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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 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: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2018]. Career Advice. (2018). How to address a career break on your CV | CV-Library. [online] Available at: [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 - 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 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 (2018). BMA - Clinical attachments. [online] Available at: [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 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 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!

How to find the NHS job you love

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 28, 2018

After you have obtained GMC Registration, finding a new job can be a challenging and frustrating experience. However, with our fundamental tips, you can make the job search a bit easier on yourself if you use a proactive strategy and find the job you love. 1. Be clear on what you want If you are a junior doctor, it is important for you to take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you enjoy doing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you will find yourself working within a specialty that provides you with greater job satisfaction. Before making NHS applications, ask yourself: What do I want from the job? Experience within a particular specialty, the opportunity to train, location, title, salary etc? 2. Tailor your resume to each job Did you know that recruiters/medical staffing/lead clinicians will spend no more than 5-10 seconds looking at your CV? Therefore, it is vital that you make yourself an obvious fit for the post you are applying to. Our first piece of advice is to study the job description and use the same words, phrases and responsibilities listed within your CV. It is important for you to tailor your CV to each job application. For example, if you are a junior doctor, it is no use providing your duties and responsibilities within your Surgery rotation when applying for an Emergency Medicine post and leaving your experience within that rotation blank. 3. Organise your job applications When you start your job search, organise your applications within a visual system. You could create a spreadsheet that allows you to track your applications based on hospital, salary, interview invitations, rejections etc. This will allow you to keep perspective within the process. 4. Utilise your network of contacts This can include online and offline contacts. Searching online will allow you to find out what jobs and opportunities are out there and are available, so you can be more strategic in your job search. You may find someone who already works within the NHS and they can help you source a clinical attachment or you could use social media to uncover job leads. Don’t be afraid to message other doctors or recruiters on Facebook and LinkedIn for advice and guidance. 5. Patience is a virtue The NHS job hunt can be tough, stressful and can often leave you feeling disheartened. So, when you begin to feel saddened, take some time out to exercise, meet some friends or any activity that helps you unwind. Prepare for the job hunt to take longer than you think. Some doctors find their first NHS jobs in a matter of weeks, but for others, it can take months. It is important not to rush the process and wait for the right opportunity. 6. Treat the interviews as a conversation Remember it is just as valuable for you to ask the NHS interview panel questions, just as it is for them to ask you questions. This will allow you to find out if this is the right opportunity for you and if there are future opportunities for training, teaching, research etc. If you are an international doctor who is searching for your first NHS post, email your CV to and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs. References Anon, (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018]. LiveCareer. (2018). 14 Quick Tips for Finding a New Job | LiveCareer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

How to make an impact during your NHS interview

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 26, 2018

You have worked extremely hard to obtain a Royal College Qualification or pass the PLAB exams and then go on to pass IELTS or OET. You have moved on to the next stage of the process, started applying for NHS jobs and you have been invited to your first interview! Preparing for your interview in the right way will enhance your application, set you apart from other candidates and hopefully secure you the position. An NHS interview is not only an opportunity to talk through your qualifications and experience but for the Consultant to decide if he wants to work with you. In today’s post, we provide you with six tips on how to leave a lasting impression on the interview panel during your NHS interview. 1. Your personal qualities When preparing for your interview you should ask yourself ‘What qualities do I want to demonstrate?’ It is vital for doctors to demonstrate certain qualities such as compassion and professionalism – but do you have any qualities that will set you apart from others? Such as leadership skills, adaptability, confidence, trustworthiness – where appropriate try and provide example scenarios to demonstrate these skills. 2. Practice your answers NHS interviews tend to follow a particular format and questions are often repeated.   Visit our NHS Interview Guide blog post where you will receive a list of standard NHS questions. Try and prepare an answer for each question and a real-life scenario of how you can evidence this, this will save you thinking time during the interview itself. You should also prepare a response for a question you may not know the answer to straight away, you could say “Please may we come back to that question, I would like a little more time to gather my thoughts”. 3. Turn the interview into a conversation Although the purpose of the interview is for the hospital to find out more information about your skills and experience, it is also an opportunity for you to inquire about the position available. You should attend the interview with some insightful questions prepared, such as opportunities for training, teaching, further information on your duties and responsibilities or if there will be a chance to get some experience in an area of interest. You should also read up on the hospital’s website, their CQC rating, their location in the UK – as you may get asked why you want to take up a post in that specific hospital. 4. Remember short and succinct answers are the best answers As a result of feeling nervous, some people overcompensate by talking too much.  However, it is important to tell yourself that sometimes questions only need a short response and so it is important for you to learn the ability to be concise. Before you answer each question, you should summarise in your head what the interviewer has asked before you answer. And then if your answer requires depth you should signpost your response by saying “firstly, secondly etc”. This will help your answer remain structured and for your most important points to be conveyed. If you vary the length of your answers it will also help the interview appear more of a natural conversation. 5. Ask for feedback When the interview is coming to a close, it would be useful for you to ask if you could receive some feedback on your performance (if this has not already been offered). Try and do this in a professional way without looking too pushy. 6. Continuously emphasise patient safety The most important thing an NHS Employer wants to know from an international doctor is that they will be able to “practice safely”, so when answering their questions it is fundamental to speak of patient safety being paramount and provide solid answers to clinical scenario questions. Email your CV to and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs!

