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doctors in UK?

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theodore

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Hi everyone,
I ve heard from many people that there s a big need for docs in the Uk nowadays. What i m not clear about is whether they need specialized doctors or medical graduates in general. Is there a site explaining the procedure of applying in the UK, something like ECFMG'S site for the states? Thanks in advance.
 

FionaS

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Any doctors are good - we're pretty much short in everything at the moment...

I don't know of any site that that helps specifically, but the GMC site and the BMA site might both be useful

GMC webpage

BMA - British Medical Association

Might help.
 

theodore

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Thanks a lot Fiona, i'm totally new to the procedure, so any info is good info. If anyone else has more, i'd really appreciate it.
 

bts4202

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Originally posted by theodore
Thanks a lot Fiona, i'm totally new to the procedure, so any info is good info. If anyone else has more, i'd really appreciate it.

The procedure in the UK is not as convoluted as the US, but it is still difficult.

As of jan 1st 2004, if you graduated from a non-EU medical school, you must take the PLAB and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) before you are then eligible for limited licensure. Once you have limited licensure, you are eligible to engage in supervised clinical practice in an SHO or specialist registrar position (like residency and fellowship). After 5 years of limited licensure, your record is reviewed and you can be considered for full licensure. Before this time, you must also take the MRCP exams at some point, these are also required of all british students as well though.
 

redshifteffect

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Originally posted by bts4202
The procedure in the UK is not as convoluted as the US, but it is still difficult.

As of jan 1st 2004, if you graduated from a non-EU medical school, you must take the PLAB and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) before you are then eligible for limited licensure. Once you have limited licensure, you are eligible to engage in supervised clinical practice in an SHO or specialist registrar position (like residency and fellowship). After 5 years of limited licensure, your record is reviewed and you can be considered for full licensure. Before this time, you must also take the MRCP exams at some point, these are also required of all british students as well though.

Actually from what i understand if you are from Australia you have to take the PLAB but then you are eligible for full licensure
 

bts4202

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No offense, but I don't think it works that way anymore. The UK has moved to create an equal playing field in medical licensure. That is why aussie schools, along with others, were stripped of their approval to bypass the PLAB. I believe all of those schools must now follow the same policies that all other foriegn schools follow which means limited licensure first, then full after 5 years. Check the GMC website to confirm.
 

redshifteffect

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Originally posted by bts4202
No offense, but I don't think it works that way anymore. The UK has moved to create an equal playing field in medical licensure. That is why aussie schools, along with others, were stripped of their approval to bypass the PLAB. I believe all of those schools must now follow the same policies that all other foriegn schools follow which means limited licensure first, then full after 5 years. Check the GMC website to confirm.

None taken, i'm just asking b/c there are a lot of pommies in my school who came here and are planning to return to the UK...I'm just curious b/c as of now I know they are still planning to return to the Uk.

Do u have the website where u found this information or did u get this directly from the GMC?
 

bts4202

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I got the info directly from the GMC website www.gmc-uk.org

Go to registration and there should be a link somewhere to all the new changes taking effect dec 31st.
 

redshifteffect

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Originally posted by bts4202
I got the info directly from the GMC website www.gmc-uk.org

Go to registration and there should be a link somewhere to all the new changes taking effect dec 31st.

The website appears to be down.
 

bts4202

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yeah, it was down earlier. It is back up now.
 

theodore

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Does any of you know what will happen with graduates coming from the countries entering EU this May? I m originally a Greek citizen but i m graduating from a Hungarian medical school in September. In Greece they haven t decided yet what they re gonna do with us, does the same apply for UK? And if they don t know yet, is there any idea of when they re going to decide?
 

bts4202

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The UK (at least England) will be using the system above for non EU school graduates as of Dec 31st 2003 and beyond. I hope that helps.
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Does any of you know what will happen with graduates coming from the countries entering EU this May? I m originally a Greek citizen but i m graduating from a Hungarian medical school in September. In Greece they haven t decided yet what they re gonna do with us, does the same apply for UK? And if they don t know yet, is there any idea of when they re going to decide?

