General practice doctors moving from abroad need to know several things before settling in. For example, they need to know about salaries and work-life balance, as well as how to transition to their new country. They should also know about the work-life balance in the NHS. And finally, they should know how to adapt back to their home country once they have finished training.
Salary of general practice doctors moving from overseas
When deciding which countries to practice in, it’s important to understand the salary differences between GPs and specialists. These salaries are often based on the years of experience of the physician as well as the location. In addition, doctors in Ireland work longer hours than their colleagues in any other European country, on average for 51 hours per week. This may result in less than ideal working conditions for GPs. Also, the tax burden is extremely high in Ireland, which is why salaries are significantly higher for specialist doctors than those of GPs.
However, there are also perks that GPs can expect. Most GPs in England are part of a GP partnership, which is a small to medium-sized business run by an individual or group of GPs. These practices are contracted by NHS commissioners to provide generalist medical care. Partners in GP partnerships work together as a team and share resources. They also share buildings and facilities. In addition, doctors in partnerships are responsible for keeping their knowledge up to date and completing revalidation with the GMC every five years.
Work-life balance in the NHS
Work-life balance is an important issue for general practice doctors moving from overseas. Overworked doctors tend to make mistakes and provide less care than they are capable of. Furthermore, studies show that less satisfied employees perform worse in their job. Doctors perform life-defining work, and poor performance can have disastrous consequences. However, it is possible to find a great balance between work and personal life, and the Australian health system has a good record in this area.
A recent study examined work-life balance for doctors in training in the GP Jobs Australia UK. It involved interviews and semistructured focus groups. The study took place during a junior doctors’ contract dispute, and was part of a larger study by the General Medical Council on the fairness of postgraduate medical training. The participants included both British and foreign doctors, and represented a range of training stages.
Transition back to your home country as a GP
Transitioning back to your home country as a general practitioner as a doctor from abroad can be a difficult and stressful experience. The cultural, social and ethical differences can be challenging. The best way to overcome any culture shock is to prepare yourself with robust information and a supportive network. One of the best resources to help you transition back is a free eLearning course from Health Education England, ‘Induction for international doctors’.