I am an IMG with 8 months of NHS and some laboratory experience from abroad

Anonymous Post.

Hi,

I am an IMG with 8 months of NHS and some laboratory experience from abroad. Have a master’s in medicine.

After I resigned from my latest job the hospital started a fitness to practise investigation related to mental health issues (anxiety) and stated they think I am unfit to work without supervision. Are there any possibilities to work as a supervised doctor and get paid actually? Any chance to climb the ladder from there? Would I be in a better position than a medical assistant? Is it possible that I lose my license completely? Are there any opportunities to work in non-clinical areas without huge investments and much further education?

Much appreciated.

Hi anonymous. Please take my comment with an open mind, I wish well for you.

You mention that there has been a fitness to practice investigation due to anxiety disorder, but you did not mention whether this is at trust level or has been escalated up to GMC. I would recommend you request a meeting with your previous line manager via their secretary. I would have suggested you self-refer to occupation health ASAP but not sure whether you are currently working anywhere?
No one will EVER, and I repeat myself EVER persecute your for having an illness - be in mental or physical. Their investigation is mostly likely to check whether or not you need extra support (including supervision) for sometime before you are independently practicing medicine in your future trust, as they are worried about patient safety. Please note, many times investigations are started by the trust where the doctor has failed to disclose their illness or deliberately chosen not to - this lands in more trouble. Disclosing and seeking support is the right thing to do.

Few things, from the limited information I hear:-

  1. Organise a meeting with the referrer of the investigation - have an open and transparent discussion. They are only trying to ensure you do not land in trouble later in your career. Take them seriously.

  2. Leave a paper trail to leave evidence you will act on their concerns by going to occupation health or your GP, after the above meeting. Then act on it.

  3. YES you will get a job and YES you will be able to work without supervision, but whether or not you will need an initial period of return/work adjustments/ time off to address illness will all depend on what your needs truly are, so it is likely that no person on the group will be able to answer that question accurately.

  4. The good news - it is illegal to discriminate anyone if they have anxiety, and a duty of care the employer has towards its employees to support them to meet their health needs. Please be assured that as long as you are being transparent, honest and seeking support to ensure your own wellbeing (and hence patient safety) you are doing the right thing and no one can persecute you (at least not for being ill definitely).

  5. And finally - you’re awesome. You’ve made it a long way away from home and in a new country with new guidelines and practicing style. Be easy on yourself and don’t forget self-care. Give yourself a massive pay on the back!

Good luck