As the largest medical recruitment agency in the UK, we support over hundreds of international doctors and nurses relocate to the UK every single year. Over the last 12-months, the pandemic meant it was hard for people to travel across borders.
Despite the challenges in reaching the UK, we’re celebrating Dr Misbah Fazlani– who has successfully relocated in March 2021, with the support of ID Medical Group. Dr Fazlani shares her experience in the UK’s quarantine hotel and provides some excellent advice for junior doctors looking to follow in the same steps as her.
Hello Dr Fazlani! Could you please start by introducing yourself?
Hello! Relocating from Dubai, I’m joining East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust as an ST3 Acute Medicine.
Taking it back to where we it all began, what was your motivation to be a doctor?
To be honest, it was not my decision to become a doctor. From a young age, my mother always wanted me to become a doctor and when it came to applying to university, I opted for medicine! I was accepted into medical school and now I can say that I absolutely love being a doctor.
Why did you choose to specialise in Acute Medicine?
I adore medicine because you get the opportunity to treat an array of illnesses and diseases. During my foundation year, I rotated between other specialties and sub-specialties; however, I find working within one specialty very boring as it’s the same medical issues and diagnoses every day. However, Acute Medicine provides variation and I find it fascinating.
What are your reasons for wanting to relocate to the UK and join the NHS?
Training in Pakistan and then relocating to Dubai, it wasn’t possible to train in Acute Medicine. If I wanted to stay, I would have had to change my specialty which I absolutely didn’t want to do. So, for me to pursue my passion I had to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. In addition, the NHS is one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Do you have any advice for junior doctors looking to become a Medicine doctor?
Yes, and I want to speak directly to women looking to pursue the same pathway to me. I was always very vocal about wanting to pursue Acute Medicine and male doctors advised me not to do it due to the busyness, large responsibility that Acute Medicine doctors have and because I was married with a baby, I was advised against this.
However, I knew that Acute Medicine was my one true passion and if I specialised in anything else I just wouldn’t be happy. So, I went with my gut and pursued Acute Medicine – and I don’t have a single regret. My family are happy, I’m happy and my patients are happy!
Do you have any advice for doctors looking to obtain MRCP?
To successfully pass MRCP, it’s all about your experience. My top piece of advice is to view your work in the hospital as if you’re always being assessed. When you treat a patient, pretend there’s an invigilator there and make sure you cover off all exam points.
What was your experience of evidencing your English language?
I opted for OET as the questions are of a clinical context. When I received my mark back, I had failed by one point which was extremely frustrating but I asked for a remark and passed.
To study, I found YouTube extremely useful and a dear friend kindly gave me some useful materials.
How do you successfully manage your time? With regards to work, study and home life?
I’ve never been very good at always studying. I simply make sure that each day I dedicate a specific amount of time for studying, based on my schedule for the day. In addition to that, any lunch breaks or quiet times within the hospital – just read!
What are you most excited for about working within the NHS?
A lot of my friends work within the NHS and they’re happy, healthy, have a good work environment and most importantly, they feel safe living in the UK! For me, the NHS is an opportunity to boost my career.
What are you most excited for about living in the UK?
I would love to travel the UK! Each place seems to be different which is interesting. That being said, I find the actual travelling part of travelling very boring and time consuming haha!
How is life in the quarantine hotel?
Prior to arriving in the UK, I had to fill out some documents. When I got off the plane, I had to fill out more documents and I was allocated a security guard to follow me round the entire airport until I got onto my transport to the quarantine hotel. Everyone who arrives from a red list country gets allocated a security guard as they don’t want us to mix with people, to prevent the spread of the virus.
Once the mini bus dropped me at the hotel, I had more forms to fill out and then that was it! I was allocated a room and we get given food three-times a day! There are plenty of options to choose from and the portions are huge. I look forwards to dinner time because it’s usually Asian food.
Whilst I’m quarantining, I’m going to participate in a hospital welcome Zoom, induction zoom, do some studying, watch movies and sleep.
What was your experience with ID Medical?
Fantastic! After sending across my CV, Sudha from ID Medical rang me to find out more about me, my career goals and expectations for a role within the NHS. From the initial induction, Sudha rang me every day to check in on me and provide me with an update.
After securing a role, the support did not stop there. I was in touch with Phoebe from the relocation team and Phoebe provided me with all the help I needed. From booking hospital accommodation to information on the quarantine hotel – it was a very kind and useful service.
Would you recommend ID Medical to a friend?
Absolutely and I already have recommended them. A few of my friends were really struggling to obtain NHS interviews by the traditional method of using NHS jobs. I recommended them to ID Medical and they’ve also received their support in securing roles, which is just absolutely brilliant.
I’ll also be recommending my husband when he gets his full GMC Registration.
Did Covid-19 deter you from wanting to relocate to the UK?
Never! I’m not scared of Covid-19 and as I work within medicine wards, I was exposed to the virus from the outset. I thought if I don’t relocate now – I never would.
What profession would you be if you weren’t a doctor?
I don’t know! Maybe banking, as that was my second choice if I didn’t get into medical school. That being said, I really wouldn’t want to be anything but a doctor, I’m very happy.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Dr Al Fazlani. ID Medical wishes you the most success with your new NHS career. As always, we’ll be here whenever you need us.