Junior doctor Overseas qualified doctor Life and work in the UK

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Insiders guide to being a junior doctor in the NHS


Introduction to being a junior doctor in the NHS 

This practical guide is designed by doctors, for doctors new to the UK, who have trained abroad and come to work in an NHS hospital.

If you are a doctor who is new to the UK, the chances are high that you will have experienced a different training culture. So there is a lot to learn.

The UK healthcare system operates a less hierarchical system than many other healthcare systems.

I was amazed to see the knowledge of the senior nurses. In India doctors are Gods! The rest are irrelevant. 

Mr Jay Chatterjee
(Consultant gynaecologist)

There are lots of new challenges to be faced and multi-disciplinary team-working in NHS hospitals is one of them.

Roles and responsibilities of other team members can be confusing. For example, you might not be clear about your place in a clinical team, or what expectations others will have of you, when it comes to everyday tasks, such as the ward round.

You may not know whether it is ok to ask for help or for advice about a patient.

Even fundamentals such as how the hospital is laid out by department,  can cause problems early on, leading to difficulties for doctors new to the UK, in integrating, feeling comfortable at work and performing effectively.

None of the rules about these things are obvious, yet somehow, other people seem to just know what to do.

Well don't despair. The BMA is here to help.

Find out how and join the thousands who are already BMA members.

Read this inside view to working in the NHS, from people with first-hand experience of what it's like to feel everything is new, overwhelmed by the differences and that they might never get to used to it all.

'I think doctors overseas rarely work in such a multidisciplinary way, where the nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and healthcare assistants all put in a team effort in patient care.'

Next ...What you should know before you start