[some frequently asked questions about work and life in the UK]
Junior doctor: With 0-2 years of post internship experience, you will get F3/SHO level job. £2500-2900/ month after deduction of all taxes (tax is 20%). Salary will rise as your carrier progress.
Middle grade: Those who have MRCP/MRCS, can start at Registrar level and earn around 3200-3500/month after deduction of taxes.
Senior: Once you become full consultant or GP, you will earn almost double of that.
2. Work hour?
40 hours/week* (8 hours per day, 5 days a week..)
(+/-) 1 weekends duty after 2-6 weeks depending on your job contract.
(If your contract has more weekend/ night-shifts/ on call duties, you will earn more. Less oncall, less earning)
3. Offday/annual leave?
Weekly off day: Saturday, Sunday
Annual leave : 27 days/year + 8 bank (Govt.) holidays (e.g Christmas day, Easter, new year, etc) (**No govt holidays for Eid )
Study leave : 15 days/year, 30days/year (while doing training)
4. Cost of living?
Single: £1000-1300/month* (accommodation+food+others)
Family of 2 (no kids) : £1400-1800/month*
(*depends on which area you are living and they way you lead your life)
5. Can I earn extra?
Yes. You can do extra shifts at your own hospital during weekends. They usually pay around £25/hour basis.
6. When can I buy latest I-Phone/ 60 inch QLED TV/car etc?
You can get your own brand new I-Phone/60 inch TV as soon as you have a valid job contract. Because you can apply for 0% / low interest credit card.
Then you can buy whatever you want. Afterwards, you will be able to pay it back in installments over the course of a year.
Most people buy a car within 1 year of landing in the UK. Cars are not that expensive like our country.
7. Can I take my spouse and kids with me & when?
Yes, you can bring them whenever you want. They can stay as long as your visa is valid.
8. Can my parents come with me?
No. They can’t come as your dependent.(*they can come to visit you on visitor visa, can stay 6 months/year)
**there might be a a posibility…Please google “Elderly dependent visa UK”. This is very complex procedure.
To be eligible for a UK elderly dependent visa, an applicant must apply from outside of the UK and evidence that they are in need of long-term care from a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter, who is permanently living in the UK.
In order to sponsor an applicant’s application, the sponsor must be:
A British citizen, or be settled, or have ‘settlement’ status in the UK or proof of permanent residence or have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
& Over 18 years of age.
The applicant and sponsor must also prove all of the following:
a. That the applicant is in need of long-term care to do every-day personal and household tasks because of either illness, disability or age.
b. The required care is not available or affordable in the country where the applicant lives.
c. That the sponsoring relative in the UK is in a position to support, accommodate and care for them without claiming public funds for at least 5 years.
9. When will I get Permanent residency?
Technically, after 5 years. They call it ILR. You can apply for ILR after 5 years. And can apply for British passport 1 year after ILR
10. When will my spouse get Permanent residency?
After 5 years, they can apply for ILR with you.
11. Can my parents apply for permanent residency?
No, “Elderly dependent visa” could be an option.
13. Is training post Paid or do I have to pay?
Application for training post is absolutely free. You will be paid during the training.
13. How easy is to get a training post?
A. To get into GP training is fairly easy. (almost 3000+ GP trainee/year)
B. To get into Medicine training is not that easy, but still not difficult. (800-1000/year)
C. To get surgery training is bit tricky, still not impossible.
14. How is it living in the UK?
Nice working experience, you don’t have to oil/bribe anyone to get promotion, no politics at work place, cleaner environment , hassle free life, no traffics/load-sheddings etc
You will miss your closest friends and family, and Deshi foods, will also miss the festivity of Eids, ramdan, and aajan etc.
15. Can my partner work?
Yes. They can work without any restrictions.
(*if s/he is a doctor, s/he has to get Gmc registration to work as a doctor.)
16. I have many years of clinical gap. Can I go for PLAB?
YES. I Know people, being mother of 3, having a clinical gap of 10 years, recently passed PLAB2 and started working in the NHS.
17. I Work as a lecturer can I go for plab? I am from non-govt medical college. Can I? My medical is not ECFMG enlisted. Can I? I had 3 supplies at final Prof, can I? I work in research lin, havent been treating patients for a long time. Can I?
YES… YES.. YES…
18. Is MRCP /MRCS/MRCGP etc a must for carrier progression?
19. Which one is easier: OET or IELTS?
OET (I know people attempting IELTS for upto 9 times. To get 7 in writing is the most difficult part.)
20. Which one is easier : PLAB or MRCP?
21. Which one is better PLAB or MRCP/MRCS?
MRCP/MRCS, because you will have strong knowledge and you don’t have to take these exam in future to progress in your career path. But MRCP/MRCS is more lengthy and comparatively difficult.
22. I am studying 3rd year/4th year/final year. Any advice?
Focus more on your studies. If you still have time, try to improve your english speaking and writing skills in particular.
