Moving to the UK as a doctor

Moving to the UK as a doctor

Hello, I’m Sandip, the newest recruiter to join the Head Medical team to help doctors find a role in the UK. Since I joined, I have been getting some guidance from the team here at Head Medical who have decades of experience helping get overseas doctors registered and settled into jobs. My priority is to find out what attracts doctors to work in the UK, how I can help them find a position within an NHS trust or private hospital and the most common challenges they may face…

Why work in the UK? 

The UK, even with its temperamental weather (I should warn you, this is a major topic of conversation for all that live here!) has some of the most vibrant cities and stunning countryside in Europe. Did you know the weather is so unpredictable because we’re under an area where approximately 5 different air masses meet? Being sandwiched between the Atlantic and continental Europe probably adds to it too.

There are many benefits for international doctors working in the UK. You will have the opportunity to work in one of the largest and most established healthcare institutions in the world – The NHS, which recently celebrated its 74th anniversary. With 1.4 million employees, the NHS is in the top 10 largest employers in the world. Doctors who choose to further their professional careers in the NHS say it allows them privileged access to a diverse population of patients with varying needs, challenging cases and the opportunity to provide care for those who need it most.

What do doctors say about the NHS?

Edward, a leading emergency medicine consultant with experience practicing across the globe for 47 years, told us “The NHS allows everyone access to great healthcare – young, old, poor and rich and it’s my duty to make sure people have equal access to treatments.”

William came to the UK from the USA with the help of Head Medical as a consultant 3 years ago and he says “GMC registration can be challenging for some, but I was expertly guided through it by Head Medical who also helped me find the job I still work in today, relocate and set up in a new country. I came to the UK because I wanted my kids to do their university studies here and I wanted to be with them.”

Claudia is a support worker in an NHS trust in London and she says, “The NHS has so many dedicated professionals wanting to improve the lives of others. The training we receive is second to none. There is more diversity within the organisation than any other I have worked in. Coming from a diverse background, that’s something that speaks to me. I’m proud to work for the NHS and despite some of the struggles, wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

Cutting edge innovations

The UK has the third largest medical devices market in Europe and there is an increasing number getting approval for use in areas such as the detection and treatment of cancer. One of the largest foundation trusts in England recently used a digital pathology company to send images of slides to their secure network of Pathologists so they can be checked for a range of diseases including cancer. The result? A reduction in patient waiting times from 2 weeks to 2 days! With the global digital Pathology systems market set to double in the next 8 years, being in the UK is putting doctors right in the epicentre of ground-breaking patient care. 

Are there many jobs for International Doctors in the UK?  

The answer is a resounding yes! There is a high percentage of international doctors already working in the NHS and with an increasing and ageing population, the demand will only increase. Historically, the areas with the highest demand include emergency medicineelderly careGPs and Psychiatrists. It is important to know that demand is an ever-evolving dynamic with such a diverse population.

However, the process of working in the UK as an international doctor can be complex. You will need to be registered with the General Medical Council before applying for a UK-based position, something I will discuss in more detail in my next blog

How Head Medical can help 

Head Medical are one of the very few Medical Recruitment agencies that are on both of the 2 main national frameworks with the NHS – this means we are an approved provider to every NHS Health board for domestic and international recruitment.

Did you know Head Medical is also one of the few medical recruitment agencies in the UK with an in-house regulatory and migration team? Once we have secured a role for you here, we will assist you with all you need to not only register but all things involved in moving like helping you find a place to stay, schools for your children, setting up bank accounts and so much more.

Ok, that’s all handy…but is the pay any good?

  • If you base yourself in the UK during your 2-year foundation training (internship), you’ll start on around £30,000 to £34,000. 
  • Once you start your specialist training, you’ll jump to between £40,000 to £53,000. 
  • When you finish that and become a specialty doctor, you’ll be earning around £50,000 to £78,000. 
  • As a specialist grade doctor, it’s £80,000 to £91,000 
  • Once you are consultant level, you’ll be on £84,000 to £114,000 + 

(All salaries are rounded and approximate).

There are factors such as additional out-of-hours sessions or private work that can have a huge influence on higher earning potential too.

I’m keen to hear from all of you!

As a doctor considering a move to the UK, what help would you need the most?

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