One of the great things about being a doctor is that your skills are in demand everywhere in the world. That’s why many trained doctors choose to work abroad temporarily if not permanently. But before you cross the border into a new life, there are some important things to think about first.
- Why do you want to work abroad? Perhaps you want to gain experience in a different country which will benefit your home country on your return. You need to be clear in your own mind why this is right for you.
- Consider the countries that will suit you and do some research. What is the healthcare system like? Get information about the duties and responsibilities your position will involve.
- If possible, talk to someone who has already done what you intend to do. Perhaps you can find an Internet forum where you can contact such people.
- Get all the terms and conditions in writing first. This will help to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your first day of work.
- You might need to be immunised against certain diseases in order to work in your chosen country and you might also want to consider taking out private health insurance if none is offered.
- Do you have all the necessary requirements? You will probably need all of the following: visa, evidence of current registration, degree certificates, references, English language test, and a letter of appointment from your new employer.
Have you considered working in Australia, Canada, or the US?
Registration with conditions is available to anyone outside of the UK who wishes to work in Australia temporarily. You will need a Temporary Business visa but before applying, you will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for registration with the appropriate State Medical Board.
In order to work in Canada, you will need employment authorisation, a work permit, and you will have to undergo a medical examination. There is also a short, computer-based test assessing an individual’s competency for entry into supervised clinical practice in postgraduate training programmes. It is worth noting, however, that Quebec has different immigration procedures.
If you want to work in the United States, you must first gain certification form the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) after registering your medical school and year of graduation in the International Medical Education Directory. Employment visas will not be issued unless all the criteria have been fulfilled but temporary visas are available to people taking part in an officially approved programme sponsored by an educational institution.