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PLAB,IELTS and UK Experience
Friday, 21 April 2006
uk doctors protest today..

Posted by nrsmc at 11:49 PM BST
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Revoke New Rules for Overseas Doctors in UK
I have signed an online petition, Revoke New Rules for Overseas Doctors in UK.

You may wish to support this cause by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.


Posted by nrsmc at 11:47 AM GMT
Tuesday, 21 March 2006
Forwarding what's happening from overseas doctors...
Dear friend,

Are you an Overseas Doctor working in UK or currently in UK, but unemployed?

If yes, this could be the most important mail you have ever received.

Please read this mail in full - Very important information enclosed.

What is happening?

From April 2006, two things, which affect you, are going to happen:

1. Permit free training for overseas doctors is ending.
2. Equal Opportunities policy will no longer apply for doctor's job selection. This means that Trusts will employ UK/EU doctors in preference to overseas graduates irrespective of qualifications and irrespective of visa status.

Trusts have already started recruitment with the new policy with the explicit statement: " UK/EU candidates will be given preference over non-EU overseas graduates" (eg:

Why is this a problem?

This was announced without any Consultation or grace period. This has significant implications for overseas doctors at all levels of training. They will find that after years of serving the NHS, they are being thrown aside in job selection. There is no guarantee that they will continue to be employed in further posts. Many will have to relocate at short notice, causing disruption to career, finances and family life, not to mention training. This is shocking news to all of us who came here believing in the promise of Equal Opportunities.

What are the implications?

All Doctors: You will have to change your Visa status. There will be NO Equal Opportunities in job selection and your skills and qualifications will not matter.

Those on HSMP, Permanent Residency etc will also be considered as "overseas doctors" for the purpose of job selection and will be considered only after UK/EU candidates.

SHO: You may never complete your "training". For those who want only MRCP and not UK jobs, remember that most Royal Colleges want 2 years "approved training posts". If you don't get a job, your Work Permit will end and you will become an illegal resident from the next day. If you are currently unemployed, you will almost surely never get a job / "training".

Registrars: You will require a separate work permit for each job in your rotation! And for those planning to specialise further, the door is shut firmly on your face. And you will never become a Consultant! (What you do after your SPR training is anybody's guess… Think of all the time you spent on learning "Consultant skills!) Isn't it gratifying to note that an EU candidate with no " UK experience " will be automatically considered over you for Consultant job selection, without regard for skills or experience?

What can we do?

The Time to Act is NOW.

Don't postpone it to tomorrow or expect others to fight your battles. Overseas doctors associations including British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO)are already gearing up to protest this unjust rule.

? FORWARD this email to all overseas doctors in your address book NOW. Sadly many are still not aware of the dark future ahead.

? KNOW more about this issue by visiting, a web site designed to promote the protest movement and containing updated information.

? SIGN the online petition at this web site which is being submitted to the Secretary of State for Health

? PARTICIPATE in the peaceful protest march to be held in London in April , being co-ordinated by Dr Satheesh Mathew, Consultant Paediatrician from London.(Date to be announced shortly, hundreds already committed)

? DISCUSS these issues with your colleagues and ask them to sign the petition as well.

? PARTICIPATE in the BMA Junior Doctors Conference at London and vote on the motions thereby deciding policy.. You don't have to be a BMA member. You will be reimbursed travel and hotel expenses by BMA . This is a golden chance to make your voice heard. Visit this link and REGISTER NOW. Registration is closing soon

? BAPIO is also circulating a paper petition, which I am attaching to this mail. Download it, fill it at post it back to the address given.

? Write letters to DOH,, Postgraduate Deaneries, BMA and various newspapers etc.

? A legal challenge is in the pipeline, please keep yourself updated

There is no time to lose. ACT now…

Hoping to see you all in this fight against injustice.

Dr Anjay Pillai

Research Fellow, Paediatrics

Airedale General Hospital

Please visit for comprehensive information on this issue,updated daily.

Forward this mail NOW to every overseas doctor in your address book.

This is not a junk/spam mail. These issues might change your life forever.

