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Working in the U.K as a foreign medical graduate.

Hello Lovelies

I thought of this post to help friends, friends of friends and just anyone who may need answers but cant find any. I remember when I needed help, answers and a guide but didn't find much, I had to learn the hard away, made mistakes in the process but good thing is, it all worked out for good.

Lets start with what a FOREIGN MEDICAL GRADUATE means.

A foreign medical graduate or an international medical graduate as some countries would say, simply refers to all those who had their medical degree (M.D/M.B.B.S) from a country outside the UK.

As a Nigerian, after my medical school in Ukraine, I decided to go back to my home country to get licensed as a doctor and get some hands-on experience. It was a long process, a compulsory 2 years had to be done. I always knew I didn't want to practice in Nigeria for long. I told my friends and colleagues during my days as a house officer that I wasn't fulfilled but they didn't get me, I just didn't feel I was doing what I wanted. I didn't feel I was in my natural environment. I was ready to leave from the first day I got back to Nigeria from Ukraine. All I did was plan and save (saved all my earnings as a house officer) so start saving if you have just started house job. Don't worry about buying a car or the latest phone now. Suffer now and enjoy later. There was no time to study and work as a house officer at the same time so, all I did was carry my books around just to satisfy the inner me that wanted more, the part of me that wanted to leave as soon as I could. It didn't help much because to be completely honest I didn't have time to study for any exam. I was even confused on the path to take. I had all the U.S.M.L.E (United States Medical Licensing Examination) books needed for step 1 at the time. I read for U.S.M.L.E for a month then I dropped it and decided on PLAB as I could try to create time to prepare for I.E.L.T.S which didn't require much study hours.

Lets go on to all it takes.

To get registered as a medical doctor in the U.K there are steps required.


STEP 1. I.E.L.T.S
This is the international English language testing system and you will need a band score of 7.5 and at least 7 in each category. This gets difficult as the minimum number of times people have had to write this exam is at least 2 times. Sometimes having to apply for a remark. I personally think its just a business scheme(ever wondered why they don't give you a break down of your results?). Unfortunately it has to be done except your school is exempted or your nationality exempts you. Please read through the GMC website carefully for more information.


STEP 2. PLAB 1
This can be done anywhere in the world.  Here's a link to find locations for PLAB1. http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/plab/23446.asp This is really easy. It comes with practice and dedicated amount of hours put into studying. I will do a post on how to study or creating a study schedule after the next post. You can study on your own but if you do not have enough time or resources and have enough funds then you can join an academy in the United Kingdom


STEP 3. PLAB 2
PLAB 2 is practical and must be done in the U.K.  Now this shouldn't be gambled. I suggest to people to find a good centre to practice, I recommend SAMSON PLAB ACADEMY as this is where I had my tutorials, I can guarantee you 100% pass. All I learnt is helping me at work today as I feel confident when I get to do a practical procedure that I learnt during the time I was practicing and preparing for PLAB 2.


STEP 4. GETTING REGISTERED WITH GMC
This is the easiest but tricky one. All you have to do here is apply to GMC to get registered but bear in mind that you must have a clean slate as GMC wants you to give account of every activity from the day of graduation till the day of application for your license. There must be no employment gap.

For Nigerians, please make sure the day you started NYSC correlates with the day you got your full registration, You shouldn't have started NYSC without full registration because according to GMC you are not allowed to. So be careful what you feel in the boxes. Make sure all postings in the 4 departments are 3 months not less.

Its an advantage to have done your houseman-ship as you automatically get fully registered with a license to practice if GMC dims you fit after all their investigations.


OH YES YOU HAVE GOTTEN REGISTERED, NEXT IS GETTING A JOB.


GETTING A JOB is very EASY. 

If you want to work with the NHS straight away, while getting registered it takes weeks you should at least have your NHS jobs profile set up and fill up all the boxes. Its quite lengthy and it requires a lot of information, so get all your degree certificates, international passports and your phone number while you set up your profile.

You will need at least 3 referees you have worked with because at the time of getting the job the hospital would definitely contact your referees. They don't joke with that. So be in touch with your referees and let them know they may be contacted.

In your NHS profile, your personal statement counts. I got over 10 job offers, I personally think its my personal statement. Sell yourself. Doesn't matter what it is as long as its positive and it mustn't be medical. I put at some point that I had worked on TV and that I was engaged in medically enlightening and educating people on TV, this was because I worked with the NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY during my NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS. During the interview and on the first day of my Job, I got asked about my TV presentation skills, this really made them interested in me because in the U.K, your communication skills comes first before your knowledge. They need to see how pleasant and how good you are when it comes to communicating with people.


