Many of us come from places where obstetrics is practiced single handedly. The fact is all over the world, teamwork is the buzz word. It is next to impossible to work in obstetrics without the back up of a well-structured and a smoothly-oiled engine of team dynamics. Many of the overseas candidates are privy to lack of knowledge of how teams work and how each person contributes in their own capacity to the ultimate goal of patient safety and well-being. You will need to pick up these facts like a sponge soaked in water. You must have realized by now the need to unlearn and relearn your vocabulary: miscarriage and not abortion, theatre and not OT, shared decision-making with the patient and not I know what is best for you…..
Differences in training system: Training in UK is based on direct consultant supervision, constructive feedback, strict working hours, annual appraisal and ARCP, accountability to GMC, and structured training and curriculum. Audits and quality improvement projects are more of a rule than exception. I can’t think of a single trainee going through his/ her years of training without having to write a statement for an SI (serious incident) they have been involved in. Acknowledging this and applying to the exam scenario is not easy but again not impossible.
Overwhelming feeling of being in a foreign land with an unknown culture:Although all of us can speak English comfortably well, we are known to be fast speakers .Slow down! It gives you time to think and phrase your words and enables the listener to comprehend your words better. Nothing can be as futile as knowing the answer, yet not getting marked because you can’t express it in the right way.
Pound rupee conversion: When I took the exam, one pound was 110 Indian rupee. You can imagine my anxiety, where I felt I bled money every time I pulled out my purse. Using a public toilet would cost 50 pence, which was roughly 50 rupees! As ridiculous as it sounds, the grave fact is, you are applying to write an exam in a country which has a mightier currency. It is not just the exam fee and course fee, you will need enough monetary support for you stay, travel and food. Make sure you have enough to sale you through the exam without the added stress of money to think about.