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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.  

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].    

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!      

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 ×

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].

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].

Working with a Recruitment Consultant

By Gabrielle Richardson
December 04, 2018

When you apply for your first NHS post, you have two options: to apply directly via NHS Jobs or to use a medical recruitment agency, such as ourselves – BDI Resourcing. We sometimes see negative comments online about the recruitment industry and there seems to be a misalliance between doctors and nurses’ expectations of the recruitment industry in general, and the reality of the situation. Here at BDI Resourcing, we pride ourselves on being more than a medical recruitment agency but going to extra mile for all our doctors and nurses that we speak to, whether we find them their first NHS post or not. Therefore, in this article, we share the advantages of working with us. 1. Professional Representation A good Recruitment Consultant will not email your CV off to every single NHS hospital. Over the years, we have worked on building relationships with HR departments and Lead Consultants, who trust our opinion and expertise. Furthermore, most doctors and nurses will have specific preferences, such as the desire to work within a university hospital, live in a major city or have access to excellent quality schools – thus, it is important to find a Recruitment Consultant who will meet all these needs. Remember, a recommendation from a trustworthy Recruitment Consultant will put your CV right in front of the relevant Clinical Director, while an application via NHS jobs may disappear amongst the thousands of applications. 2. Specialist Representation Most medical recruitment agencies are generalised, and you will deal with a number of different Consultants throughout the entire process. However, at BDI Resourcing you will have one sole point of contact, who will be dedicated to helping doctors within one particular specialty. This is advantageous because it means they are able to communicate with the right contacts, such as the Paediatric Lead Consultant for international doctors looking to take up a Neonatal post. 3. End to end service When we partner with a doctor or nurse, we support them through every single step of the way. Our service starts with CV advice, to sourcing interviews whilst meeting all your preferences. Once you have accepted your first NHS post, you will then be introduced to our Relocation and Compliance Officer, who will guide you through the CoS, visa and relocation process. Our officer will help you with booking flights, finding UK accommodation and airport transfers. BDI Resourcing appreciates that NHS HR departments are extremely busy and they may not always be on hand to answer your questions – and this is where we will come in! No matter how small the question, we will be happy to guide and support you whenever you need it. 4. Access to jobs not advertised on NHS Jobs BDI Resourcing are in the business of knowing. Each of our Consultants are always networking and we are aware of NHS posts that are not always advertised on NHS Jobs, such as those currently filled by Locums… increasing your chances of being selected for an interview. 5. Time-Saving When you are applying for a new job, it is vital that you tailor your CV and cover letters to increase your chance of selection – especially if you are a junior doctor and decide to apply for different specialties. However, if you partner with BDI Resourcing, you will only have to create one CV. We have found hundreds of doctors their first NHS post and so we have a thorough understanding of the NHS’ preferred formatted CV and all the information that should be included. We will always provide you with CV suggestions to enhance your application. 6. Interview Support When we have organised your first interview, we will provide you with in-depth knowledge about the vacant post, a job description of the role, information about the hospital and its area, information on who will be interviewing you and what they are looking for. We will also go through some interview questions with you to help you prepare for it. 7. Salary Negotiation You have worked hard to get all the required GMC Registration qualifications, impressed the interviewer and the hospital has decided to offer you the post. However, the salary offered is much lower than you anticipated, but you really want to accept the job. BDI Resourcing have in-depth knowledge of the NHS pay scale and we are extremely experienced in negotiating a higher salary – so leave it with us, and we will work our magic until you are happy. 8. Our Services are free When a doctor or nurse partners with us, our services are completely free for them to use. 9. You will gain a friend Throughout the whole process, you will have a friend. We thoroughly understand that the process of relocating is an overwhelming one, and so we want to provide you with as much support as you would like. From the moment you first speak with our Consultant, to when you arrive in the UK, we would love to meet you and continue to speak after you have started your new post. Anything you need... we will be just a telephone call away! If you are an international doctor or nurse and you would like to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS – send your CV to [email protected] and we 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 guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs!