YOU HAVE A JOB
You must have gotten a job that would sponsor you. Lucky married couples get sponsored too so if you are married or have kids don't worry just tell the hospital, some would be more than happy to add that to your letter to get your spouse and kids travel with you but you will have to provide for them financially not the hospital, meaning your partner and kids would require some funds in a bank statement that shows they wouldn't be a liability at any point before they get settled in.


ALL YOU NEED FOR THE VISA APPLICATION
  • Sponsorship letter
  • You will the need the UKVI IELTS  with band score of 4 for your visa
  • TB TEST
  • Police clearance from your country of residence indicating you have no criminal records.
You will have to apply from your home country depending on what kind of visa you have been holding.

Starting your Job is quite difficult. Keep all skills learnt from home in your pocket, you may or may not need them. Be ready to acquire new skills and be ready to be the nicest person in the world. Throw all frustration, anger and suffering behind and welcome to hard work but good life. Every thing is extremely different. Equipment, system, approach etc. Good thing PLAB gives you an idea but I must tell you that your first Job in the U.K wouldn't particularly be the nicest experience as it is a whole new world.

N.B. First jobs in the U.K are non training, meaning you are not on the path way to becoming a specialist yet. You will need to apply for that through a different route so pick jobs that would relate to your field of interest as this may help when you are ready but note that some specialties require you not to have more than 18 months experience in a field you plan to specialize in prior to your training.
I hope this helps someone seeking advice or answers. Its been a pleasure working on this post.


Drop comments below if you have questions or concerns. I will be more than willing to help and answer all questions. Please feel free to share with your friends as they may find it really helpful.

Next post would be all it takes to work  as a doctor in the U.S. Keep checking and you will get answers to all your questions.
A SPECIAL GIFT TO MYSELF.


Warm thoughts
Mute

























About Mute Akpomedaye

Mute Akpomedaye
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52 comments:

  1. Quite enlightening. But what if the person is an IMG but hasn't done housejob or NYSC.. what's the path like.

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    1. In this case you get a provisional license which doesn't help much as you cant really work with it. In this sense, its best to do your house job at least. With a provisional license you have to apply for foundation training through the oriel site.

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    2. Thanks Dr. Mute....please I can't wait for the steps for practicing in the USA....hope it comes up as soon as possible

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  2. Great post. I'd like to know which is better, SWAMY OR SAMSON? and also, what do you want by the date you start Nysc must correlate with when you get your full registration?

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    1. I recommend SAMSON. He does lots to help you pass. Video feedbacks and one on one consultations. Its very helpful, you wouldn't regret any bit. Talking from personal experience. To your next question, it means that you shouldn't start NYSC with a provisional license as you are not allowed to work with a provisional license except its your house job. At the time of getting your license you can put your start date of nysc as the date you got your full registration. Hope this helps.

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  3. Thanks so much for this :)
    Www.pagesbybukky.com

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    1. You welcome dear. Love your blog. You are doing very well..X

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  4. I meant what do you mean by the date you start NYSC correlates with when you got full registration?

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  5. Thank you for this enlightening write up. Happy new year.

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    1. Thank you dear. Its been ages. Happy new year dear.

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  6. How long does it take on the average to prepare for plab 1 and also for plab 2.Thanks.

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    1. It depends on you. Its different for everyone. On an average, you need at least 2/3 months of personal study for plab 1. If you attend an academy 6-8weeks is just perfect. Plab 2 at least 3weeks after the course for practice. The course is 2 weeks so at least 5-6weeks for plab 2. I try not to take any exam for granted so always give yourself enough study and practice time. Hope this helps.

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  7. Wow, Mute thanks for the good and timely response . I'd also like to find out job long on average the visa takes to process.

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    Replies
    1. The visa depends on the time of the year. 1-3 weeks on an average.

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  8. Thanks for ur post.pls Wat if u did NYSC before med school and housejob

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    1. Then you should be covered because at the time you weren't a doctor. Truth is NYSC is just an added year of experience for them. They just want to see that at the time of working as a doctor during NYSC you were fully registered not on a provisional license.

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  9. Always enjoy reading all your write ups��☺��

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    1. Thank you dear. I'm really happy to know you enjoy them. It keeps me going knowing someone enjoys something I do. I'm really grateful for your kind words.

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  10. Thank you so much. This is really enlightening. Writing my exams soon and this has really been helpful.