Professional Development within the NHS

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 22, 2018

Introduction The General Medical Council requires all doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. When you join the NHS, you will be expected to continue to learn throughout your career and the best way to do this is through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD activities allow you to develop your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of your medical practice. CPD activities include both formal and informal learning activities, such as research, peer reviews, audits, attending courses, conferences, events etc. Why is it important for me to complete CPD activities? Continuing your professional development will… Help you update what you learned in your primary medical degree and during your postgraduate training Allows you to keep up to date with any changes to the needs of patients, the health service and policy changes Enables you to keep up to date and fit to practise, and maintain the professional standards required You are required to bring a summary of your CPD activities to your annual appraisal with your Educational Supervisor to show that you have met the requirements for revalidation It allows you to enhance your career opportunities, such as allowing you to work more effectively within multi-professional teams and to develop leadership and educational skills Remember to record your CPD activities It is important to record your learning activities, your reflections, learning needs and learning outcomes when evidencing your CPD. One to way to do so is to create an online portfolio – you can typically find this feature within your Royal College’s website or use the GMC’s CPD smartphone application. The GMC’S CPD App The GMC offers a free app to all those practising medicine in the UK. They appreciate that opportunities for learning and development will occur every day, but we do not always have time to write them down, not to mention reflecting on them. So, the app will allow you to regularly update your CPD quickly and easily. The app also allows you to: Export your learning activities in a PDF or Excel report so you can share this with your colleagues You can also transfer your activities to other systems, such as your appraisal or revalidation system Take photos and attach them to your chosen learning activity on the app, saving you time in filing certificates from conferences and seminars Access tips and case studies to help you reflect on your CPD and prepare for your next appraisal CPD Points for Appraisals Appraisals allow you to reflect on your scope of practice, reflect on whether you are up to date in every area and whether your continuing professional development is appropriately matched with your experience, identify personal and professional development needs and ensure that you are adhering to the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. Your appraiser will be allocated by your ‘Responsible Officer’ and this varies from Trust to Trust. It is likely that you will have more than one appraiser. Professional Development Plans During your appraisal, you will also create a Personal Development Plan (PDP) to help you plan your short-term and long-term career goals. What is a PDP? It is an individual plan designed to help identify and address your educational and professional development needs. For each learning need, you should ask yourself what you want and need to learn, what you will do to achieve it, what resources you will need and target dates for completion. The advantage of developing a good PDP plan is that it will allow you to achieve your potential by identifying your gaps in your knowledge and skills. CPD Points, PDPs and Appraisals for Revalidation If you hold GMC Registration with a licence to practise, you will legally be required to revalidate, every five years, through a regular appraisal which will look at your CPD points and your efforts to meet your PDP. This will all be based against the GMC’s guidance for doctors – Good Medical Practice. If you successfully revalidate then you will continue to hold your GMC Registration with a licence to practise. Types of CPD Activities Work-based activities Reflective practice Audit of service users Discussions with colleagues Peer review Learning from experience Work shadowing Secondments Job rotations In-service training Supervising staff or students Professional activities Teaching Mentoring Involvement in a professional body e.g. The Royal College of Surgeons Organising accredited courses Being a national assessor Formal and Educational Attending courses Further education Research Attending conferences Writing articles Attending seminars Self-directed learning Reading journals or articles Reviewing books or articles Keeping a file of your progress If you are an IMG looking for your first NHS post, email your CV to and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch about UK opportunities. 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 (2018). Get the MyCPD app. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018]. (2018). Continuing professional development. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018]. Health Careers. (2018). Personal development planning. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2018].

