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Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Old Oct 18th 2019, 4:25 pm
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Default Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

I'm a doctor, but I left the NHS in 2015 to conduct research in the US. I never finished my training so I am not technically employable as a specialist or doctor anywhere.

I've kind of coasted on in a research role since 2015, but I realize this is not what I want to do full time. Getting into medicine in the US is doable but it will take a few more years for me to make connections (I've already lost 4 years out of clinical practice, and my "board exam" scores are not very good). My other alternatives are jobs as a medical writer - I've had several offers from US companies, but the problem is the salary is really not comparable to what I could be making as a physician in the US, and I guess my ego won't really let me do this. On the other hand, it is comparable and probably higher than what I would be making as a doctor in the NHS.

Recently I got my UK license to practice medicine back, and part of me thinks I should just go back and finish training as a GP (another 4 years) then possibly go to Australia, New Zealand or Canada as a GP. There is always a risk however, that if Labour comes in, they will impose some kind of penalty on doctors wishing to leave...

I like the US and I am actually due to receive my green card in the next few months - however I really think I need to get on with my career so I can actually have a stable job in the future. If I go back now I realize I will probably regret leaving where I'm at (California - it really is idyllic) - however my prospects in the US aren't great (but there are prospects nonetheless). Combine this with Brexit uncertainty and there is a chance that moving back may be a huge mistake that I will come to regret.

Anybody here have any insight?
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

write yourself and us 2 columns "for" and "against"

Your post is quite confusing to be honest- one side you say your exam scores aren't great- the next you think you can get a job as a doctor......very confusing.

Why not just move to Canada or wherever and do your residency there?

Why aren't your prospects in the US great? Whats on offer?
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Old Oct 19th 2019, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

No-one can "just move to Canada", even (and perhaps especially) not-quite-qualified doctors.
Having said that, what I find confusing is the apparent contradiction between "Recently I got my UK license to practice medicine back" and "I should just go back and finish training as a GP" - how does that work?
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Old Oct 19th 2019, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Mixed messages here. Is the OP qualified or not ?
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Old Oct 19th 2019, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Tough situation depending on certain factors.

How much do you want to be a doctor and making a difference versus how important does having a larger salary matter to you?
Do you love living in America above all other choices?
And how old are you and are you willing to put the time in to grow your career and skill level?

I have tons of family members in the medical field from Doctors to Nursing Anesthetist and they make good money but above all else they love what they do. I say follow your passion and let that be your compass.
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Old Oct 19th 2019, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Isn't Steerpike a doctor in US? Maybe he can shed some light..
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Old Oct 20th 2019, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by fulwood View Post
Isn't Steerpike a doctor in US? Maybe he can shed some light..
I think Steerpike is an IT propellerhead.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by tooboocoo View Post
No-one can "just move to Canada", even (and perhaps especially) not-quite-qualified doctors.
Having said that, what I find confusing is the apparent contradiction between "Recently I got my UK license to practice medicine back" and "I should just go back and finish training as a GP" - how does that work?
I am a qualified doctor, as in I can work at a certain level in the UK ("senior house officer") in A&E's and in hospitals - but I am not a specialist so am not a consultant or GP (i.e. I cannot make executive decisions). I cannot practice medicine at all in the US as I would need to do a residency.

I was referring to going to Canada after I complete GP training in the UK. I have heard this is possible.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by UkWinds5353 View Post
Tough situation depending on certain factors.

How much do you want to be a doctor and making a difference versus how important does having a larger salary matter to you?
Do you love living in America above all other choices?
And how old are you and are you willing to put the time in to grow your career and skill level?

I have tons of family members in the medical field from Doctors to Nursing Anesthetist and they make good money but above all else they love what they do. I say follow your passion and let that be your compass.
I just turned 33. Honestly, if a sufficiently lucrative career presented itself (obviously doctors here make slightly less than, to well over mid 6-figures) I would definitely explore it.