Posted by nrsmc at 6:13 PM GMT
Proposed protest in response to the changes
Letter from Dr Satheesh Mathew:*
*Dear friends,

You have heard from Dr. Ramesh Mehta that we are planning on a
peaceful demonstration in front of Department of Health. Sooner the
better. I have been entrusted with the responsibility of organising
this demonstration on behalf of BAPIO. We are also planning on
signing petitions to be submitted to the Health Secretary.

I do not know of any other medical organisation, which has organised
such a demonstration at least within the last twenty-five years. We
will be holding a preliminary meeting in my hospital with a handful
of members next week. The week after we will hold a bigger meeting
in Eastham. If any one knows of a venue, which will hold, about 100
people please let me know. Then depending upon the response we will
hold the demonstration in front of Department of health as soon as
is practicable.

I keep on saying that there are about 5000 post plab unemployed
doctors in this country. If there are 5000 PPUD's then we should
have at least 5000 doctors for our demonstration in Central London.
We cannot expect others to fight for us. We have to take
responsibility and fight for our cause. I also hope many other
doctors currently in training and more senior people to join us.

About Seniors =96 many of them are already British citizens, many of
their children are already local graduates and there others who are
in Medical schools. This new rule if they look at it with selfish
intend is good for them in the short term but not in the long
term. I hope that many of the seniors will also be able to join us
for the demonstration.

Dr. Satheesh Mathew
Consultant Paediatrician
Newham University Hospital
London, E13 8SL
Phone: (W) 02073639274
(H) 02082520593

Posted by nrsmc at 4:43 PM GMT
One more nail in the ....
Dr Sunanda Ghosh's entry to the egroup:

The article says it all..

Actual link to the article


Published: 7 March 2006
By: Dept of health, Sally Aldous
All international doctors now required to have a work permit to work in the UK
All doctors wishing to work in the UK from outside the European Union
(EU) will be required to have a work permit from July 2006 Health
Minister Lord Warner announced today.
The move means that any NHS trust wishing to employ a doctor from
outside the EU will have to prove that a 'home-grown' doctor cannot
fill the vacant post, ending the current permit free training
arrangement for international doctors.
Health Minister Lord Warner said: "We now have more than 117,000
doctors working in the NHS, 31,000 more than in 1997 as well as record
levels of doctors in training in UK medical schools.
"This investment and expansion, coupled with the reform of medical
education, is leading to increased competition for medical posts as
vacancy rates fall.
"Therefore, to ensure that we are only recruiting doctors to the UK
where we have a genuine skills shortage NHS Trusts will be required to
get a work permit for every doctor that they wish to employ from
outside the EU.
"In future IMGs who wish to work or train in the NHS will need a work
permit. To obtain a work permit an employer must show that a genuine
vacancy exists, which cannot be filled with a resident worker.
"We recognise that international doctors have made a huge contribution
to the NHS since it was founded in 1948 and there will still be
opportunities for overseas staff to come to the UK. We will continue
to need small numbers of specialist doctors, who can bring their
skills and experience to the NHS. However, increasingly the NHS will
be less reliant on international medical recruitment."
The changes will come into action shortly when the NHS will only be
able to recruit internationally when they cannot fill a training post
with a UK graduate.
The only exception will be to allow two years of permit-free training
for non-European Union nationals who have trained in a UK medical
schools so that they can acquire full registration with the GMC.
Any doctor wishing to apply for postgraduate medical education
training in the UK , whether at the Modernising Medical Careers
foundation programme level or senior house officer stage, will be
required to have a work permit.
Currently international medical graduates (IMGs) are able to undertake
postgraduate medical education in the UK without needing a work
Health Minister Lord Warner added: "The Department of Health will
continue to work with the General Medical Council to ensure that IMGs
who are interested in working or training in the UK understand exactly
what type of job and training opportunities exist. "

Posted by nrsmc at 4:41 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006 4:43 PM GMT
New Visa Rules For Overseas Doctors
Dr Anustup Bannerjee forwarded this mail to the group:

It needs no explanation...

