In this article, we interview Usama Ahmed, a Specialist Recruiter at Remedium Partners. Usama specialises in recruiting specialist doctors within Women and Children’s. Usama places doctors across all staffing grades within the NHS. He covers all sub-specialities which includes: obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and neonatology.
What makes you passionate about working with the NHS?
It’s quite easy to take free healthcare for granted. I have family elsewhere and friends in the United States and they have to pay a lot of money for their healthcare, so I know how difficult it can be. I have heard from them first hand about their struggles. We’re so used to free healthcare within the NHS and we have been born into it. It’s so easy to forget that this is a privilege that most people in the world don’t have.
The way the NHS runs without having to charge their patients a single penny makes me very passionate about supporting them. I am very grateful for the NHS.
What NHS departments do you specialise in recruiting for?
I specialise in Women and Children’s recruitment, and I have recently started covering our Radiology desk placing primarily Radiology Consultants across the NHS. Women and Children’s includes obstetrics and gynaecology doctors within the NHS as well as neonatologists, and paediatricians. Radiology includes many sub-specialty areas such as Breast Radiologists, Paediatric Radiologists, Interventional Radiologists, Cardiac Radiologists, GI Radiologists and much more…
Why are you passionate about working in the Women and Children’s department within the NHS?
I have found that I get on with paediatricians and neonatologists really well. They are genuine and sweet human beings. Paediatricians work with children daily, so they are extremely patient and caring people. You have to be patient as a doctor but as an Obs and Gynae doctor you are working with patients who are dealing with some of the most stressful situations regarding women’s health. These doctors need to be understanding and reassuring. It’s the same with children; they are not necessarily going to understand what is happening to them, so paediatricians need to be especially patient and kind.
I find these doctors easy to work with because they can relate to me as I’m quite calm and laid back. I seem to strike up an instant connection with a lot of my doctors which is one of the reasons why I love my job.
What qualifications do you need to become an Obs and Gynae, paediatrician or Radiologist?
For Women and Children’s roles as well as Radiology, it’s always best to prioritise doing the Royal College qualifications. This is usually what the NHS trusts look for when they are looking for their ideal candidates.
Why is it a good idea for a doctor to move to the UK to work in the NHS?
The NHS is renowned for being the best healthcare organisation in the world. Part of that is because it’s run by the government so it’s more strictly managed. Healthcare in the UK is completely free. A lot of doctors buy into that as they might be coming over from countries where they have to pay for healthcare, or they see that their patients are struggling to pay high medical bills.
It’s a beautiful concept when you think about it. Health is wealth essentially. It’s so highly valuable and should be free to anyone and everyone. Because the system is so rigid in the NHS there are clear guidelines for every eventuality. As long as the doctor follows the guidelines and meets the correct criteria they can eventually progress and become NHS Consultants. In some other countries, I know that IMGs are not allowed to become consultants, or the pathway isn’t as clear for them. In the UK the pathway for IMGs is really clear and if they are willing to put in the work then they can easily become a consultant doctor. It doesn’t matter if you trained here or on the other side of the world – you’ll still get opportunities to progress.
I would say these are the top reasons why doctors are attracted to work in the NHS.
The UK is also a very well-developed country with a good lifestyle which is an added bonus.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Remedium?
It’s got a family feel. I can tell you that from experience as I have worked at other recruitment agencies, they were a lot more corporate. As employees, you never really got the chance to speak to the director however, at Remedium we have more of a flat structure rather than a top-down structure which I think is amazing. A junior recruiter who only started a few weeks ago could easily strike up a conversation with our CEO, David Green. Whereas in past companies you wouldn’t have been able to do that. That’s what makes it amazing to work for Remedium. You get support from everyone. We all celebrate each other’s success. There’s a clear progression structure. The harder you work the easier it is to progress to the top, no matter what your background is.
Tell us an amazing story about one of the doctors in the UK who you placed whilst working at Remedium
I placed a middle-grade ICU doctor in a North London hospital two years ago. I remember it very clearly as I found him in the morning, I got him an interview around two hours later, he was offered on the spot, and we had the offer letter signed by the end of the day. In the space of a day, I found this doctor out of nowhere, about to get GMC registration and I got him a job by the end of the day. He was so grateful for it!
To this day he still calls me a magician. I spoke to him yesterday; we speak every so often. He is such an amazing guy. He’s now been working in the NHS for around two years and he’s about to progress to a consultant. He is always referring doctors to me. He also told me that whenever he speaks to a doctor who is looking for a new role in the NHS, he says to them ‘I know a recruiter who can make magic, I’ll introduce you. Don’t speak to anyone else.’
Are you looking for a new role in the NHS?
We are delighted to offer opportunities to international candidates as well as UK doctors. We have supported thousands of doctors like you to make the move before. Our dedicated onboarding experts as well as our award-winning digital relocation software, Red Carpet, will help relieve the administrative burden. We can help you apply for your visa, secure flights, accommodation, set up a bank account, and much, much more.
We look forward to hearing from you.