Guide to working a successful NHS on-call shift

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 19, 2018

What is an on-call shift? When you are on-call you are expected to be available outside of your normal working hours to work as and when required, the number of hours will have been previously established within your contract. Your location during your on-call shift will also have been stated in your contract. Typically, junior doctors remain on-site and then consultants off-site to allow flexibility of work. In this post, we provide you with some fundamental tips on how to successfully work an NHS on-call shift and some advice from an SHO General Medicine working within the NHS.   On-call shift patterns Weekday on-calls Weeknight on-calls Weekend day on-calls Weekend night on-calls There are also different forms of on-call shifts. This can include on-take shifts, where you will perform examinations or history-taking. You could also cover ward-rounds, which is crucial for reviewing and planning patients care. Please note, the type of shift you will be undertaking will be determined by the specialty you work in. As a doctor-on-call, you must… Ensure you are available at all times of the required-on call period, and that members of the Trust and switchboard are informed of your contact details whilst on-call Ensure that you are in the right state to attend work and you must remain in a fit state whilst on duty i.e. not drunk Be aware of and follow the local standard operating procedures relating to on-call Be familiar with the local arrangements for reporting any unavailability BDI Resourcing’s top tips before going on-call 1. Preparation is key Before you start your first NHS on-call, you will need to prepare in order to have a successful shift. The first task is to bring food with you. Often, when doctors first start working on-call they decide to order pizza and drink cans of coke to increase their energy levels. However, fast-food will only make you crash later on in your shift and will also result in weight gain. Secondly, it would also be useful for you to organise your personal life prior to working on-call. This could include doing a food shop, paying bills, organising childcare etc. This will reduce stress and worry when you are working on-call, allowing you to focus on your job. Thirdly, when on shift, you should carry a list of common medications with their dose to save time. This will help you speed up routine tasks.  2. Maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle By eating well and regularly exercising this will reduce the negative effects of working nights, such as fatigue, performance levels and your mental well-being. Tips on working a night on-call shift 1. Eat and drink properly as this will help you maintain your energy levels. 2. If you are unsure of the appropriate action – ask for help. Your responses will not be as reliable as they are during the day and nothing beats a second opinion. 3. Try and take naps when you have the opportunity Tips for after you have finished an on-call shift Once you have finished your on-call shift and you are making your way home, try and stay vigilant. Whether you are driving or taking public transport, your responses will be low so take extra caution to help you stay safe. Once you reach home and you get into bed, reduce all possibilities of waking you up to ensure you get a good-quality sleep and you wake up feeling rest. This includes, earplugs, blackout blinds and put your phone on aeroplane mode. Advice from an SHO General Medicine working within the NHS “Although everything will be taught and demonstrated within your induction, there is such an influx of information that some of it is often forgotten. In addition, as an IMG you will be used to practicing within a different system with different processes. Therefore, requesting a blood test or an x-ray can often lead to you feeling slightly confused or overwhelmed. However, it is important to remember to ask for help. This includes nurses, pharmacists and therapists as well as doctors– they would have previously been in the same position and so everyone will be happy to help you. And over time you will feel a lot more confident.” Although working an on-call shift can feel overwhelming and leave you feeling tired, the advantage is that you are essentially your own boss for the shift without too much pressure from senior staff. If you have any questions about relocating to the UK and working within the NHS email and we will be happy to guide you. 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! References (2018). Surviving on call. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].