Changes to the Immigration Rules for Postgraduate
Doctors and

On 7 March 2006 the Department of Health announced
that the Home
Office would be making changes to the immigration
rules for
Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists

The changes, which will come into effect on 3 April,
aim to amend the
current specific category within the immigration rules
which relate
to Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists. In future, the
only doctors and
dentists who will be covered by the existing ("permit
arrangements are those who have completed their
medical degree in the
UK and have been appointed to a 2 year Foundation

The Home Office has also announced its longer term
policy on managing
migration, based on a points based system for people
coming to the UK
to work, study and train. The Home Office aims to
introduce the new
system in stages to replace the current arrangements
and simplify the
system for employers and migrants.

What does this mean for future recruitment?

You need to ensure that any offers of appointment you
make are line
with the new rules. When you advertise your post,
applicants are
likely to be British Citizens or fall into the
following categories;

• EEA nationals
• Doctors and dentists with existing leave to remain
under the
current immigration rules for Postgraduate Doctors and
• Doctors and dentists who require a work permit
• Doctors and dentists who have leave to remain under
the Highly
Skilled Migrant Programme
• Doctors and dentists who are in the UK by virtue of
immigration category e.g. those with leave as a
dependent – each
specific case would need to be checked

EEA nationals have the automatic right to work in the
UK and should
therefore be considered in the same way as UK
applicants for posts.

Doctors and dentists who have existing leave to remain
as a
Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist will be allowed to stay
and train in
the UK until that leave expires. Therefore, if the
post on offer will
be completed within the period of the
doctor's/dentist's existing
leave, the employer (and the doctor/dentist) will not
need to seek
permission from the Home Office for the doctor/dentist
to take up the
post. However, from 3 April doctors and dentists will
only be
eligible for leave as a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist
for their
Foundation Programme, and then only if they have
studied in the UK
and meet all the other requirements. If you have
offered a post to a
doctor or dentist who currently has leave as a
Postgraduate Doctor or
Dentist, but their leave will expire before the end of
the post, then
they will need to apply for a different category of
leave to complete
the post. It is likely that the work permit system
would be the most
appropriate category - see the information on work
permits below.

The majority of candidates for posts will require a
work permit. This
means that you need to apply to Work Permits (UK) for
a work permit
before you can employ the candidate. When you make an
application for
a Work Permit you will have to demonstrate to Work
Permits (UK) that
there are no suitable EEA nationals who can take up
the post. In
practice, this should involve very few adjustments to
recruitment processes. However, once your closing date
has passed,
you will need to review how many applicants are EEA
nationals and how
many would require a work permit. Depending on how
many posts you are
filling, and how many applicants fall into each
category, you will
then need to decide whether to assess the EEA
candidates first or
whether to assess all of the applicants at the same
time. The
important thing is that, before making any offers of
employment, you
make sure that the suitable EEA nationals are
considered in advance
of those who require a work permit.

If you are advertising a popular post, you may wish to
applications to only those doctors who do not need a
work permit to
take up the contract. This should reduce the number of
you have to deal with.

Where a work permit is required, you, as the employer,
need to apply
for a work permit on behalf of the doctor/dentist.
When this is
issued, the doctor/dentist themselves will then need
to apply for
leave to remain as a work permit holder. If the
currently has leave under another category of the
Immigration Rules
(for example leave as a Postgraduate Doctor or
Dentist) then they
will not be able to take up the post until both the
work permit has
been issued and the doctor/dentist themselves has been
granted leave
to remain as a work permit holder.

Not all doctors and dentists will be able to change
the basis of
their stay (switch) within the UK. Those in the UK as
a Postgraduate
Doctor or Dentist can switch into leave as a work
permit holder, but
those with leave as a Visitor or as the dependant of
another migrant
cannot switch into leave as a work permit holder and
will need to
leave the UK and make the appropriate application for
entry clearance
from abroad.

Some doctors and dentists may have been accepted onto
the Highly
Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). Doctors and dentists
who have leave
under HSMP can take up any training or employment
posts you offer,
without the need for you or they to ask the Home
Office for

Posted by nrsmc at 4:38 PM GMT
Thursday, 16 February 2006
'A Job' in the UK
We have had a few e-mails from people in India asking about how long it takes to get a job, how hard it is, does it help to be a PG etc....