Just out of curiousity, why would you consider UK postgraduate training?

(It is far longer than US postgraduate training and does not guarantee receiving a consultancy at the end of the training).

I would e-mail the GMC directly to find out how they plan to deal with new EU members. I would like to know their response. If you find out, will you post it here?

Thanks,

Miklos

From the GMC website...I think this applies at the moment

1. Background

Under the provisions of the European Medical Directive 93/16/EEC, EEA ? and non-EEA nationals with EC rights ? who hold a designated primary medical qualification awarded by an EEA Member State are entitled to automatic recognition of their qualification throughout the EEA. On 1 June 2002 these provisions were extended to nationals of Switzerland who hold designated Swiss primary medical qualifications.

EEA and Swiss nationals who hold non-EEA/Swiss primary medical qualifications (that is, overseas primary medical qualifications) do not have the same automatic right of recognition under the Directive. It is, nevertheless, open to an individual EEA Member State to recognise a doctor?s overseas qualification for the purpose of practice within its own territory. Such recognition is not binding on other EEA Member States as the provisions of the Directive apply only to qualifications awarded within the EEA/Switzerland.

However in such cases, European law does not allow other EEA Member States to automatically reject applications for registration within their territories. Other Member States must take into account the fact that the doctor?s non-EEA/Swiss qualification has been accepted by another EEA Member State or Switzerland. They must also undertake an assessment of the doctor?s relevant experience and knowledge (including that obtained in another EEA Member State/Switzerland) to determine whether or not he/she has reached the required standard of proficiency for registration within their territories. However, in these cases, the grant of registration is always at the discretion of the particular EEA Member State concerned.
 
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theodore

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Hi Miklos,
The main problem is that i can t really start working in Greece after I graduate from POTE,because there are huge waiting lists back there. The second problem is that i can t work in Hungary, because i almost hate the country and because my knowledge of Hungarian is hardly average(i m an english programm student).
UK is not the first in my list of options. My first choice is the US, but since getting a miserable 76/185 in step 1, I have to explore other options as early as I can. From what I hear, in UK the money is better than in the states, the schedule is more relaxed, -most importantly for me-they are in shortage of docs, which is not true for the States, after Hungary joins the EU I won t have to take the PLAB, and having passed(hopefully) both steps of the USMLE, I hope that I'll have something that not many of the(thousands)of applicants that will shoot for UK from next year on have.
In short, i'm at a point of my life where I just can't get paying checks from my parents anymore,and if I can choose between a 2nd class programm in the States and a first class programm in UK,I'll go for UK,with all the consequences that this has. Where are you studying, by the way?
 

theodore

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Oh, and I just remembered of one thing: what do admission officials look for in an application in UK? I mean, I want a basic outline, not a text. Guess academic performance and name of the med.school plays always a role, but what else is there?
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Hi Miklos,
The main problem is that i can t really start working in Greece after I graduate from POTE,because there are huge waiting lists back there. The second problem is that i can t work in Hungary, because i almost hate the country and because my knowledge of Hungarian is hardly average(i m an english programm student).
UK is not the first in my list of options. My first choice is the US, but since getting a miserable 76/185 in step 1, I have to explore other options as early as I can. From what I hear, in UK the money is better than in the states, the schedule is more relaxed, -most importantly for me-they are in shortage of docs, which is not true for the States, after Hungary joins the EU I won t have to take the PLAB, and having passed(hopefully) both steps of the USMLE, I hope that I'll have something that not many of the(thousands)of applicants that will shoot for UK from next year on have.
In short, i'm at a point of my life where I just can't get paying checks from my parents anymore,and if I can choose between a 2nd class programm in the States and a first class programm in UK,I'll go for UK,with all the consequences that this has. Where are you studying, by the way?

Theodore,

Here is my opinion.

