Current visa regulations
Doctors can enter the UK on Tier II (Directly sponsored by the Trust) or Tier V (Sponsored by the relevant Royal Colleges for each speciality, under the MTI Scheme)
Process of getting jobs for PGIM trainees in the UK
- Tier II – Apply directly to jobs advertised in the BMJ
- Tier V – You could contact the MTI co-ordinator of the relevant Royal College
- Web site- https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/medical-careers-training/international-medical-graduates/medical-training-initiative-mti
Things to do before coming to UK
- If you want to drive, get an international driving license
- To get car insurance for driving, get a ‘no claim’ notice from your current insurer in Sri Lanka
- Get documentation on vaccinations/Ab status ( especially if working with neonates)
- You need to be a competent user of computers/ internet as most of hospital work involves use of computers
- Aim to arrive in UK at least 1 week early- to sort out housing, transport, shops, kids schooling
- Try to do an orientation week- shadowing someone. May have to plan before coming. Obviously no pay but worthwhile!!!
- Bring a collection of interesting cases for presentations at clinical societies
Working in the UK
- Soon after arrival, you have to get a national insurance number as soon as possible. You could get it from the Job Centre in the closest town. Check following link-https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number
- Open a bank account ASAP.
- Meet medical staffing on arrival and sort out salary issues, documentations
- With in each grade there are many pay bands. You should be placed at the appropriate band taking in to consideration of your work in Sri Lanka. Hence bring all relevant job letters from Sri Lanka.
- It may be good to start as an SHO to get used to the system but must aim for a middle grade post.
- Be polite in all your conversations. Do not hesitate to use ‘sorry’, ‘please’ and ‘thanks’
- Do ‘not order’ things from your juniors, nursing staff etc but request.
- Be prepared to do occasional ‘non doctor’ duties such as pushing a wheel chair
- Document well in all your dealings with the patients. On documentation put date, time and sign clearly
- Make sure you hand over your jobs to the next person
- Do not call your superiors ‘sir’. You could call them professionally- as Dr Bigmouth etc
- Make valid contributions in your ward rounds, meetings. Don’t be a passive listener!
- Dress code- bare below elbows, no ties, wrist watches, bangles
- When entering , exciting wards and after seeing each patient use hand scrub.
- Bad reputations of one person can jeopardise future jobs of all Sri Lankan trainees in your hospital. Hence if you are struggling with some aspects seek help to remedy.
- Swapping shift sessions at a request of a colleague will be good to have a good rapport with them.
- Get experience in practical procedures.
- You may need to dictate clinic/ discharge letters. Not difficult to learn.
- If there is a Sri Lankan colleague working with you don’t converse in Sinhala or Tamil in the ward.
- Learn about trust policies- admission/ referral criteria etc.
- Many jobs may require for you to have an e-portfolio ( training record). If so, do it in a timely manner. For some medical training initiative jobs , it is mandatory. If so, try to fill it on a weekly basis even just few lines!
- Get to know the ward staff by their name. Respect opinions by all ward staff.
- There may be many locum work available. These will enhance your income and good to help the medical staffing too.
- At the end of your training period, before you go back, contact the tax office as you will be able to claim back some of the taxes they have deducted- such as National Health Insurance
- You also must be aware that sometimes the tax office may put you on a ‘higher tax’ bracket initially. Clarify this at some stage during your stay with the tax office.
- Try to attend national/ international seminars. Funding may be available for some.
- Attend regular clinical meetings to broaden your knowledge.
- Attend mandatory training sessions. These include child safeguarding, fire training, clinical governance, health and safety, conflict resolution etc.
- There are many teaching/learning opportunities particularly for speciality trainees Make use of them.
- If you are planning to sit exams, there could be hospital or local teaching programmes
- It will be good to do audits/case reports and present in the departmental meetings.
- If you have time attend clinics as an observer. Learn the art of good communication.
Getting the best of your stay in the UK
- Many good things to do and see. For this driving a car is hugely advantageous if you want to explore UK as well as for shopping etc. Bus travel may not be frequent. Train travel could be expensive.
- You and your family must register with a GP ( despite you being a doctor!) as soon as possible
- Expose your kids to various activities UK could offer. Sports, adventure, outdoor activities, museums, music and drama, theme parks. Most of them will be good for adults too!
- Get a map of your local area early.
- Go to the local tourist information office to get information on local attractions.
- Most of the information you want to have will be available on the internet- shopping, facilities, holidays, schooling etc.
- Try to get some contacts of Sri Lankan’s in your area. They may be able to tell you where to buy Asian foods etc
- Plan and book your activities well in advance- including your holidays. Do not hesitate to take all your due holidays. Remember taking you annual leave is your right!
- Time in UK is also a time to explore Europe.