Balancing motherhood and being a doctor

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 07, 2018

According to the Office of National Statistics, 70% of mothers in the UK now work full-time. Being a full-time working mother can often lead to feelings of guilt, stress and worry because of the divided attention between your family and work life. However, it is important to remember that these feelings can be set aside by devising a plan and finding the right balance between your medical responsibilities and parenthood. In this article, we provide you with five tips to manage your time which will ensure that you, your family and your career are equally successful. We also provide you with a personal account from an NHS Trust Grade Doctor Paediatrics and her advice on juggling motherhood and being a doctor. Tip 1 – Do not feel guilty Rather than constantly feeling upset because you are not with your child, you should think about how your role within the NHS is benefiting both your family and the UK public. By working, you will be able to afford different educational opportunities for your child or perhaps save for their future whilst simultaneously acting as a valuable asset to the UK’s National Health Service. It is important to accept that there will be good and bad days. As a mum, you will not be the first one to feel this way and our advice is to discuss how you are feeling with your spouse, friends, work colleagues and the online IMG community. Tip 2 – Find good quality childcare It is likely that you will feel less anxious if you ask your personal network of friends and family to care for your child. If that is not possible, ask them for references of good quality nurseries or nannies. This way you can work knowing that your child is being loved, cared for and will be happy whilst you are away working. Tip 3 – Stay organised Another tip that helps you feel less overwhelmed is to stay organised. Often, this can start the night before, such as packing your child’s lunches, laying out their clothes (and your own to save extra time!), you could even lay out their breakfast, place bags by the door etc – allowing you to enjoy spending quality time with them each morning, rather than rushing around the house. You could also create a daily to-do-list to help you divide the schedule between you and your spouse. Another way to stay on top of household responsibilities is to meal plan. Plan for a shop to be delivered at the beginning of each week and then write down what you will all be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This way, when you have a busy day, you do not have to worry about what you are going to cook because it has already been planned ahead of time. Tip 4 – Stay connected during the day A good way to feel less emotion over being away from your child is to stay connected even when you are not together. If you have younger children, and if it is possible, you can FaceTime them during your lunch break or on your way home from work. Or perhaps, you could pre-record a video or voice message to leave with their carer to show them. If you have an older child, you could leave them a note in the morning or plan some one-on-one time for the next weekend ahead, giving you both something to look forward to. Tip 5 – Make time for your spouse and yourself Although it is important to make enough one-on-time with your children, do not forget about your partner! Setting aside a monthly date night can often lead to you feeling excited and rejuvenates your relationship. And remember to leave some time for yourself too! Finding time to read a book before bed, have a bubble bath, exercise, or spend some time doing something you love will allow you to recharge your batteries in order to take care of your family. A Personal Account from an NHS Trust Grade Doctor Paediatrics and a mother of a one-year-old daughter (Anonymous) I got unexpectedly pregnant during my post as a Paediatrics Emergency Medicine Medical Officer in Myanmar and whilst I was studying for my MRCPCH clinical exam preparation. At the time, I was contracted to work 48 hours per week and my department saw over 3000 patients a month. Although my husband is a very supportive partner, he is a military doctor who stays away from home, so I could not always count on him. I had a very tiring pregnancy and the only motivation was for me to pass my MRCPCH clinical exam with high marks – of which I did, and I am very proud of. My daughter was finally born and unfortunately, she was born with a hole in her heart (VSD). She underwent her surgery and we have been told she needs to have the second surgery in the UK as it is not possible in Myanmar – this was another reason for my decision to relocate. I was only given 90 days paid maternity leave and I took 28 days unpaid leave – giving me 4 months off work. Once I returned to work I decided to hire a day nanny who worked 7am to 7pm, I also used her as a night nanny whilst I was on-call. It was difficult being a doctor and a mother, so I decided to move in with my mum and my dad. This helped me relax as I knew that when the nanny was caring for my baby, my parents would be around too. After work, I always made sure I had quality time with my baby. I would sing her lullabies, read and dance with her. And then after she fell asleep my study time would come. My top tip to studying doctors would be to study at every opportunity you have. Make everything paperless by using a phone, tablet or laptop and put them on aeroplane mode to allow you to concentrate. Sometimes, I even practiced for my OET exam by speaking to my baby in English. By staying organised, you can still work, care for your baby and conduct extra-curricular activities – I managed to finish two audits and was a co-author of a research paper. My second piece of advice to IMGs with children is to relocate to the UK alone for the first month or so. Once you have settled and have everything organised, such as nurseries, schools and accommodation your family can then come over. I am worried about how I will manage when my baby arrives in the UK, I am hoping my mum can come for the first six months on a UK visit visa. When my mum leaves I will have to get a nanny, I tend to install CCTV to reduce my worries. My final tip would be to tell your child that you love them as many times in the day as possible. By giving them lots of hugs and kisses they will not worry about being away from you. Overall, being a mother and a doctor is a wonderful life and I am very grateful. Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor! Here, you will have access to frequently published relocation blog posts, the opportunity to receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs! And if you are looking to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS email and we will be happy to help you. References (2018). Families and the labour market, England - Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Nov. 2018]. (2018). About Your Privacy on this Site. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Nov. 2018].