1) The pay of starting doctors is roughly the same by straight currency conversion. (There is no comparison when it comes to board certified specialists vs. U.K consultants; the U.S. is way ahead, as there is only a single employer in the U.K. - the NHS!)However, everything is much more expensive in the U.K., so your quality of life will suffer. I will barely mention the bad weather, the higher rate of taxation or the housing shortage in Britain.

2) I will assume that you are interested in specialization (which specialty?). The work schedule for starting doctors is much more laid-back in the U.K. than in the U.S., but specialization takes much longer and there is no guarantee of becoming a consultant at the end. There are a lot of senior registrars waiting for consultant positions.

3) There is a shortage of doctors in the U.K., but I am not sure that you want to go to those places (impoverished and rural). There is a large difference between prime programs and others. Additionally, there are queues of natives and foreigners for the best places that make the US matching process look like a joke.

4) If high tech medicine is what interests you, I would avoid the UK. The NHS simply does not have the funding that private/semi-private systems have in the U.S.

5) Despite what you have heard, there is still a shortage of docs in the U.S., as thousands of FMGs match to residency programs. I don't believe that there are as many opportunities in Britain.

6) I really don't think that the Brits care whether you passed the USMLE. In fact, it might be a negative, as I believe them to be knee-jerk anti-American. Also, you would have to answer why you took the exams.

7) One advantage might be your EEC citizenship, as it would solve possible visa issues in the U.K.

8) Re: PLAB. I would not bet on it. Again, I recommend that you contact the GMC for clarification and let us know what you find out.

My conclusion: Despite your low passing score on Step 1, I still think that you have a shot at a decent U.S. residency with a good Step 2 at least in IM. Top programs will probably be quite a bit of a reach, but overall, I don't think that the U.K. compares favorably. (Of course, if you are looking to do a much more competitive spec., then my analysis is off.)

That's just my opinion. Good luck.

Miklos

BTW, If you have the chance, I would really recommend that you visit both systems (i.e. elective clerkship) while you are still a med. student, especially in the spec. you would like to do. Only then will you know for sure.
 

theodore

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Hi Miklos,
Thanks for the advice. It looks like you have a much more profound knowledge about UK than I have. I have not been to either US or England,but I'm much more familiar with how things are in the States,both because of personal interest and friends that I have from there.
I didn t say i'm necessarily going to the UK. But as I said, I want to stop digging in my parents' wallets for money. I will apply to the US after taking step 2,and based on what happens there,i'll weigh my options. Taking the USMLEs would be a potential minus for UK? I think that's at least ******ed. Sure,I don't have a clue how people are thinking over there. But I believe everyone knows how difficult that exam is, and I can't think of anyone that wouldn't want to hire a doc with proven qualifications(especially since they re in shortage of docs in general). As for answering why I took these exams, the truth is the best thing to say. When I started studying for step1, noone knew for sure if Hungary will be a member of the EU in 2004,so I took it to have more alternatives in the feature. I think that showing that you prefer any country to the US IS a compliment to that country,since everyone knows that US is the mecca of medicine.
Whoever I ask, and whatever I read, leads to the same conlclusion: US IS cutting down on foreigners. Both because of foreign policy issues and to avoid an oversupply of physicians in the US. Staying there after your residency is becoming more difficult every year. Going there is becoming more difficult,too. Going there was never a childhood dream of mine, quite the contrary I would say(not because of the people or the country itself, but because of the hectic lifestyle and the distance from my home country). But I want and will have to gain my financial indepedence from next year on, and as I said before, I will go where i will have better chances. I hate the idea of staying away from home for one more decade, but if it has to be like that, i prefer to be 2 rather than 12 time zones away.
Thanks for the info again. If you don t want to PM me, my mail is [email protected]. Boldog sylvester, by the way.
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Hi Miklos,
Thanks for the advice. It looks like you have a much more profound knowledge about UK than I have. I have not been to either US or England,but I'm much more familiar with how things are in the States,both because of personal interest and friends that I have from there.
I didn t say i'm necessarily going to the UK. But as I said, I want to stop digging in my parents' wallets for money. I will apply to the US after taking step 2,and based on what happens there,i'll weigh my options. Taking the USMLEs would be a potential minus for UK? I think that's at least ******ed. Sure,I don't have a clue how people are thinking over there. But I believe everyone knows how difficult that exam is, and I can't think of anyone that wouldn't want to hire a doc with proven qualifications(especially since they re in shortage of docs in general). As for answering why I took these exams, the truth is the best thing to say. When I started studying for step1, noone knew for sure if Hungary will be a member of the EU in 2004,so I took it to have more alternatives in the feature. I think that showing that you prefer any country to the US IS a compliment to that country,since everyone knows that US is the mecca of medicine.
Whoever I ask, and whatever I read, leads to the same conlclusion: US IS cutting down on foreigners. Both because of foreign policy issues and to avoid an oversupply of physicians in the US. Staying there after your residency is becoming more difficult every year. Going there is becoming more difficult,too. Going there was never a childhood dream of mine, quite the contrary I would say(not because of the people or the country itself, but because of the hectic lifestyle and the distance from my home country). But I want and will have to gain my financial indepedence from next year on, and as I said before, I will go where i will have better chances. I hate the idea of staying away from home for one more decade, but if it has to be like that, i prefer to be 2 rather than 12 time zones away.
Thanks for the info again. If you don t want to PM me, my mail is [email protected]. Boldog sylvester, by the way.


