My interaction with Dr Ahmed was one of the experiences that made me reflect on a series of very positive and motivating incidents that shaped my journey into this country and when he suggested that I write about it, I was more than grateful at the chance.
I’m originally from New Delhi, India where I was working as a senior resident in psychiatry and also practicing privately before I decided to go ahead with MTI. I had just finished taking the MRCPsych theory exams and it made sense to get some clinical exposure as part of the process of preparing for CASC. I have completed my entire medical education including MD in Psychiatry from India and I had of course heard time and again to keep an open mind about what to expect from the experience here.
In the past couple of months since I started working here in Kent and even in the weeks leading up to the big move, I believe I’ve probably gone through the entire gamut of emotions every IMG goes through- several times over!
This ofcourse included anger/ hostility towards the process, indignation at having to prove myself at every step to match what they expect to see, anxiety about whether I had done the right thing,etc.
Ill start with the application process..Like many other IMGs I’ve been schooled in English, have had my entire medical education in the same and I literally use English as my first language to the extent that I would consider myself more fluent in the same than the average person, probably way more than Hindi that happens to be my mother tongue.
So imagine my surprise when I failed the IELTS which is a pre requisite to applying for MTI. Of course I was forewarned that writing is something we IMGs tend not to score well on and predictably enough it was in writing that I was short of the requisite cut off.
My suggestion to everyone who is thinking of or has stepped into this application process is simply to arm yourself with knowledge so that you have a good enough and realistic idea about it. Not that the knowledge will prevent setbacks from occurring. You might see failure at times but it will at the very least allow you to better manage your own emotional response to it and know that its alright to try again.
Getting the necessary documentation including letters of recommendation from the various professors and heads of department went ahead quite smoothly, I had tons of help from a colleague who had very kindly advised me how to really word the letters in keeping with the expected Good Medical Practice guidelines.
I did take the IELTS again and passed easily and sent along the application.
If I talk very categorically about the MTI interview per se, it was quite unlike most interviews I’ve given in India and I really wasn’t too sure what to make of it afterwards. The examiners including the RCPsych Dean were looking more to understand what I expected and hoped to get out of this experience rather than test my clinical/theoretical knowledge. They asked about my journey as a psychiatrist, how and where I saw myself going forward and why did I consider the Royal College to get this exposure that I wanted. Looking back, I believe what they wanted to asses was whether I personally had the ability to reflect on my career choices more than anything else.
Dr Nagpal email: firstname.lastname@example.org