It is apparent that you need to start to plan the move to the UK about a year before you actually want to be there. As discussed in ‘Advice on Finding a UK ICM Job’, jobs may be advertised up to a year before the start date, but more often 3 to 6 months before. The biggest hurdle and inconvenience is registration with the GMC (see ‘Non-visa Paperwork’).
If you need to sit the PLAB, you will probably need to go to the UK to sit it since there are no centres in Australasia you can sit it at.
Once in the UK, there will be substantial periods of time waiting for PLAB results and an appointment to attend for an identity check. There is certainly an argument for making a trip to the UK prior to moving there, to sit PLAB Part 1 and thereby enable yourself to book at date for PLAB Part II on your return to the UK to work.The visa process ought to be relatively smooth and straight forward once you have a job.
Given the above delays in GMC registration if you need to sit PLAB, it will inevitably mean that you need to apply for a job without GMC registration.
The UK is awash with locum agencies keen to sign you up and get you work!
As discussed in ‘Postgraduate training in the UK’, there are a large number of vacancies of rotas. The benefits of locuming are excellent pay, the flexibility to work when you want and to be able to ‘try-out’ several ITUs in a short space of time. Potentially the CICM may count some locum work towards basic ICM training.
A few agencies with good reputations include:
There are currently two ICM exams which trainees undertake in the UK:
- The European Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine (EDIC) and
- The UK Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine (DICM)
It will be replaced by a new exam. Until the DICM is phased out, ICM trainees are encouraged to take one of these exams towards the end of their training but, at present, neither is compulsory. There is an increasing number of advertisements for consultant posts that have either EDIC or DICM as a preference.