To clear some things about the MTI programme becauses I feel there seems to be a widespread misconception about the programme. Here, you will hear first hand from someone who is actually doing the MTI programme so hope it helps. I will try to go through the details, the pros as well as the cons of this programme as well as clear some of the misconceptions.
FIrst of all, some basic information regarding this programme-
- The MTI programme is one which is run by the Royal College of Physicians of UK designed to mutually benefit both the UK as well as the participants and the aim of this programme is to enable medical graduates to come to UK with PERMANENT GMC registration(subject to regular appraisals and revalidation which every GMC registered doctors has to go through) on a temporary visa(highest upto 2 years) and train them at appropriate levels(Core training or specialty training depending on whether you have post graduation or not) and in the process, help UK meet up its shortage of doctors and enable the various hospital trusts of UK to fill up their shortages with quality doctors rather than thru highly expensive locums of variable qualities.
- To be eligible for MTI, you mostly need
- three years of experience as a doctor in the last 5 years(internship counts) including 12 months of continuous experience in the last 12 months
- Part 1(MRCP, MD, not sure about FCPS – this needs to be asked).
- That’s it – with only these three, you end up getting permanent GMC registration and chance to start working in UK. In addition, if you have complete post graduation(MRCP), you can train at specialty level instead of core trainee level.
- Firstly, you have GMC registration without having to go through the process of PLAB or MRCP and bearing the expenses of these. So, the fresh interns – if you start planning today, you can be ready to come to UK after 2 years of finishing internship – all you need to do to ensure this is to pass a part 1(as mentioned above), get the required score in IELTS/OET(its validity stays for 2 years i think) and MAKE SURE YOU TRAIN/WORK CONTINUOUSLY WITHOUT ANY BREAKS. Also please get your MBBS degree EPIC verified which shud not be difficult. In this way, you can save yourself of going thru the process of PLAB/finishing MRCP for GMC registration which can be extremely expensive as well as stressful.
- Secondly, you get to train at equivalent core trainee/specialty trainee level for 2 years. You are given similar training opportunities, a free e portfolio by the Royal College to help document your progress, an an education superviser to sign off your core competencies.
- Thirdly, it is so much easier to pass PACES(which is notoriously the most difficult to pass in MRCP) if you are continuously seeing UK patients every day, knowing their system, knowing how they talk, their typical cases, etc. In this way, you can save yourself the trouble of finishing PACES from Bangladesh where you have to go thru the huge stress of unknown exam circumstances, uncertainty about managing a seat in the international centres, uncertainty regarding a Visa, the huge expenses of travel, etc. The money you save by working can also fund your MRCP exams so passing PACES is a lot more easier(Part 2 however is slightly easier to pass from Bangladesh so it’s a bonus if u can get MRCP part 2 done as well by the time u come here). If you can get an alternative foundation competency certificate signed by off by a Bangladeshi consultant(which shud be hugely simple enough), in the two years of your MTI, u can easily get your core competencies signed off since u are assigned an education superviser who wud help u thru this. So, by the time u finish your MTI, if you can also finish ur MRCP, u will be in a position to apply for specialty training thru the national training scheme of UK. So, provided you have not wasted a time after your MBBS, u can be practically ready for applying for UK’s prestigious Specialty training within 6 years of MBBS. That’s quick enough.
- Fourthly, the NHS system is vastly different from Bangladesh and coming here to work for the first time is a daunting and overwhelming task. If you come here thru the MTI, you will be given an appropriate period of induction and training where you will be working (PAID) as a supernumary and hence expected to only learn and not contribute much to the trust. In my trust, they have offered me an induction period of 4-6 weeks which is huge compared to what I would get if I came here with a job.
- Lastly, you end up getting a certificate from the Royal College which will be very prestigious and glitter ur CV.
- The main problem is that u have to do this programme thru the Tier 5 visa which is temporary and does not count towards citizenship. So, after this visa is finished, if you want to stay on in UK with a job(which u can easily find since u have permanent GMC registration), u have to get urself a Tier 2 visa(which u can also easily get if u get a job AS THINGS STAND NOW) and ur citizenship countdown will begin from the day ur tier 2 visa begins. So, citizenship wise, the MTI is 2 years wasted in UK(OR WHATEVER DURATION YOU WANT TO DO YOUR MTI – THERE IS OPTION REGARDING THE DURATION AS DESCRIBED BELOW).
- Secondly, since the tier5 visa is temporary, to continue to stay on in UK, u need to switch on to a tier 2 visa. As mentioned above, as things stand now, it is relatively easy to find a tier 2 visa when u have a job who will sponsor u for it and as things stand now, it is relatively easy to get urself a job if u have a GMC registration. However, in the future, if things change then things might get tricky.
Now clearing some of the misconceptions:
- “This is just an attempt of UK to bring some doctors from overseas and make them work ‘kamla'”. Well, let’s face it, UK needs doctors and have serious shortages. So they are naturally interested in overseas doctors. So, any doctor from overseas as well as their own doctors have to work very hard.THIS APPLIES TO EVERYONE, WHETHER U R COMING HERE WITH A JOB, THROUGH MTI OR YOU ARE THEIR NATIVE DOCTOR. There is no way of discriminating between the doctors working hour wise.
- “It is just a scheme of UK to find some ‘CHEAP’ doctors and they wont pay u enuf”
They wont pay u good enuf if you dont negotiate. If you negotiating power is good, you shud be able to find urself the salary u deserve. I negotiated and managed to find myself a salary almost equivalent to the ST3 trainees of UK. If I didn’t negotiate, they wud have paid me a lot less.
- ‘There is not enough training opportunities in the MTI programme’
Again, you have ur rights and it is entirely upto you whether u are able to avail them. If you are deprived of ur rights, u have so many avenues to voice ur concerns. You have ur educational superviser, u have the BMA(which u shud become a member of) and you have the Royal College. If you dont voice ur concerns when u feel u dont have enuf training opportunities, and choose to keep silent, u will always end up being deprived. It’s ur choice. As mentioned above, i have made sure that i have been given a proper 4 weeks of induction in which I am supposed to only learn and not contribute to the trust’s working needs.
- ‘You are bound to come back to bangladesh after the MTI ends’
Well, paradoxically, since u have GMC registration permanently, u can always find a job after the MTI ends and it will be rather much easier to find a good job since u already have NHS experience. The only catch is that ur visa will expire so u have to come back to bangladesh to apply for a tier 2 visa. THat hopefully will not be difficult(AS THINGS STAND NOW – CANT SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE)cos ur new job shud sponsor u for a tier 2 visa.
- And lastly, even though the MTI programme is traditionally 2 years, it can be anything from 6 months to 2 years so u have a say in choosing the length according to ur convenience.
Dr. Raiyan Rahman
MBBS(DMC), MRCP (UK)