Overseas doctor

Are you an overseas doctor wanting to work or train in the UK? Great changes are occurring in the UK medical training at the moment.

For the purpose of clarity, overseas trained doctors are medical doctors who graduated from a medical school outside the country in which they are practising.

In the UK, and indeed on this site, the term refers to any medical doctor who graduated outside the UK or EU. They are also called international medical graduates, IMG.

There are still job opportunities for these international medical graduates in the UK, and there would continue to be. These UK jobs however are becoming more difficult to secure, both because of the recent immigration rule regarding overseas doctors in training as well as the newly implemented change in the way medical doctors are trained in the UK tagged the MMM – Modernising Medical Careers.

What Do I Need To Do To Work As an Overseas Trained Doctor In the UK?

To work as an overseas trained doctor in the UK, you need to:

• Acquaint yourself with the UK job situation for medical doctors (ho! That is why you are on this page!)

• See how you fit in as regards Immigration Rule for Overseas Doctors and years of qualification (for MMC purposes)

• Plan to and write PLAB • Plan your finances as you may have a long waiting period before securing your first medical job

• Be willing to do some menial jobs if your visa status allows you

Job Situation for Overseas Trained Doctors In the UK

In 2004 alone, the General Medical Council UK (GMC) registered about 15,000 doctors for the first time. Over 11,000 were international medical graduates trained outside the EU, and about 4000 UK trained doctors. This means that of every 10 doctors applying for medical jobs in the UK, over 7 are overseas doctors. That became the situation.

These doctors from overseas are often much more experienced (having worked for a long time at home before coming to the UK, and starting off at junior SHO levels, competing with recently graduated UK trained doctors) and with more post-graduate qualifications.

In 2005, there were anecdotal reports that over 10,000 UK trained doctors could not get medical jobs in the UK. The much more numerous as well as experienced international medical graduates, got these jobs.

Media reports soon brought this to the fore. There came the new immigration rule, barring all employing NHS Trusts in the UK to offer available jobs to the UK trained doctors with UK or EU right of abode / citizenship before considering an overseas doctor.

As it is now, the job situation for an overseas trained doctor in the UK or planning to come to the UK lacks lustre. Currently, an overseas trained doctor may have to put in about 700 applications to secure 1 – 3 interviews. For every 1 job position advertised, there are now about 700 –2500 applications received!

Over 50 % of overseas trained doctors in the UK are yet to get their first UK job as medical doctors, 6 months after passing PLAB .

There will, nevertheless always be jobs that can be filled by an overseas doctor. These are typically the non-training jobs that UK trained graduates will not normally want to take up, called staff grade jobs or trust grade jobs. These are career medical jobs without any career progression prospects. They are often dead end jobs.

Having said that, there are also going to be several training UK medical jobs that can not be filled by UK or EU graduates that were hitherto filled by overseas doctors.

Preliminary reports from various NHS Trusts in the UK indicate that this is already the situation. So, if you are an overseas doctor seeking to work or train in the UK, there are going to be UK jobs for overseas doctors, but they may be difficult to grab. Who say you may not be lucky or fortunate to get one immediately after your exams and clinical attachment?

Useful Links

BMJ Info for Overseas Doctors

The General Medical Council UK

CV Tips & Samples!

Web get-uk-jobs.com

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