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any doctors who have gone overseas?(11 Posts)
We know a couple of medics who have done a year or two overseas as a break from training, but nobody yet who has moved overseas for good, although plenty talk about it. The usual destinations of choice are Aus, NZ or Canada. Have people done it? Is the work/pay/life actually significantly better?
I know loads of UK doctors! ( Queensland) most if them are here on a perm basis. So it can't be that bad! Most of the longest stayers have trained here from reg to consultant. From a nursing perspective is say same s#it different temperature! I get paid more as an icu nurse here than the UK. Better quals allowance.. Better shift allowances.
DP pointed out things must be okay there as you never meet an Aussie doctor over here!
I moved to Australia last year. We're planning for it to be a move for about 10 years, so not forever but a good chunk. However the work is definitely better. It's well paid and as a GP we earn money per service, so unlike in the UK where more and more work is piled on for no extra pay, if you work hard here you're paid well for it.
The work-life balance is what you make it. I'm working long hours, so in the week I don't get lots of leisure time. However the weather is so much more reliable than in the UK so we're out every weekend at the beach and doing other outdoors things which weren't enjoyable in the cold and wet of the UK.
We've spent three years in total in Oz and NZ at various stages (we're both medics) - pre-family, and post-DC's. We love both countries, and constantly wonder about going back - but right now there are NO JOBS for DH <wail> (though plenty for me in GP/pall care). He's the main breadwinner though, so I am trawling through the job ads on a weekly basis on his behalf.
I would say that work itself is not hugely different - in fact a lot of the Aussie docs we knew were pretty serious and hard-working and pale and academic! Though there were notorious exceptions of the surfy variety of course But what IS different is leisure time, of course - all that fabulous sunshine and all those gorgeous parks/beaches/outdoor activities <wistful sigh>
Money - well, it's very good in places like WA - doctors in Perth seem to be rolling in it, from what we saw. It's less good in NSW, better in QLD (I may be out of date here, but that's how it was a few years ago). It's much less good in NZ - but the amazing scenery there makes up for a lot.
We know several people who've taken the decision to stay and are very happy. We chose to return to the UK for the usual reasons of family and friends, and proximity to Europe. But we're feeling the pull of the Antipodes again right now - mind you, every winter I vow to leave the UK forever, then soften towards it in the Spring!
I have looked into Canada but it looks quite difficult right now to get in unless you're prepared to work and live in Saskatchewan (sp?) or similar - plus we're heat-seekers rather than cold-lovers!
I'm assuming you line up a job & go out under your own steam - no help with relocation costs?
No, it depends - you can often get relocation costs. Certainly at GP and consultant level.
Dh did a surgical fellowship in SA. He worked in an speciality that they were finding it hard to recruit to and ended up being first on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We liked the fact that he got paid for the hours he worked I.e. Used a time sheet, patients were generally more appreciative than in the UK, they didn't get as much hassle from managers interms of patient discharge etc... He didn't do any private work at all and I think this is restricted for about 7 years if you go across. DH found that the majority of the work was done by uk fellows whereas the consultants all had private rooms where they worked ( probably slightly exaggerated but there were some strange politics going on).
I believe there is some political stuff happening with medics in Queensland at the moment with respect to their contracts. Not really sure what this actually means in terms of the difference it would make as a uk doctor but is probably worth checking out. We found people had issues with visas as well. You can only work as a doctor on a 457 visa until qualifications have been fully approved by the relevant college. I know several people who had to resit speciality exams and also do several years training meaning they couldn't consider applying for a permanent visa for 3-4 years.
We did get some help with flight costs, and we know of others who got relocation costs.
Are you/your partner a hospital doctor or GP? There are several routes to go down. I understand most hospital doctors secure their positions directly with the hospitals, however GPs an either directly apply for jobs and do all the visa work, or go via an agency who will organise a lot of it for you. We went via an agency and it was quite straightforward but requires mountains of paperwork for transferring registrations and obtaining the visa. The other options is working for a corporate (large organisation with lots of GP practices)
If you or your partner are GPs, look carefully before signing up for a corporate. They offer large sums of money for you to sign up, but bind you in to a contract for several years. As you're paid per item of service rather than a salary, you may end up seeing very few patients a day for years, and therefore earning very little and unable to move. Also they tend to have long opening hours, so you're more likely to be working antisocial hours.
My partner is a GP trainee. Thanks for the information!
A friend of a friend has moved to Gibraltar - quite fancy that, not so much of a big move as going all the way over to the Antipodes...
I moved to Australia 2.5 years ago and would not consider going back even for a minute! As a trainee you basically have to start at the bottom again, as a fully trained GP/ consultant you can transfer over but I think it is harder in terms of paperwork. Either way it is not a bad thing- I basically had 4 years of training in the uk that was not counted here but it was still great experience.
The pay is better, the hours are better but most of all the work is so much more enjoyable and it is nice being respected again and not bossed around by managers. I think the current situation in Queensland says it all- doctors are actually going to walk out of their jobs because the government is trying to screw them over. In the uk people have no real choice but to take it.
I would do it in a heartbeat if I were you. The quality of life is so good too.
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