23. I am doing my internship. Any advice for me?
Internship is the golden period of medical life. Learn as much as you can. Develop your skills (e.g cannula, suturing, NGG etc).
While you are rotating between different specialties, you can follow Oxford handbook of clinical medicine and clinical specialties
*try to improve your skills of reading ECG/CXR
**complete OET/IELTS during internship. Aim for taking PLAB1 during your internship/ Aim for sitting MRCP/MRCS part 1 as soon as possible after finishing Internship.
24. Hidden cost:
Visa and related: Every time you renew/ change your visa, you have to spend around £2000-3000.
Job related: yearly fee GMC, imdenity insurance, etc
Travel realted cost: Train travel inside UK is very expensive.
Expense each time you visit BD: around £2000-3000
25. how can I work in the UK?
a. OET/IELTS > PLAB1 (in BD) > PLAB2 (In UK) >get GMC reg>attend interview on SKYPE from BD>get a junior level job
b. full MRCP/MRCS > OET/IELTS>get GMC reg >get a registrar level job
c. MTI, others: there are some other ways as well. You can search online
26. I want to know more about working in the UK. Where can I get more information?
a. roadtouk.com (this wonderful, well recognised all around the world – website is created and maintained by extremely talented, helpful, smart and lovely doctor couple graduating from MMC. This website could one stop point of information, you need for working in the UK)
b. join PLAB for bangladeshi doctors: facebook group
c. join PLAN your post graduation: facebook group
these Facebook groups are extremely active. All of your questions will be answered promptly.
27. how much will it cost?
PLAB1 fee 25,000 (No coaching is needed)
PLAB2 fee 90,000
PLAB2 coaching 60,000
UK return air-flight 100,000
UK stay 150,000-200,000
Good thing is you wont need the whole amount at a time. You will need the amount over the course of your whole journey.
28. I dont have this much money. how can I manage my fund?
I and my wife managed our funds by doing job at periphery for around 6-8 months. Many of friends are managing funds by working in Rohinga camps etc.
some are taking 50% help from family.
29. I have no friends and relatives living in the UK. How can I survive?
Me and my wife have no close and distant relatives living here as well, but we have lots of friends/seniors/juniors from my medical college, other medical colleges. We are more like families and the good news is, this family is growing very fast as more and more doctors from BD are joining the crowd. We wont let you feel alone.
30. Why should I come to UK?
.Good opportunity to learn, train and gain experience in the world’s best health care system
. Easier to get training post
. Safe environment to work (patients will love you)
** No dirty politics in work place for promotions to get some advantage/you wont see anyone getting extra benefits because they do politics
31. I heard things might change after BREXIT.
Personally, I see BREXIT as an opportunity. Due to it more EU doctors will leave UK. That means more jobs and training posts will be open for international medical graduates like us.
UK government also making some changes in their laws and immigration rules to ease entry of foreign medical staffs.
32. People having hard times getting jobs after GMC registration. Is that true?
I don’t think so. It usually takes around 1-2 months to start getting interview calls after You have started applying for jobs
33. How stressful is working in the UK?
Definitely, bit more stressful than working in BD. You have to defend your registration all the time. I mean one has to be careful regarding what they are doing inside the hospital as well as outside on the street. Any unethical/unprofessional action of yours might cost you loosing your registration.
Saying that this strict accountability makes you a better doctor as well as a better person
34. I am not selfish. I want to serve my country.
Think laterally, you can come here to see, learn things about NHS and then go back to try to change the faulty health care system in Bangladesh. Wouldn’t changing the system be better than treating poor people years after years?
35. I am female and unmarried. Will it be safe enough for me to work abroad?
First of all, you are not alone. There are many bangladeshi unmarried female doctors working here. I can assure you, its far more safer than working anywhere in BD. And in terms of your “unmarried” status, I have lots of eligible bachelor male doctors working in NHS as well. Or, who knows.. you might find a handsome foreigner/ your “prince charming” to marry here
36. Unmarried male doctors?
Get married as soon as possible after passing PLAB or soon after you get a job. You might find it lonely living miles apart from home without a partner or if you fancy making a froeigner GF thats a different story.
37. doctor couple?
If you are doctor couple, thats awsome. Because, if one can complete PLAB/MRCP or MRCS others can come here as dependent. Tben you can do some attachments in the UK hospitals to gain lots of experience before/while attempting the exams.
There are many doctor couples from BD living here in the UK. So, No need to worry. We are here to help and support you.
(if you have any specific queries you can post on the facebook groups mentioned above. There are lots of people to guide and help you without expecting anything in return)
(these answers are based on my personal experience. They might not be 100% accurate, but they can give you some general ideas)
Oni & Bristy
Junior Clinical Fellow, Poole Hospital NHS foundation trust & GP trainee, Wessex Daenery