Theodore,

I highly recommend that you go check out both the US and UK health systems as soon as you have the chance, so you can decide for yourself.

As far as the US goes, you have already passed Step 1, so you are over a big hurdle. My recommendation would be to work on Step 2 and the CSA/CS this year, get your ECFMG certificate as soon as possible and enter the match.

I have attached a gif that charts the performance of Non-US FMGs (please excuse the distortion, but I needed to shrink it in order to meet the SDN max. size).
Legend:

Top: Non US FMGs registered in match (blue)
Middle: Active Non US FMGs participating in match (e.g. those that did not withdraw, were withdrawn or entered no ranking) (purple)
Bottom: Non US FMGs matching to PGY1 positions (tan)

I think what is important in this graph is that the number of Non-US FMGs getting positions through the match is more or less constant, whereas the number of Non-US FMGs entering the match has markedly decreased (probably in part due to visa issues).

Also, keep in mind that this graph does not account for those Non-US FMGs that pre-match nor those that attain a position in the scramble. IMHO, there are at least a thousand or perhaps even two thousand Non-US FMGs that receive a position outside the match. This means that somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500 Non-US FMGs enter some sort of postgraduate training in the U.S. each year. I don't think that there is any other system on the planet that is this open to foreign educated physicians. (As far as an oversupply is concerned, I think that this contradicts it!)

Re: UK/US relationship. I wouldn't bet on it. People in the UK either love or loathe the US for a number of reasons. You might get a reply like: "So, you couldn't get a position in the US and you are coming here?" I would keep that in mind.

Re: time zones; unless you 'win the lottery' and get a residency in Hawaii, the time difference between US West Coast and Europe is 9 hours, East Coast is 6; not 12.

Good luck, pm me if you'd like more info.

Miklos
 

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theodore

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Just one remark, if anyone has a comment: I saw somewhere in Isserson's book that the prematching and the scramble will no longer be valid,although i m not sure which year he was referring to . Does anyone have an idea about that? Miklos, thnx again, you seem to know a lot of stuff from the inside. I'm wondering if you have an experience from both systems..
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Just one remark, if anyone has a comment: I saw somewhere in Isserson's book that the prematching and the scramble will no longer be valid,although i m not sure which year he was referring to . Does anyone have an idea about that?

