Dr. Ahmed, a GP in Training, offers advice to International Medical Graduates (IMGs) thinking of pursuing a career in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
Dr. Ahmed is a British Pakistani who grew up in Hampshire. Dr. Ahmed discusses her own experiences living and training in the UK.
“There was almost no diversity… but we had a good mix of friends and were part of a community of Indians and Pakistanis… they are IMGs from the Punjab. At university in London, I also got the chance to meet and make friends with people from all over the UK.”
Dr. Ahmed also spoke about her experiences as a student in the UK education system.
“I went to a middle sized comprehensive secondary school in Winchester. The UK has a complex school system, in which some areas have grammar schools. These areas have comprehensive schools for the students who don’t pass the 11+.
However, many parts of the UK have scrapped the grammar school system, and all children now go to comprehensive schools – often called Academies. This means that there is a wide range of academic abilities within secondary schools, but they tend to place children dependent on their academic abilities.
My school was very supportive, and helped with my application to study medicine. They put on extra anatomy and physiology classes when I was in 6th form, and helped with my entrance examinations. I was fortunate enough to get a place at Imperial College London.
One benefit of the UK school system is that there is a big emphasis on independent thought, enquiry, and learning at a younger age (e.g. 13 to 14 years of age) which is hard initially but I think this is better for long-term education and learning.”
Dr. Ahmed also offered advice to IMGs looking to move to the UK permanently, particularly in the southwest region such as Bristol and Wales.
“Wales is a great place to visit. I’m someone who loves being outdoors and I enjoy visiting Wales because of its mountains, and coast lines. Last year we went with our family and hired a cottage there for a week in southern Snowdonia. We went out for dinner, and visited some tourist attractions. The locals were very welcoming.
I used to work at a hospital in Swindon where there is a lovely community of international doctors. The Obstetrics and Gynaecology department had more doctors who qualified overseas than in the UK. There is also a group of Indian and Pakistani doctors who meet twice a month for socials – BBQ’s, walks and picnics.
I have also worked at Bristol hospital on rotation as an SHO. Currently, I live in Bristol and I am undertaking my GP Training in clinics. Bristol is the biggest city in the southwest region (by population). My favourite part about living in Bristol is its green spaces, there are around 400 parks and gardens. Bristol is a vibrant and multicultural city with a lot of museums, cinemas, and outdoor attractions.”
Hunter Clinical offers support to IMGs pursuing a career in the NHS. Our team of dedicated recruitment specialists also provide relocation guidance. To set up a confidential chat regarding your career in the NHS, contact a member of our team at: email@example.com.