Medical Training Initiative celebrates 10 years of success

The RCP is marking 10 years of the national Medical Training Initiative (MTI), as research underlines mutual benefits for the NHS and the thousands of doctors from all over the world provided with training opportunities in the UK by the scheme.

Benefits for the NHS

The RCP wants to see more doctors able to take part in the MTI and ministers accept that increasing the numbers would be an important part of the solution to the current workforce issues in the NHS. We are working with the Home Office to achieve this.

MTI provides doctors from outside the EU with high-quality training opportunities and NHS trusts with a more secure solution to covering vacancies and rota gaps than the locum option.
 
Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) 2-year visas are currently available to doctors in Department for International Development (DfID) priority countries and low and lower middle income countries prioritised by the World Bank.

Training opportunities for doctors around the world

Over 150 MTI programme members were asked by the RCP for their reflections on experiences before, during and after completion of the scheme. The findings were overwhelmingly positive with 93% of participants clear about the positive impact of the MTI on their careers.
 
A significant result was a three-fold increase to 71% of doctors in consultant positions. Before joining the MTI, 23% of the doctors held consultant posts, 69% held senior registrar or equivalent posts, 7% held junior registrar posts and 1% held other posts.

The RCP’s scheme is the largest among all the royal colleges with up to 300 international medical graduates currently working throughout the UK. At present, MTI doctors come from 58 countries outside of the EU.

The RCP’s scheme is the largest among all the royal colleges with up to 300 international medical graduates currently working throughout the UK. At present, MTI doctors come from 58 countries outside of the EU.
 
RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard said:

The MTI has been a huge success, with benefits to all involved. The NHS gains the skills of highly qualified doctors, participants benefit from excellent career development opportunities and the doctors’ home countries reap the rewards of their new skills when they return home.

Dr Dzifa Dey, director of the Rheumatology Initiative in Ghana, describes the RCP’s Medical Training Initiative / International Medical Graduate scheme as the lifeline she needed at a critical stage in her career:

As the first person being trained as a rheumatologist in Ghana, I felt the need to be at a centre which had the track record of best practice and could provide the appropriate training which was not available at all in Ghana. I got this and more under Professor David Isenberg at University College London Hospital (UCLH), who also introduced me to the exciting world of research, networking with the finest in the field, and encouraged me to aim for more.
 
I completed with the confidence that I had been exposed to the best in the world and that I could be so too, anywhere. That is what I brought back to Ghana to continue making a dream become reality. This was the trajectory not only for my career, but also for rheumatology in Ghana.