How to get a UK training post

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 02, 2018

After you have finished your foundation/internship training you will be eligible to start applying for Speciality Training. In today’s post, we provide you with an outline to training within the NHS, how to apply for a training post and ways to enhance your training post application. Introduction Postgraduate medical education and training is the joint responsibility of the four Departments of Health in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the GMC, Postgraduate Deaneries and the Royal Colleges. Specialty Training Structure After you graduate from university, you will be a qualified junior doctor and you are then required to enter a two-year Foundation Programme designed to practice your knowledge and skills across a broad spectrum of specialties. If you complete this overseas, it is typically called an internship. Please note, that to enter into Core Medical Training within the NHS you will need your core competencies signed off. If you are unable to get them signed, you will need to complete FY1 and FY2 in the UK and then go onto Specialty Training. Core Medical Training and Specialty Training After you have finished your Foundation Training you will then need to enter Core Medical Training (CMT) and then Specialty Training (i.e. ST1, ST2, ST3 etc.) What happens in Core Medical Training? During this period of training, doctors will continue to acquire general competencies following the General Curriculum for Medical Specialties, which will provide a professional, moral and legal framework for practice. Please note, that CMT is specific to each individual specialty – some require it, some do not. Please visit the relevant Royal College’s website to find out more information. What happens in Speciality Training? For training within a specific medical specialty, you will be required to acquire the level 1 competencies as defined by the appropriate curriculum. Depending on the specialty, these training programmes will typically take a further 4-6 years. Please click here for a list of medical specialties and subspecialties you can practice within. If you achieve all your relevant competencies, each trainee will achieve a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). What if I am an international doctor who is looking to train in the UK? I am a junior doctor: If you are a junior doctor with no specialist experience, then you can use the PLAB route to work within the NHS. This will allow you to apply for an ST1 post and use the UK training route to obtain your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) – which will make you eligible for entry onto the GP Register or Specialist Register. Being on the Specialist Register will allow you to work as a UK Consultant. I am a specialised doctor: If you are a specialised doctor and you hold a Royal College Qualification, you can enter Speciality Training at ST3+ level. You can then use your UK training to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) – which will make you eligible for entry onto the GP Register or Specialist Register, allowing you to work as a UK Consultant. Please click here for further information on the difference between CCT and CESR. What if I am a specialised doctor but I do not hold a Royal College Qualification? If you do not hold a Royal College Qualification, you can either obtain one which will allow you to apply for ST3+ level posts. Alternatively, you could use the PLAB route to obtaining GMC Registration. However, you will be limited to training within ST1 and ST2 posts – and you will eventually have to get a Royal College Qualification in order to continue with your training. How do I apply for a training post? Since 2015, the application process for specialty posts are implemented by Oriel, an online portal for everyone applying for medical and dental training across the UK. Oriel will allow you to register, view vacancies, apply, book interviews and assessment centres and receive offers – all in one place. Round 1 – Contains recruitment to all CT1/ST1 specialty training programmes. Posts appointed in this round will normally start in August 2018 and end typically no later than December 2018. Round 2 – This will be the first opportunity where ST3/ST4 posts in uncoupled training programmes will be advertised. These posts are typically advertised between August 2018 and December 2018. Round 1 Re-Advert – This is where vacant posts advertised in Round 1 are re-advertised in a second round. These adverts will appear in February 2018. Round 2 Re-Advert – This round contains vacant posts from Round 2. Typically, posts advertised in this round will commence in February 2019. Training posts are extremely competitive When deciding which posts and specialties to apply for, it is important that you are aware of the competition