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  11. THANKS FOR THE INFO,NICE WRITE-UP.I WANNA ASK IF NYSC IS A MOST?

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    Replies
    1. NYSC ISNT COMPULSORY. It just gives you an added year of experience which helps with job applications.

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  12. Thanks for this
    how would you advice one that has done nysc before her Medical degree?

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    Replies
    1. It's not a problem. NYSC considered in the uk they just see it as an added year of experience.

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  13. How long and how many tries did u have before u passed the ielts

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  14. How long and how many tries did u have before u passed the ielts

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  19. Thanks for the great write-up.
    What if I finished house job but don't want to do NYSC can I still get registered by the GMC?
    Also what if you took sometime to study after house job not working within that period..what happens then?

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    Replies
    1. NYSC ISNT COMPULSORY. It just gives you an added year of experience which helps on your cv for job applications

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  20. hello, i would like to know how long it took you to prep for the pleb?

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  21. Thanks Dr Mute. Im studying in Ukraine,have 2 more years to go.My question is,by the time i go back to Nigeria and spend the 2 years(intern & nysc),When im leaving to uk do i need a different kind of visa? because you said something about the academy...so is it that i have to be there some months before the plab 2? if i choose that route...just explain the visa procedure,do i need to apply two times or what? im confused about that,Doc?

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  22. Thank you so much for this. It is very enlightening, you're truly a Godsend. Happy New Year.

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  23. Thank you very much dear for this post, its exactly what i need.
    But what if someone finishes from med-school and wants to do internship there, what is the procedure?

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    Replies
    1. Applying for internship here is done only once a year and you will need to check the oriel platform for foundation in the uk. Just google oriel foundation for uk doctors.

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  24. Thanks Mute for this very helpful post. Just wanted to know what the earliest available date was for PLAB 2 after you passed PLAB 1. Do you have to wait long before you get to write it because I can see from the GMC website that plab2 is fully booked for the next 5 months.

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  25. What do you mean by sponsorship letter?

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  26. Thnx alot dear for this, I really needed it. So my first question is ; why did u leave usmle for plab? Am having a hard tym figuring out where wl b beta for residency in d long run. Secondly, plab 2has tob written in d UK, how will it work for some one like me who has nt been dere or doesn't have any relative der? Or can u start working der and den take plab2 while working? Thnx for Ur reply in advance.

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  27. Thanks so much this was so helpful! I just have a few questions.
    1. I've passed my plab 1 but want to start studying for plab 2 but i'm currently doing my housejob and dont get enough leave to go attend a course. so if i decide to do it after my housejob and then pass and apply for GMC license, will I have to account for those months it takes me to do the plab 2? As i won't be working while attending the course and studying etc.
    2. What would I need to get my housejob approved in the UK? Like any particular document?

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  28. Well done. Three quick questions. What is the financial implications of the whole process especially Plab 2. What if one is a resident in Nigeria or a consultant with say mrcp or mrcog part 1 . Any particular advantages conferred. Lastly what of Ireland and Scotland. Is the process still same ? Tank.

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  29. Good morning and thank you for a wonderful eye opener. Do you please have any links to PLAB study materials for download?
    Thank you.

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  30. Wow what an enlightening post. Thanks. Pls can you give an idea of the financial implication for all these? Àmà Corper now and trying to save having an idea of what I need will help. You can send it to my email murielimaobonginyang@gmail.com
    Secondly do you have any similar information about canada?

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  31. Thanks for the enlightenment. Pls how easy and what are the steps to take to proceed to residency in orthopedic or surgery after passing PLAB

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  32. You have no idea the help you have given thanks to this page. I would like to ask, what's the range of starting salaries in the UK, and what's the cost of living too.
    Keep up the great work.
    Thanks.

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  33. Nice write-up Dr Mute..I'm a graduate of Unilag currently awaiting Nysc,a friend of mine told me IELTS could be exempted as long as u can establish that I was taught in English so I emailed GMC and I was told to send my documents for evaluation(*l could either get a yes or a no).Do you advice I go through that route..Would not writing the Ielts before Plab somehow hunt me in future..Please I would be expecting your reply..Thank you

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  35. Dear blueberry,

    I am a student studying medicine in lviv, Ukraine. I write to know if you dont mind me having your number as I would like to speak to you concerning certain things regarding the life after graduating

    I also want to know if its possible to just do housemanship in the UK just for a year and then leave to another country

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi . As there are so many messages it’s difficult to respond to all. Send an email to berrysmotivation@gmail.com.

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