I post a mail from Dr Alaknanda, to similar effect, with replies from myself and Dr Amit Todani - the message being - clear your perspective about what 'a job' means, and do not set an upper cap to how much you might be expected to spend - because we can't!

Please note: these are our observations - u are the master of your own folly :)

Mail 1: From Dr.Alaknanda
i just checkd the plab forum and found out that an aspiring plabber must be prepared to spend an additional ~Rs4,00,000 besides the ielts and plab fees for the long period of unemployment that comes as a package with passing the plab test-theres also a 25%better chance of getting a job if the candidate has a PG degree-id really like2 know if its true-i personally know someone whos an orthopod and had a tough time finding a job there and that was 4yrs back
is the condition equally pathetic for USMLE aspirants?i know the expenses for the usmle steps 1,2,2cs&3 but id be grateful if i cud get some information about the additional expenditures(that is not available in the ecfmg website)-i just want to have an estimate of the expenses before i embark on anything-and is it required to appear for an exam like ielts for usmle as well?and r the prospects of finding a job in the us as bleak as in the uk?

Reply No 1: Me being the devil's advocate [sort of]

For Alaknanda and others thinking bout UK,

For everyone aspiring to come to uk, I would like to point out a common mistake we make during our research - we focus on 'a job' . it's always 'a job' , even GMC gives it's evidence as time taken to get 'a job'

In reality, 'a job' could be in a subject u have no interest in. It could be a prho [intern] job even though u may be a PG, it could be a honorary job - where u get no pay at all, or a locum for a single day [at rates of 14-18 pounds an hour before taxes] , several friends, including nrsites have been doing intermittent locms that gives them just enough to manage a week at a time, with occassional aid from family and friends. Others have been able to get jobs at gp surgeries collecting data etc [for which you would first need a work permit or dependant visa].

On an average the waiting period to get a job that at least helps u survive the month - is a year . no evidence available, this is ust my subjective experience. in this year , you would be applying for your visa 1 - 3 times [i think bout 400 quids each time? ]
you would be living in some accomodation - 50 a week
you would be tragvelling, calling people, making a million coies of your cv and then using royal mail to send out parcels the size of your average 'desh' or 'sananda' - [15 copies of your cv if you don't mind]

If you were living in London, a day's travel could cost you from 3.50 to 7 pounds .
O and now it is necessary in some jobs to have a valid uk license - the international license is no longer valid. its bout 70 pounds for the two exams, 5 pounds to send your passport to apply for the license, and 20 pounds per lesson - yet to meet someone who did not take at least 10 lessons and passed. - yet to meet someone who passed att he first instance. some jobs insist u have your own car. and i know one unfortunate indain , who lied about it, and although he wassuccesful at the interview, lost the job later when he said he was willing to hire a taxi for every trip he had to make.

I could go on about the list of expenses involved. This is not to scare you, but to give u a better picture of what you are going to face.

Bout PG degrees, i have no clue. I really dont know if it's any easier to get a start, but career progression might be quicker. worst comes to worse, at least you know you can do stuff if u had to return ..

hope that makes some sense.


Answer No 2: From Dr Todani, who is more actively in the job hunting scene:

I agree with sunando. there is no doubt in the authenticity in any of his statements, only he has been a bit `moderate'. The picture is actually a bit worse (actually a lot). may i add that if you really want to be in a decent position to 'apply' for a particular speciality, u need to have completed all the courses IN UK relevant to that job, eg ALS/ATLS for A&E/surgery/medicine (GBP 450 +), microsurgigal skills course for ophthalmology (GBP 500 +) plus parts 1 & 2 of membership examinations (300-400 Quids each). Regarding PG, if you are unfortunate enough to have done a PG back home (except MD in anaesthesia or DA), U would end up sitting on the fence. It would not only restrict your choice of specialities (imagine an ophthalmologist applying for a Gynae job!), but also exclude u from Foundation programmes (yes even most standalone F2s). If u noticed the recent ad for the run-thru grades, those having more than a year's experince at SHO level are automatically filtered out from ST1 pilots. Even the GP jobs would be restricted to those who have completed Foundation Programme in UK from Aug 2007. Regarding locums, u can't do any locums on PLAB visa and u dont get a PFT or work-permit for any locum less than 3 months (and u need to get a Dean's Letter as well stating that your locum is a recognised training post). Each time u go to get a visa stamp, it costs u GBP 500. At the end of it, if u end u getting a substantive job within 1 year, u would be one of the priviledged few as there are thousands of doctors who have either done a few locums or are completely unemployed even after one and a half years.
As with everything, there are exceptions. I personally know a girl, who got 3-year GPVTS within 2 months of coming to UK even without doing a Clinical attachment and no experience whatsoever at SHO level.
Hope that helps!