rate involved – as 99% of Round 1 and Round 2 posts are given first refusal to those who come through the UK training system. Please click here for a list of the 2018 Competition Ratios for each specialty. Therefore, as an IMG, we advise for you to take an NHS service job for at least a year and then apply for a training post – the NHS experience will dramatically enhance your application and reduce your competition. As a junior doctor, I understand that NHS posts at FY1, FY2 and SHO level posts are extremely competitive. What can I do to enhance my application? Our first and foremost advice would be to format your CV well. This is critical for it to be passed to the next stage of the recruitment process. Furthermore, if it is possible, try to obtain an NHS clinical attachment. This will massively enhance your application as you will have first-hand experience of how the system works. How do I successfully format my CV? A CV can be needed at any point of your medical career, and especially at the point of your decision to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS. Your CV is essentially a personal record of all your qualifications, achievements, skills and relevant experience being a doctor. You should view your CV as an opportunity to sell your skills and experiences. The GMC strongly advise that you write a CV specifically for your registration application. Details of what to include in your CV and its construction are listed below: Personal Information and Contact Details: Your name on your CV must match your name on your proof of identity Registrations: Provide your GMC reference number and the details of any other medical regulators you are registered with Memberships: List your professional body membership Qualifications: List your qualifications in reverse-chronological order Employment History: List your employment history in reverse-chronological order. Information to include: post title, start-end date, institution name and location, the name of your supervisor, provide a brief description on your current role – it should cover your duties and responsibilities indicating your level of supervision. Lastly, in this section include details of gaps of employment. Again, you should list them in reverse-chronological order. Any gaps which are longer than 28 days should be explained and accounted for Awards: List any awards you have received Research: List any research placements you have undertaken Publications: List any publications Continuing Professional Development (CPD): List your CPD activity within the last five years Conferences/Courses: Give details of relevant/important conferences or courses you have attended Teaching and Training Experience: Provide a brief description of your teaching and training activities Management Experience: Provide a brief description of your management history. Procedures: Give a list of all procedures you have performed Other details to include in a CV not being sent to the GMC: Interests and Hobbies: Here you could focus on any College Memberships or positions of responsibility References: Typically, people provide two references. Make sure your references have positions of responsibility, state their position and offer their contact details. CV Format Do’s and Don’ts: Do’s Choose a professional font to ensure legibility for prospective employers. Present each section in a clear logical order. Use clear section headings (i.e. Education and Employment History) and remember to order your history in reverse-chronological order to keep your CV legible and clear. Power Words – These are also known as action words. This includes: responsible for, co-ordinated, supervised, influenced, designed etc. Explain gaps in employment – You should explain all employment gaps that are over four weeks long. Don’ts Length - A medical CV is heavily focused on your experience and so detail is fundamental. Therefore, do not worry too much about the length of your CV. Personal Data – Do not include the following information: age, date of birth, ethnic identity, religious preference, marital status and sexual orientation. Experiment with font – You might think that decreasing your font size is a good way to fit a large amount into a smaller space, this could lead to your CV being illegible and not being read by prospective employers. Irrelevant information – When writing your CV ask yourself the question ‘Will it help me get the job?’ If the answer is no, do not put it in your CV. For instance, in the ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section do not put any hobbies unless it is relevant to your job application. Please email us at if you would like u to send you an exemplary CV.   If you have any questions about the above information or relocation to the UK in general, get in touch with us at and we will be happy to help. 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.

