Mahmoud Khaled’s Clinical Attachment Experience

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Dear all, my name is Mahmoud Khaled. I am a medical student at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. I have spent a month at King College Hospital, London this year in January as a clinical attachment student in the Radiology department. I would like to share my experience with all of you.

 

Importance of Attachment

I know quite well that attachments in the UK are of no importance in terms of the CV or in terms of securing a job later. However, I believe they have much more benefits than just a point on the CV. Benefits include visiting the country, understanding the medical system, getting some contacts, improving language skills and much more.

 

IELTS

I started searching for an elective placement last August through websites of different medical schools in the UK. Most schools required IELTS test with a score similar to GMC’s (one school required a score of 6.5 though), which wasn’t possible for me since I was so busy with my medical school exams and couldn’t find much time to prepare for the IELTS exam.

 

Attachment Without IELTS

Only two hospitals allowed an exception to IELTS. They were happy to accept a letter from my school’s dean certifying that I have been studying my medical subjects in English. These two schools were Newcastle and King’s College London.

 

King’s College London

I filled an application for both. Newcastle was relatively cheaper. But my application was delayed and there were no slots left. So I applied for King’s College London at the end for a placement during the month of January.

 

The Application

The application requires paying a fee of £100, which is non-refundable in addition to quite a few documents listed on their website. During my application, I was asked about the three specialities that I was interested in and my choices were renal medicine, radiology and gastroenterology. In December, I received my acceptance from King’s College London in the Radiology department, which was my first preference. They sent me a support letter which helped me through my visa process (Short student visa).

 

The Attachment

My placement started on the 11th of January with a consultant pediatric radiologist. I can not actually say that my start to the attachment was quite interesting since most of the times my consultant was sitting in the reporting room finishing a long list of reports that had to be done. She used to teach me whenever possible. The most interesting part of my first week was attending the fluoroscopy screening and the ultrasound sessions.

 

Interventional Radiology Experience

After my first week, I asked my consultant if she could introduce me to an interventional radiologist, which she did. From then on I spent most of the remaining three weeks at the different Interventional Radiology laps. I was welcomed as an observer to witness various procedures like central line insertion, portal angiography, tumor embolization and many others.

 

Other Departments

In addition, I attended a couple of days at Neuro-Radiology, emergency X-ray department and Breast Radiology. My placement ended on the 8th of February. I received a letter of completion from the College on the final day.

 

Conclusion

I hope my experience can be of help to others who are willing to apply for an attachment in the UK. My general advice is that it is helpful to do an attachment but it is not mandatory at all.

 

Links for Clinical Attachment Programmes

 

Other Useful Links

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will it help me in finding a job in the UK if I go for a clinical attachment?

If you take your attachment after your PLAB 2, it might be possible for you to ask your consultant to hire you at the same hospital as soon as you get your GMC registration. However, everyone finds a job in the UK since there are more jobs and fewer doctors. Therefore, please do not feel the pressure to go for a clinical attachment.

2. Should I go for a clinical attachment?

This is a completely personal choice. Going through the pros and cons mentioned above might help you in making your decision.

3. Will I lose anything if I do not go for a clinical attachment?

No, you will not. Everyone finds a job in the UK. Most of my colleagues working in the UK have not had any attachment experience.

4. What is the ideal time to have a clinical attachment?

After you take PLAB 2, you will be in the UK for a few weeks or months with nothing to do. Getting an attachment might be ideal during this time.

5. Is it possible to have a clinical attachment after graduating from medical school?

Yes.

6. How do I apply for a clinical attachment?

There are two ways of applying for an attachment:

  1. By applying through official websites (check the links above).
  2. By contacting the consultants directly and requesting them.

Pakistanis can contact consultants in the UK via APPNE, UK on their Facebook group. Others will have to check Google and different Facebook groups to reach consultants. You should also check Dr. Omar Alam’s guideline for this.

7. How will I know the cost of my clinical attachment?

As mentioned above, a clinical attachment can have a fee or can be for free. This can vary depending on each hospital and consultant. You should check this with your hospital or consultant while applying for the attachment.

8. What is the average length of a clinical attachment?

4 weeks.

One thought on “Mahmoud Khaled’s Clinical Attachment Experience

  1. Kcal is asking that u should be in ur final year at least?i am a graduate and want to apply.any help will be appreciated.thanks

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