There might be more in the same vein, - will keep u posted.

Posted by nrsmc at 6:46 PM GMT
Saturday, 26 November 2005
Little caution....
'parthasd' recently contributed to the egroup with this mail. it paints a grim but realistic picture of our future in the UK.
I usually try not to discourage people, but recently I have had to listen to people who came here with an unrealistic expectation of the future, and now several thousand pounds down the line they can only say that people are getting jobs because they have 'catch'. They scoff at simple suggestions to try their best by saying things like, 'from your position it must be nice to give such advice, but the reality is quite different ....'

Bottom line, don't come here expecting sympathy. You come here to struggle and u shall have to fight till the last penny.

Enough ranting, here's parthasd's view:

I am completely new to this group. I am in the UK for last 7-8
years. Don't quite know about the recent changes in the PLAB test.
But one thing is certain, things are definitely getting more and
more difficult. And of course there are exceptions.

MMC (modernising medical curriculum) has changed the whole equation
in the last 2-3 years. The situation is going to worsen further in
the next two years. Currently it is extremely difficult to get a
training SHO job. [My last SHO (London graduate, white AND a lady)
could not find a job from August and headed south (Australia).] Same
is going to be the case with Type 1 SpR (higher specialty training)
jobs in two years time once the current foundation trainees will be
ready for the 'seamless' higher specialty training. What they will
be able to do after becoming a 'junior' consultant is everybody's

Anyway, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh took the bold (!)
step last week to warn all overseas candidates about planning for
an 'exit strategy' or to take up non-training career grade post for
the rest of their lives. They predict that there will be about 500
training numbers nationwide for general surgery and 1,500 UK
qualified candidate alone aspiring for a career in general surgery.
Therefore, only 1 in 3 UK graduate aspiring a surgical career will
actually make it through. Although the RCS 'warns' foreign
graduates, I suspect, the much hyped 'equal opportunity' will be
tactically thrown out of the window.

UK is not going to be the ideal place to invest your time and money
unless you are not already in the system (by that I mean, you are
here in a training post and having done with all the 'M' exams/
research/ publications etc).

Surgical specialties have traditionally been more difficult than
medical specialties. This is going to be the case for the forseeable

Sorry to give a gloomy picture but unfortunately this is the real
situation. Hope this helps.

Posted by nrsmc at 8:10 PM GMT
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
More about UK VISA and Clinical Attachment, including costs

First, this site has had 83 page views yesterday and 1497 page views so far this month.

Amazing how people never find anything to say after even though this site does continue to be noticed by people. A comment or two would not hurt.

BMJ Careers recently published these two articles on getting Visas and Clinical attachments under NHS. Among other things it also throws light on the possible costs.

It might be an interesting read for those aspiring to be in UK.

Should anyone have trouble accessing the full articles, send me a mail and i'll copy them to you


Posted by nrsmc at 1:34 PM BST
Friday, 16 September 2005
Question bank for interviews?
I have collected a set of questions that are asked at Psychiaitry SHO post interviews. Drop a line if any one is interested.

For those who have already faced interviews:
I would appreciate getting more questions , not only for psy, but for other jobs as well. Admit it, answering questions about your weaknesses was not something you were comfortable bout right from the start???

Maybe it will help, maybe not...but hey i felt it's worth giving effort :)


Posted by nrsmc at 12:39 AM BST

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