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BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 01 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:050266
  1. Jo Constable, Research and information officer1,
  2. Adam Mark Harrison, SHO trauma and orthopaedic surgery2,
  3. Anita Houghton, Careers counsellor and coach3,
  4. Mark Wilson, A&E/Plastics clinical fellow4,
  5. Amar Alwitry, specialist registrar in opthalmology5
  1. 1BMA
  2. 2Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham
  3. 3London
  4. 4Royal London Hospital
  5. 5Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham

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As an overseas doctor, how can I show competence in English?

You must show competence in English by getting a satisfactory score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The IELTS test consists of four sections--reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and candidates must achieve minimum scores for each section as well as a minimum overall score.

Because preregistration house officers have provisional registration, can they do locum jobs during their free time?

No rules or laws state that a preregistration house officer cannot do locum jobs. Obviously, you can only locum as a pre-registration house officer, but some agencies prefer it if you have a few months' experience. I do not see any reason why you should not start locum jobs immediately, even if you are a newly employed preregistration house officer, as the work and level of responsibility will surely be the same for a locum as for a substantive member of staff.

If you are already employed, I would advise doing extra on-call shifts at your own hospital for their bank or in-house agency, if they have one, as you will know the senior house officers and specialist registrars that you will be working with and they will know you. This is something I …

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