Five major differences Indian doctors will find working in the UK

Written by: BMJ Careers
Published on: 4 Nov 2019

differences working in the UK

Download the BMJ Guide for Indian Doctors to Working in the UK here.

Indian doctors are in high demand in the UK as the NHS is short of staff.
To help those considering the move, BMJ Careers has produced a dedicated guide for Indian doctors. It explains the different routes available and also provides a list of key differences between the two countries, both medical and cultural. Here are just five.

1. Patient confidentiality and consent is considered paramount in the UK. All
treatments must be explained and consent from the patient must be sought
before information is shared with family members. This is different to India
where the family is often automatically consulted and considered before
decisions on treatment are taken.

2. Asking for help and guidance from senior colleagues and other team
members is expected, compared to India where doctors are expected to
work entirely autonomously. The emphasis is on safe and standardised
medical practice in the UK and there are numerous systems to support this
including guidance on treatments issued by the National Institute for Clinical

3. Maintaining eye contact with the person you are talking with, both patients
and colleagues, is extremely important and considered a sign of honesty and
sincerity in the UK.

4. The NHS works closely with a large social care system in the UK. Elderly
patients often reside in care homes, nursing homes and palliative care
specialist services, even if they have family. This is almost unheard of in India.

5. There is less violence. The Indian Medical Association has reported that 75% of doctors in India have experienced violence, from either patients or their families, while only 15% of all NHS staff have experienced violence in their work.

For more detail on the differences between working as a doctor in the UK
compared to India download the BMJ Careers guide now.