See
http://www.valuemd.com/viewtopic.php?p=56877#56877

NRMP - National Resident Matching Program

New Rule Delay
At its May 12, 2003 meeting, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Board of Directors voted to delay implementation of the new NRMP rule previously scheduled to become effective with the 2004 Main Match. The rule would have required all institutions that register for the Main Match to place all their residency programs and positions in the Match.
The delay in implementation is the result of recommendations and comments received over the past eighteen months from NRMP participating institutions, programs, program director organizations, medical schools, and applicants. The Board will study the effects of three major issues:
1) changes in the processing and timely acquisition of visas for international medical graduates
2) limiting the rule to PGY1 positions
3) making the rule program-based rather than institution-based, e.g., all programs (not institutions) registered for the Main Match must place all their positions in the Match

I have posted an opinion regarding this on the ValueMD post. Just quickly, I doubt that changes will take place until something happens with the lawsuit against the NRMP. (See www.residentcase.com and the opposition www.savethematch.org)

BTW, I have not been able to find the original press release on the NRMP site.
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Miklos, thnx again, you seem to know a lot of stuff from the inside. I'm wondering if you have an experience from both systems..

Theodore,
You are welcome. I did elective clerkships in both the U.S. and Great Britain. If you have the chance, I highly recommend that you do the same. I found a clear difference.

Good luck.

Miklos
 

FionaS

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Theodore - the UK isn't that bad! We do have high-tech stuff, it just isn't used routinely (we make lots of jokes about Americans needing a CT to diagnose pneumonia etc - jokes I said!)

Re: USMLE - don't tell them that you took it (or that you intend to go to the US) and they won't ask. Frankly I don't think they'd be too bothered even if you did declare it (though that is quite a low score which wouldn't be such a good thing to advertise) - we aren't that anti-US you know ;) It isn't a good thing to apply showing that you are considering going to the US (or anywhere else) but that's true of any job anywhere - they all want to feel special.

Money is better in the states, but you don't do badly in the UK - compared to everyone else in the UK. Basically, you do very well as a doctor.

The stuff about a consultant job not being guaranteed - well, not quite, you might have to wait 1-2 years (max) to get a consultant job, but you will be a consultant. That assumes you were on a proper training rotation.

Doctor shortages are pretty much everywhere at the moment. Centre of Birmingham, London or Scottish Highlands. Pick an area you like and it's pretty much certain somethin will come up. Housing in London is a nightmare, but it always has been. Who'd want to work in London anyway?! :p

Anyway, that's my 2p. I'm a clinical student in Brum, so if you have any Qs I'll try and help. Best to PM me.
 
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Originally posted by theodore
Hi Miklos,
The main problem is that i can t really start working in Greece after I graduate from POTE,because there are huge waiting lists back there.
______________________________________________

Hello theodore,

Is it really impossible to find a position in Greece after graduating from a foreign university?

My understanding was that someone could move back into the system by writing the Dikatsa exams. Is that not true?
 

theodore

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The thing is, DIKATSA is an extremely corrupted and unreliable organization. There was a group of DIKATSA members checking the quality of my school a couple of years ago, and the leader was the secretary of te organization. Last year she was found to"change" the exam papers of some of the examinees(that is, basically correcting them and putting the back flawless). AThe gross oversupply of physicians in Greecealong with the ever lasting human thirst for money has made these exams both very difficult and convoluted. Since we have not learned medicine in Greece, just telling us"you re gonna be examined in Internal medicine" doesn't mean much. The questions could cover everything from basic knowledge to stuff only specialized docs would know. It's not like the USMLE, where you have a huge variety of books or courses that can helpyou pass the exam.
As for the waiting lists, yes, they are very long. Practically in all specialties, but especially in IM which i m interested in. Waiting time of 3-5 years or even more isn't uncommon, but I would ask the Greek SDNers to contribbute in that, since I'm not as close to the Greek reality as they are anymore. The given fact is that you will have to wait for a long time basically living on your parents' money,which is something I can't do anymore.
Hopefully the new government, whichever it is, will give an end to this corrupted procedure.
 