Our 100th Blog Article

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 30, 2018

Hello everyone and welcome to BDI Resourcing’s 100th blog post – we can’t quite believe that we have written 100 blog articles in just nine months. On average, each blog post contains around 1000 words and so, since we started the BDI blog we have shared over 100,000 words for all international doctors and nurses to read. To celebrate this milestone, we wanted to share with you the BDI Blog’s journey, our most popular posts and a Q&A with our Social Media Executive, Gabrielle. BDI’s Blogging Journey: The BDI Resourcing blog started on Tuesday 20 February 2018, just nine months ago. Our reason? We recognised that there were large amounts of information on relocation for doctors and nurses, however, a lot of this information was often conflicting. This was having a detrimental impact on doctors, which can result in the wrong decisions being made or sometimes deterring doctors away from making the decision to relocate. And so, we set out to create a central point of intelligence that was accessible to every single doctor and nurse, no matter where they lived in the world and completely free to all! Reading the BDI blog will allow you to clarify all your relocation questions and receive regular updates to the ever-changing process. Our blog is not just about sharing registration information but is also a space to share our story, so we will often post about our employee’s achievements and business milestones. We enjoy sharing our doctors and nurses journey and so, in turn, we share the same. On Thursday 6 September 2018, we launched our new website to offer our doctors and nurses a better experience. The format is clearer, our blog posts are divided up into categories, and you can now search for blog topics, jobs and register your CV with us. And now, on the 30 November 2018, we are sharing our 100th blog post. It is a really exciting time at BDI Resourcing and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for both us and our international doctors and nurses. Top 5 most popular posts (based on page views) #1 United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment #2 CESR #3 How much will it cost me to live in the UK per month? #4 Tier 2 visa cap to be lifted next week #5 BDI’s “Hot Tips” for a successful relocation   Gabrielle’s top 5 Favourite posts #1 The NHS’ 70th Birthday #2 Things you should know before moving to London #3 Why travelling is important for your career #4 Interview with Naseer Khan #5 Interview questions with answers A big thank you to our readers The sole purpose of this blog is for health care professionals to obtain valuable and clear information on the relocation process, gain insight into UK life and find their first NHS job. So, BDI Resourcing wants to say a big thank you to the thousands of doctors and nurses that return day after day. We love connecting with you all and being part of your journey to the UK and joining the NHS. Q&A with our writer, Gabrielle Richardson   Hi! My name is Gabrielle Richardson and I am BDI Resourcing’s Social Media Executive. What is your role at BDI Resourcing? The fundamentals of my role are: support, advise and guide ALL international doctors and nurses. I speak to hundreds of different health care professionals each day, all at different stages of their GMC/NMC Registration. This support takes form in the creation of blog articles, videos, online messages and online forums. Why do you enjoy blogging? I have always enjoyed researching and learning new information and writing the BDI blog allows me to do this. When we post a blog article, it allows us to connect with incredibly talented medical professionals from all over the world which we may have not connected with otherwise. A BDI blog is a useful source of information, sparks conversations and creates connections. What is your favourite social media channel to use? Facebook! I love all social media platforms as each one has its own merits. However, I think that Facebook allows you to connect on a personal level. Between comments on posts and private messaging, you see an insight into the doctors and nurses’ lives that you speak to each and every day. Whether they are sharing a special family photo, or they are on holiday – it is absolute pleasure for me to see and it makes helping them even more important as they are not just a ‘Facebook User’. What is your communication style? Something that is important to me and BDI Resourcing is the relationships we create with our doctors and nurses. It is important for us to be transparent and build trusting relationships in order to create successful partnerships with all who we work with. I would say I offer a personal, yet professional relationship, with all doctors and nurses I speak to – reinforcing the fact that we are both working towards a common goal, which is finding their first NHS post. Where do you get your inspiration? As a marketer, you see everything! When I see a query from a doctor or nurse online, I find myself constantly finding ways to solve their problems in a creative yet useful manner. For example, I repeatedly saw the question ‘how much money will I need in the UK?’ and the answer to this question is fundamental to their relocation plan. And so, as someone who lives in the UK, I thought it was my duty to provide IMGs with the answer. I went through my personal monthly expenditure and then considered the expenditure of a doctor, then created an outflow table and shared it with everyone. The feedback was excellent, and it is really satisfying to know that your work is both greatly needed and appreciated. My inspiration is my doctors and nurses, whatever they need – I will produce it. What advice would you give to an IMG at the start of the relocation process? Knowing all of the information you know? My first piece of advice is to research! The decision to relocate is a big one, especially if that decision involves your spouse and children. So, find out the cost of the English language exams, Royal College exams, visa costs, UK living costs, UK areas, schools – everything. This way you will not incur any unexpected fees and it allows you to plan ahead. We cover all of this on our blog, so click here if you would like advice on everything listed. Second, join online groups. They provide so much advice and support and this is crucial when things go wrong. You won’t be the first one that it has happened to and by listening to others stories it will motivate you to keep going. If you are a doctor join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor, to receive this support. Or if you are a nurse, join our Facebook Group International Nurses for the UK. My final piece of advice is to keep going! The process can be long and overwhelming, but you will definitely reap the benefits. The UK is a fantastic country to live in: the quality of life, the training opportunities, the education, the lifestyle. And remember, the NHS needs you! By joining the NHS, you will be valued and appreciated by all – and this is shown by both patient satisfaction and NHS salary and benefits. What’s next for the BDI blog? The process of relocating to the UK for an international doctor or nurse is constantly changing. From the GMC’s licencing requirements, language exams and the NHS recruitment process. BDI Resourcing prides itself on providing you with all updates and being a sole point of intelligence. Remember – if you have any queries, message our Facebook page or email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help you with all queries. We have some big plans for 2019 – so stick around and see what’s coming up! Thank you for reading and good luck with your journey!

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