supervisor as to when to sit the exam. When can I sit the exam? The Royal College of Pathology offers the FRCPath Histopathology Part 1 and Part 2 twice a year, in Spring and Autumn. Click here to apply. Exam format and topics covered Part 1 Format Part 1 of the Histopathology exam is comprised of 125 multiple choice questions, including a mix of one-best-answer and extended-matching formats. The exam duration is three hours and its purpose is to assess your overall knowledge and understanding of /, including the full range of autopsy practices undertaken in UK district general hospitals. Part 2 – Practical Examination Format The second part of the Histopathology Part 2 exam of six parts taken over the course of two days: 1. Surgical Histology You will be presented with 20 cases of 10 pairs of haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides in 20-minute slots over 3 hours 20 minutes on the second morning. The cases are drawn from a wide range of organ the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract, gynaecological tract, breast, skin, soft tissue respiratory, urological, and endocrine systems. This list is not comprehensive and material from paediatric and areas may also be included from within the systems listed above. The questions will expect you to provide a diagnosis and the more complex cases will require you to provide a more detailed description, a diagnosis and special techniques. 2. Cytopathology The second part will include 8 non-gynaecological cytology cases provided in pairs in 20-minute slots on the first morning of the exam. 3. Pathology Next, you will be presented with four cases in the form of of gross pathology specimens. Formal written reports are not required in this exercise, as you will be tested on your ability to discuss gross pathology and familiarity with block selection in the context of the RCPath Minimum Datasets. 4. This part of the exam consists of 2 x 20-minute stations, one of which is a face-to-face exam whilst the other is a written exercise. You will be tested on management/clinical governance and multi-disciplinary team type cases. 5. Long cases You will also be presented with 4 x 20-minute stations on the first afternoon. The stations will include: H&E stained sections, (liver and renal biopsies), (tumours and lymph nodes), (skin and renal biopsies) and electron microscopy (renal biopsies, tumours etc.) This list is not exhaustive and other types of cases may also be used. 6.  Frozen Sections Within this part of the exam, there will be 6 cases to be viewed in 2 x 20-minute stations (3 cases per station). Here, you should make notes and provide ‘bottom line’ diagnosis only, to form the discussion with the examiner. 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 Part 1 Sample Questions Kids Virtual Pathology, University of Leeds John Hopkins Medical Pathology Cases Question and Answers Good luck! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive relocation support and advice – free of charge! And the chance to meet other IMGs… References Rcpath.org. (2019). . ] Available at: https://www.rcpath.org/trainees/examinations/examinations-by-specialty/histopathology.html [Accessed 18 Jan. 2019].

Skype Interviews with the NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 16, 2019

After your CV has been reviewed by an NHS Trust and they have made the decision to invite you to an interview – it is likely the invitation will be via Skype, unless you are currently based within the UK. In today’s post, we share the ways you can successfully nail your NHS Skype interview and secure your first NHS post. How do I set up Skype? Step 1: Download Skype to your computer or mobile Step 2: Create a free account by entering your personal details Step 3: Sign in to your account It is that simple! How to prepare for Step 1: Add the hospitals Skype ID the day before the Skype call Step 2: A few hours before your scheduled Skype call, send a message to the NHS hospital informing them of your name, what post you are interviewing for and your interview time slot Step 3: An hour before your interview, try and do a “Skype test” with a friend or a Recruitment Consultant to test your connection and ensure there are no technical difficulties Step 4: Be available on Skype for at least 20 minutes prior to your interview slot – as the hospital sometimes calls earlier (or later) and so it is best to always be available online Step 5: Accept the Skype call when the hospital ring – and good luck! Tips for a successful Skype interview 1. Dress smartly Although you will not be interviewing physically, it is important that you look the part. If you are a male, we advise you to wear a smart shirt and perhaps a tie. And if you are a female, you could perhaps wear a blouse or a smart dress. 2. Prepare your surroundings You should prepare for your Skype call to be in a quiet, business-like setting, ideally in a room with a closed door. You should also try and not have a cluttered background behind you as this may distract the Consultant and HR Representative who is interviewing you – sending the wrong message about your organisational skills.   Try and have a plain, white background. And remember to tell anyone else at home about your Skype interview as you do not want it to be interrupted by someone calling your name or loud noises. 3. Remember to smile During your interview, you should try and keep a pleasant facial expression. It is more difficult to do this via technology, but it is important to try and stay upbeat when answering questions. You should also try and interject listening sounds throughout the interview, such as “yes” whilst your interviewers speak. This will reassure those interviewing you that the technology is working, and you are listening to what they are saying. 4. Use your interview preparation notes NHS interviews typically start with going through your CV and so it would be a good idea to have a printed copy in front of you – this will allow you to view the same information that they are reading. You could also make use of the space by creating some notes, including any questions you want to ask the Trust towards the end of the interview. Join the NHS If you have a Royal College Qualification or PLAB and IELTS/OET and you are ready to relocate to the UK, but need some help securing a Skype interview – email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you. Join our Facebook Group Come and 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 Themuse.com. (2019). 7 Ways to Nail Your Phone or Skype Interview. ] Available at: https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-ways-to-nail-your-phone-or-skype-interview [Accessed 16 Jan. 2019]. Log in to use Ginger Limited mode UK, but ×

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.

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