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PLAB,IELTS and UK Experience
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.

Regards
Sunanda



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!

Amit


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

Posted by nrsmc at 6:46 PM GMT

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