gene

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"Health Secretary Alan Milburn has published plans detailing how the government intends to boost the NHS by drawing on overseas talent.
Initially, the aim is to use manpower from continental Europe to staff new top quality private sector facilities that will treat NHS patients, and thus reduce waiting times." - bbc

:confused: In reaction to this statement:

Shadow Health Secretary Dr Liam Fox, for the Tories, roundly criticised the plans.

He said: "It is a sign of the of the government's increasing desperation that, having failed to recruit and retain staff in the UK, they are desperately looking overseas to fill the ever increasing gaps in their NHS Plan."

The government is trying to retain staff in the UK? ...the home office site:
"How do I qualify to come to the United Kingdom for postgraduate training?

You must show that:
- you are a doctor or dentist;
......
- you plan to leave the United Kingdom when you finish your training."

From what I've heard, after finishing the residency, it's hard to get a job there, as a non-UE doctor. If it's a shortage of doctors, why is it so difficult to stay there? How is the UK's govt tryin to retain them?
 
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geezer

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The situation is very complex here in the UK. The government tightly controls the number of the number of consultant posts available. It is generally accepted that the UK has a low doctor:patient ratio in comparison to most of western europe and certainly a low doctor population for its needs. The problem is that successive governments have seemed unwilling to create new consultant posts - most problably because of the increase expense this will have on the NHS.

Additionally, special registrar (equivalent of senior residency) posts are tihgtly controlled and very difficult to obtain. This has created a situation where many graduates are forced to spend up to 6 years post graduation before obtaining specialty training in the field of their choice. Because of the level of competition, it has almost become a requisite to do 2/3 years of research (Phd) before obtaining a specialty post in the UK. Graduates are now have to spend between 12-15 years post graduation before obtaining consultant posts. Consequently, I believe that current consultants favour UK trained doctors when appointing their fellows.

The current governments latest idea is to recruit specialists from abroad on a temporary basis, to ease the pressures on the NHS until UK doctors come through the system.

Not sure if I have explained it very well, but hope it answers some of your questions.
 
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There's a similar situation in Ireland. The Irish health system is desperate for more doctors and more fully trained specialists. This has led to recruitment drives abroad for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.
 

gene

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"Because of the level of competition, it has almost become a requisite to do 2/3 years of research (Phd) before obtaining a specialty post in the UK."
???? Phd? I mean, Phd between SHO an SpR? Or during the SHO years?
 

geezer

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what is tending to happen is that med graduates do the one year house officer post (6 months surgery, 6 months medicine) after graduating. This is followed by 2/3 years SHO post (medicine, surgery etc) There is at present a bottle neck for SpR posts to doctors then become research fellows at hospitals, and spend a period of time in research, usually 2 years clinical research for an MD (the MD is a postgraduate research degree in the UK) or 3 years basic sience research for a PhD. During this period, you are also expected to publish your work, preferebly in reputable journals. It is only after this that most doctors have a sufficiently competitive CV to be able to obtain an SpR post. SpR training is 6 years after which you can apply for consultant posts.
 

gene

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so in this 2 years of research (or even 3) doctors cease their hospital practice (patient care)? Is this good for their training? What do you think about these research years? find them necessary at this point?
 

The Pill Counter

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I got hold of a book that was recommended on SDN "So You Want to Be a Brain Surgeon" - good summaries on the differing career routes in the UK. It was stated in there also that it so difficult to obtain a training post in some specialties that the MD/PhD are practically compulsory. Again, like Geezer said, this MD is not your med. qualification, but a post-grad degree.
I'm still debating whether to go to the UK or US after graduation, but the arduous route, and poor compensation in the UK isn't exactly pulling me home.
 
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