Dr Roshan Thawale – Experience of an IMG in East Midlands School of Anaesthesia (EMSA)

We international health professional may migrate for various reasons- postgraduate study, money, love or place to broaden the experiences and horizons. Different circumstances and personal preference may affect where one choses to go.  

But you already have made the most important decision- simple or convoluted, long drawn or painful- the United Kingdom it shall be.  

I came to the UK in early 2014 and was put through thorough induction and orientation for 6 weeks in a DGH based in most affluent part of the England- the Surrey.  It took me some time to get used to the dialect and vocabulary though we speak English at home (India) at workplace (well… We do call it English).   While getting used to new place and doing touristy things over weekends and off days, one of my consultant asked me to seriously consider writing Primary FRCA as early as possible. I took it on board and by hook or fluke got it through in very first attempt.  Again he asked to write my CV and consider plugging holes in CV needed for ST-3 job. I followed his advice and appeared for ST-3 interviews. While being on Tier-2 visa, it became apparent that choice will come down at clearing stage of the ST-3 job allocations. While ranking the choice of clearing jobs, I did call one of my mates who were SpR at EMSA and he said that opting for EMSA will be the most right thing I will ever do for near future.  

I started at Northampton and while moving home, I and other half immediately noticed the difference in cost of living- accommodation, council tax, groceries, lesser distance to commute and eating out. I started getting translated into our saving accounts and soon we were on the property ladder. Never ever we thought that we will be proud owner of our own humble abode this soon in life.  

While structure of training is fairly standard but I did find that TPDs, College Tutors and RAs are very approachable and always eager to help. Few of my colleagues with whom I trained in India were also in exact same boat as me with regards to ST-3 interviews and I then urged them to opt for EMSA and make the right choice towards good quality of life. Thus, I inspired 4 of them to be here and all of them are very happy with the choice they made. All 4 are on property ladder and they do retaliate same thoughts as me as- low cost of living, ease to get on to the property ladder, excellent state and independent schools for kids, lesser commute while rotating through various allocation sites in the region and it translating into money savings in real term while being able to enjoy good quality of professional and personal life.  

Finally… Have I fitted in? Have all 4 of my mates also fitted in?    

HELL YEAH…  Superb camaraderie amongst all trainees at EMSA… Very diverse and versatile bunch of trainees from various cultural backgrounds- some literally born and bred here all their lives and some of us still “fresh of the boat”…   

Do we ever fight? Yes… We do…  Because we (fresh of the boat) do not have any other sports to talk about during our trainee social night-outs except Cricket and our know-how of football is akin to Orthopods’ interpretation of ECG.  

None of the past experience should go to waste, so you decide to move and chose EMSA. Amazing how much there is to learn outside medicine when you have time and some money in the savings. You feel proud to be a British Anaesthetist from East Midlands…