Taking the decision to leave your home country to pursue a career in medicine here in the UK can be a daunting experience! If you’re thinking of working in the UK with our NHS, we like to share the experiences of our international healthcare heroes; so you can get a better understanding of what the experience is really like.
This week, we’re talking to Dr Mato Martinovic; a Consultant Urologist who originally hails from Croatia.
Hi, Dr Martinovic! Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m a Consultant Urologist from Croatia with over 20 years’ experience.
What made you want to become a doctor?
I always wanted to help people from such a young age.
I chose to specialise in Urology because I always enjoyed operating on patients, however, I do love face-to-face contact with patients, too. So, to me, Urology is the perfect specialty for me.
What attracted you to working in the UK?
There are two fundamental reasons why… Firstly, unfortunately, I lived in a country where the government was very corrupt and I did not enjoy their political decisions.
Secondly, as a child, my mother was an English teacher and my father was a director who spent a lot of time travelling the world and so, the both of them had impeccable English. Around the house, I would be surrounded by newspapers, books, magazines and TV – so, learning English became one of my passions. That’s why, when it became time to relocate – working in the UK was my first choice.
What was your experience of securing a job within the NHS?
When I made the decision that working in the UK was right for me, Alex from ID Medical was there to support me every single step of the way, I cannot thank him enough. I had my first interview with an NHS Trust in North Wales and the whole process very easy and smooth. I interviewed via Skype by the Chief of Urology and a HR Member. They asked me typical NHS interview questions such as why I want to live in the UK, my previous experience, my expectations and my hopes and goals for the future.
After I was offered the job, Alex then supported me with evidencing my English language skills via the SELR process. It was very easy and Alex was there to guide me and sent off the application for me at the end of it.
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What relocation support did ID Medical offer you?
I cannot thank ID Medical enough for their help.
As soon as I had been given a start date, Alex sent me an array of accommodation options for me to choose from.
Although I was relocating to a new country in a pandemic, I was not worried because of all the help from the ID Medical team.
How was your experience travelling from Croatia to the UK in a pandemic?
Surprisingly, it was extremely good. Both airports were quiet, the flight took less time and everything ran a lot more quickly and smoothly without all the queues.
When I first arrived at the airport in Zagreb, I placed my mask on and made my way to departures. I was asked where I’m travelling to, why I’m travelling and whether I will need to quarantine. At this point, I had to inform them I was a doctor and there was no legal requirement for me to quarantine – and there I was off on my way.
The flight itself was very quiet! I had a whole row to myself and absolutely everyone was wearing a mask, there was nothing to worry about!
Once I reached London, Heathrow was completely deserted and I got through the arrivals queue in just two minutes when it usually would have taken a couple of hours. I filled in a form and once again, I was off on my way! After I exited the airport, I rented a car and made my way to say a big hello to Alex! I must say London traffic is very manic despite being in a pandemic, but I didn’t worry because of my amazing SatNav that helped me.
After saying hello to Alex, I drove to North Wales and I started to settle into my new life in the UK.
I felt completely safe and happy travelling during Covid 19 and I am so pleased I did, because now I get to start my new life as a Urologist within the NHS.
Despite everything being rather stressful at the moment, I had a really positive experience with everyone I’ve met so far in the UK! From the lovely airport staff, to the nurse I met on the flight to Occupational Health Nurse at my appointment.
I cannot wait for my new life.