Originally Posted by shelley748 View Post
write yourself and us 2 columns "for" and "against"

Your post is quite confusing to be honest- one side you say your exam scores aren't great- the next you think you can get a job as a doctor......very confusing.

Why not just move to Canada or wherever and do your residency there?

Why aren't your prospects in the US great? Whats on offer?
It is not impossible to get a residency here with my scores, but it would take at least another year of schmoozing with physicians and "program directors" in an effort to try convince them to let me onto a residency program. Unlike the UK where getting into training is pretty much entirely meritocratic and uses a quantitative checkbox type system, in the US knowing somebody important can open many doors. The only problem is that it may not be guaranteed that I can pull it off and I lose another year out of practicing, whereas I could just go back to the UK and theoretically start practicing at a junior level in an A&E or hospital straight away.

Originally Posted by tooboocoo View Post
No-one can "just move to Canada", even (and perhaps especially) not-quite-qualified doctors.
Having said that, what I find confusing is the apparent contradiction between "Recently I got my UK license to practice medicine back" and "I should just go back and finish training as a GP" - how does that work?
I have a license to practice in the UK at a junior level, not as a consultant or GP. I was referring to going to Canada after returning to UK, completing GP training and then emigrating (again) to either Canada or Australia.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Mixed messages here. Is the OP qualified or not ?
I can practice medicine in the UK as a junior doctor, but not as a consultant or GP. I was referring to going back to the UK and completing my training.

Thanks everybody for answering.

Last edited by kjtrill; Oct 21st 2019 at 8:09 pm.
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Old Oct 21st 2019, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Get your green card first. At least keep the option open of moving back/staying in the USA. Then decide what to do.
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Old Oct 24th 2019, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

If you can make the US work, I would stay in the US, especially as you like it. Get Green Card to keep doors open. How does a medical writer salary in the US compare with a GP salary in the UK? The former sounds way less stressful, at least.
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Old Oct 30th 2019, 5:41 am
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by Kiwibird253 View Post
Get your green card first. At least keep the option open of moving back/staying in the USA. Then decide what to do.
If you move abroad permanently you will lose the greencard. You can apply for reentry visa to hold on to the greencard for a while but after a few years they will refuse to issue the Visa.
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Old Oct 30th 2019, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Would it be an absolute folly to move back to the UK?

Originally Posted by kjtrill View Post
I just turned 33. Honestly, if a sufficiently lucrative career presented itself (obviously doctors here make slightly less than, to well over mid 6-figures) I would definitely explore it.



It is not impossible to get a residency here with my scores, but it would take at least another year of schmoozing with physicians and "program directors" in an effort to try convince them to let me onto a residency program. Unlike the UK where getting into training is pretty much entirely meritocratic and uses a quantitative checkbox type system, in the US knowing somebody important can open many doors. The only problem is that it may not be guaranteed that I can pull it off and I lose another year out of practicing, whereas I could just go back to the UK and theoretically start practicing at a junior level in an A&E or hospital straight away.



I have a license to practice in the UK at a junior level, not as a consultant or GP. I was referring to going to Canada after returning to UK, completing GP training and then emigrating (again) to either Canada or Australia.



I can practice medicine in the UK as a junior doctor, but not as a consultant or GP. I was referring to going back to the UK and completing my training.

Thanks everybody for answering.
I agree with the advice that you should go after a Green card before leaving the States. Keep your options open so not to limit future choices.
33 years old is a very young age(I remember) and your youth offers a great many opportunities and if your passion for the medical field is extremely strong then you should make a stand now in order to have everything you want out of life. Remember that life is a marathon and not a sprint so you have to recalculate multiple times while running it. That type of thinking can set you up for the years to come when working hard at a older age might not appeal to you as much. You seem to want wealth and a stimulating career and if you're willing to work hard for it now while young and improve your craft then you can have it all. And there are not many countries better than the United States for the medical field. The medical field just like the IT field, requires constant learning and skill growth.

Last edited by UkWinds5353; Oct 30th 2019 at 6:54 pm.
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