General practice doctors moving from overseas often have to deal with a number of challenges. Some doctors decide to return home, but the transition can be difficult. It is helpful to talk to fellow medical professionals to help prepare yourself for a successful return. It can be especially helpful to talk to colleagues who have previously relocated overseas. Keeping in touch with colleagues can help you secure employment when you return. It can also be helpful to seek advice from colleagues who are currently working in other countries.
Challenges of moving from overseas as a general practice doctor
This study aims to explore the challenges of migrant physicians in establishing general practices in new countries. It uses both qualitative and quantitative data to understand the challenges faced by migrant physicians. The study focuses on doctors from low-, middle and high-income countries. Several European countries have experienced a severe recession in recent years, leading to an unprecedented increase in emigration of medical personnel.
For doctors from overseas, moving to the UK can be a challenging transition. Not only will they need to adapt to a new culture, but they may also face different professional and ethical challenges. A good way to overcome these difficulties is to obtain robust information ahead of time. eLearning is a great resource for this purpose, and Health Education England has a free course aimed at international doctors.
Benefits of working abroad as a general practice doctor
Working abroad as a GP is a great way to further develop your skills and knowledge and to experience a different culture. It also helps you become a better doctor and a better global citizen. The UK Deanery has established a special programme called OOPE which allows you to work for up to six months in a different country. The GP Jobs Australia placement is voluntary and does not earn you any accreditation towards your speciality.
Many doctors choose to work abroad for several reasons. Although salaries can be lower, working abroad gives you the opportunity to experience a different lifestyle. For example, you may be able to apply for a proportional pension, which is much more advantageous than a flat salary.
Pay of general practice doctors in the UK
Despite performing almost 90% of healthcare activity in the UK, GPs receive a low pay. This is despite the fact that their workload is increasingly complex and they must manage an ageing population, along with the inevitable consequences of chronic illnesses. In addition to this, GPs face shrinking budgets and the onset of COVID-19. In response, many in the industry have begun campaigning for improved minimum rates of pay.
GPs’ basic salaries are generally around PS35-40,000. Salaried GPs earn around PS60k or more a year, depending on their level of experience and the number of patients they serve. They can also supplement their income by doing out-of-hours cover or on-call duties after 7pm. GPs can also become partners in an NHS practice, boosting their income further.
Dissatisfaction with work-life balance in the NHS
Recent surveys have revealed that many doctors are unhappy with the current working conditions in the NHS, and some are considering moving abroad to work in another country. One recent study found that many doctors cited the inflexibility of their current contracts as one of the main reasons for moving abroad.
This study found that 64% of those undecided about their future career said that they would leave the NHS if they felt the work-life balance in the NHS is not acceptable. This rate remained the same for all 13 medical specialties and across different grades of posts. More than one-third (39%) of those who were planning to leave cited personal or family reasons.