How to buy a house in the UK

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 31, 2018

If you are planning on relocating to the UK permanently, you may consider buying a property over renting one. Buying a house in the UK is a complex and often a very lengthy process, so in this post, we provide you with a summary of the steps you will have to take when buying a house. Step 1: Save for a deposit Typically, you will need to save for a deposit of at least 5-15% of the price of the property you want to buy. However, it is often worth saving more if possible because a bigger deposit means a better mortgage deal. When saving try and save into the following types of bank accounts: Help to Buy ISA’s or Lifetime ISA’s – these accounts will give you a 25% top-up from the UK government. For further information on each account click here. Other options: Help to buy equity loan: you save a 5% deposit and the government loans you 20% of the property price (40% in Greater London) meaning you only need a 75% mortgage (or 55% in London) Shared ownership – you buy a 25%-75% share in a property and pay rent on the rest of it. Help from family – some mortgage lenders will take parents’ incomes or assets into account, making it easier for you to borrow money. Step 2: Enquire about how much mortgage you are entitled to borrow The amount a mortgage provider will lend you to buy a house will depend on the size of your deposit, your income and your credit score. If you are buying a property with a partner, the lender will also take their finances into account. Tip – budget for additional costs such as property surveys, conveyancing fees, stamp duty etc. What if I have little credit history within the UK? We are proud to partner with Fox Davidson Mortgage Brokers. Fox Davidson is an independent property finance broker and specialise in securing finance for professionals such as doctors and surgeons. In addition, they can secure finance for clients without permanent rights to reside and that have little credit history in the UK. As a benefit to using BDI Resourcing we have negotiated direct access to the team at Fox Davidson that specialise in mortgages for doctors. Fox Davidson can help clients with: 10% deposit or more Little or no UK credit history Tier 1 and 2 Visa To discuss your mortgage requirements in more detail please contact Pete Lloyd on 01179 897950 or email Click here to access their full mortgage guide. Step 3: Apply for a mortgage agreement in principle This is a confirmation from a mortgage lender that they would, in principle, be willing to lend you a certain amount should you find a property. Having an agreement can make you a more attractive buyer as it shows the seller that you will be able to secure the amount of money you need to buy the property. Step 4: Find a property Once you have found the perfect property it will be time to make an offer. It is common practice to offer less than the asking price, however, if other people are making offers for the property, you may need to offer the asking price or more. When making an offer mention any points that will enhance your profile e.g. you are a chain-free first-time buyer. Step 5: Apply for a mortgage You will now need to start thinking about the type of mortgage you want to apply for and how long you want to spend paying your mortgage off. Click here to visit a mortgage calculation site. Step 6: Find a conveyancer or a solicitor Conveyancing is the legal process after your offer is accepted. This includes conducting property searches, checking documents, drawing up and checking contracts, dealing with the land registry, paying any stamp duty and transferring money. Conveyancing fees can range from around £500 to £1,500 – this will vary depending on the cost of the property and the complexity of the transaction. Step 7: Exchange Contracts You can exchange contracts with your seller when the legal representatives swap signed contracts and you have paid the deposit. Completion of the transaction typically takes place two weeks after the exchange, however, the date is flexible, and you can agree a convenient time with the seller. On completion day, the money will be transferred to the seller and you can then collect the keys from the estate agent and move into your new home. Congratulations! And enjoy your new home! If you have any questions about the above information or relocation to the UK in general, get in touch with us at and we will be happy to help. 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 Cheung, C. (2018). How to buy a house. [online] Which? Money. Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].

The difference between CCT and CESR

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 29, 2018

There are three types of Specialist Register certificates in the UK issued by the GMC, which will allow you to work as a UK Consultant: The Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration via the Combined Programme (CESR (CP)) The Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) The type of certificate you will receive will depend on what training route you are on. What is CCT? A CCT will confirm that a doctor has completed an approved training programme in the UK and is therefore eligible for entry onto the GP Register or the Specialist Register. To be eligible to apply for a CCT from the GMC, your entire training (including your internship/foundation years) must have taken place in GMC approved training posts, or in posts undertaken in the EEA/Switzerland and approved by the statutory authority in that country. What is CESR CP? CESR CP is a process for doctors appointed to a training programme intended to lead to a CESR for Specialist Registration. CESR CP is awarded by the GMC to those doctors who enter a GMC approved training programme (above the first year) having undertaken training in a non-approved post prior to entry.   You will be placed on the CESR (CP) route to Specialist Registration if you gained your core competencies: Outside of the UK In the UK, but not as part of a GMC approved training programme or In the EEA/Switzerland but in posts that were not approved by the statutory authority in that country What is CESR? This route is for doctors who are not eligible for CESR (CP) and for those who have never been in a GMC approved training programme. These doctors will apply directly to the GMC for an assessment of their training, skills, knowledge and experience against the CCT curriculum. For further information on CESR please click here and for guidance on how to apply please click here. Assumption: CCT is better than CESR This is incorrect. Some doctors assume that CCT is the only route to becoming a UK Consultant, or the better route. No route is better as they both lead to being on the UK Specialist Register – a globally recognised achievement. If you would like further information or advice on the above topic please email and we will be happy to help. 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 CCT or CESR (CP). (2018). [ebook] Health Education England. Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2018].

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