M

Miklos

Originally posted by theodore
Does any of you know what will happen with graduates coming from the countries entering EU this May? I m originally a Greek citizen but i m graduating from a Hungarian medical school in September. In Greece they haven t decided yet what they re gonna do with us, does the same apply for UK? And if they don t know yet, is there any idea of when they re going to decide?

Check News for Doctors qualifying from EEA Accession Member States on http://www.gmc-uk.org/

Information for nationals of the new EU member states

The General Medical Council is preparing for the expansion of the European Union (EU) on 1 May 2004. All nationals of the 10 new member states will have rights to free movement to the UK for work purposes.

The ten new accession member states are:

Cyprus
Czech Republic
Estonia
Hungary
Latvia
Lithuania
Malta
Poland
Slovak Republic
Slovenia

From 1 May 2004 these countries will join the EU.

This will mean that EU nationals with certain specified medical degrees obtained in the countries above will be able to obtain registration in the UK without the need for a separate assessment of their medical knowledge and skills at the point of registration. Additionally nationals from the countries listed above will not need to take IELTS test before obtaining registration in the UK.


We will be publishing guidance and fact sheets for doctors in due course.

In the meantime we hope that the Frequently Asked Questions below will answer some of your immediate queries. However, if you have any other questions please email [email protected] and we will do our utmost to help you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that applicants from the new accession states will no longer need to take IELTS and PLAB?

Providing you are an EU national and your medical training meets article 23 and your primary medical qualification meets article 3 of the European Medical Directive 93/16/EEC, you will not have to take IELTS and PLAB after 1 May 2004. However, you need to be aware that employers in the UK have the right to assess your language skills.

I don?t want to wait until May 2004 for registration, is there a way I could get registration sooner?

You can apply for Limited Registration however this type of registration usually requires that you take IELTS and PLAB. There are also routes for specialists and General Practitioners (GP?s). However, if your medical training meets the requirements of the directive, you may be better waiting until 1 May.

Do I have to wait until 1 May before I can apply to the GMC?

If we have all the required information from the European Commission and the competent authority of your accession state we will make application forms available before 1 May 2004. However, registration cannot be granted until the accession states have officially joined the EU.

If I have previously failed IELTS or PLAB will I be able to gain registration under the new rules?

If your primary medical qualification meets the standards laid down in the directive, and the University where you obtained the qualification complies with the training standards of the directive, then you will be able to gain registration under the new rules.

I qualified in medicine before the training standards complied with the directive, does this mean I can?t apply for registration?

The GMC will assess these applications on a case-by-case basis.

I will become an EU citizen on 1 May however my medical degree was awarded from a country outside the EU. Will I still be eligible to apply?

It is possible to gain registration although your application will follow a different route. Please email [email protected] and we will advise you based on your particular circumstances.

I am about to graduate from a medical University in one of the accession states, can I do my internship in the UK?

Where internships are not an integral part of the medical degree (Poland, for example), the completion of the internship in the UK must be approved and supervised by the country which has awarded their degree or diploma. Doctors must fulfil the requirements of the country that awarded their degree or diploma. To avoid problems with freedom of movement in the future it is essential that any internship training is carried out under the supervision of the country that awarded your degree and that you are able to produce the relevant documents to support this. Many doctors from the current EEA member states complete their internships in the UK but they have obtained the prior approval of the relevant authority of the country where they studied.

Where do I go to find a job?

If you are coming to the UK to work from abroad and need advice about postgraduate training, how to apply for jobs or clinical attachments you should contact the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Medical Education, Central Information Service, The British Council, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester M1 6BB. Telephone: 0161 957 7218; Fax 0161 957 7029; Email: [email protected]

Vacant posts are advertised in the medical press such as the British Medical Journal www.bmj.com and the Lancet www.thelancet.com

You should also contact your local postgraduate deanery for advice about your training in the UK. Most have an associate dean whose job it is to advise overseas doctors. The conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD) maintain a complete list of deaneries (www.copmed.org.uk) tel; 020 7404 2931
 
M

Miklos

You are welcome. Let us know how it turns out.

Good luck, either way.

Miklos.
 
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