The Savvy IMG

The Savvy IMG’s first live online talk with Inspire Medics – Part 1

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We were honoured to have been invited by the team over at Inspire Medics to be part of an IMG panel at this live IMG conference last Sunday. It was great to give this talk alongside some of our fantastic IMG colleagues. Thank you Mo and Vikas for inviting us and to the hundreds of attendees that took time out of their Sunday to join us!

You can watch our one-hour segment here, don’t forget to check out the other speakers as well!

Play Video

A summary of our talk

Our whole session is about an hour long with 40 minutes for our talk and 20 minutes of question and answer from the audience.

In our segment we went over our entire journey on coming to the UK, the challenges we faced along the way, our 6-step plan to overcome those challenges, and the important lessons that you guys can learn from our journey and apply to your own.

We also shared some insight into our decision-making process and let you guys in on our lives here in the UK and why we’re so happy living in this country.

You can view a summary of the question and answer session here in Part 2 including clarifications of some of our answers and links to even further information.

Take home messages

You will face challenges

There’s no way around the fact that you will face challenges on this journey as an IMG. That’s life.

But the great thing is, you’re already built for this! You got into medical school despite the high levels of competition, you proved yourself when you graduated after many years of hard work and sleepless nights, and now you’re embarking on this journey.

You already have what it takes, so always get back up when you’re knocked down by challenges.

The types of challenges you’ll face are extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic challenges – these have to do with the system and how to navigate it successfully.
  • Intrinsic challenges – these types of challenges come from within, things like anxiety, low confidence and self-esteem, and the ever present IMG-inferiority complex.

Build up your resilience to face challenges so you can reach your full potential.

Our 6-step plan to overcome challenges

If you’re systematic in your approach, you can tackle challenges head on. How did we do it?

1. Determine your goal

You need to know yourself well to come up with goals that are right for you. This involves doing some deep reflection about your values and priorities. Figure out what’s important to you, and also what you can compromise on or be flexible with.

2. Research the pathway to achieve that goal

Do not just rely on social media or asking other people for advice. Check the official websites and verify any information you come across to make sure it’s not outdated.

3. List the requirements

Read the websites carefully and find out all the requirements including the cost, application dates, and deadlines.

4. Construct a timeline

We generally recommend a timeline between 1-2 years ahead. Less than 1 year is short-sighted and you may miss important parts of your pathway, while more than 2 years starts to become a bit abstract and too far ahead to plan for.

5. Execute your plan

Because you’ve gone through all the steps above, you have now turned your goal into an executable plan. Time to take action!

6. Have a back up plan

Sadly, things don’t always work out the way we want them to. It’s crucial to be flexible and formulate some back up plans so you always have something to fall back on.

Important lessons learnt

The 2 main lessons we wanted attendees to take away from the talk are:

Know your enemy

Whether the enemy is the system or your own negative mindset, it’s important to identify the challenges so you can tackle them one-by-one with our 6-step plan.

Start preparing early

It’s possible to catch up and be successful if you don’t do your research or prepare early, but this often involves wasted money and unintended career delays. It’s also more difficult and the chances of success are lower.

We always recommend preparing early wherever possible to reduce stress and to save on precious resources like time and money. This also maxmises your chances of success!

The team at I-Medics have tons of PLAB resources to help you pass your upcoming exam, even some free ones including their PLAB 1 question bank with over 2,500+ regularly updated questions. Check them out here.

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Looking for a step-by-step guide?

Subscribe to the Savvy IMG and grab your FREE 2-year roadmap to UK residency as an IMG.


Looking for a step-by-step guide?

Subscribe to the Savvy IMG and grab your FREE 2-year roadmap to UK residency as an IMG.


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Meet the Team

Hi, we’re Drs Nick & Kimberly Tan, the two IMGs behind The Savvy IMG. We write comprehensive guides, create courses, and provide one-to-one guidance to help other overseas qualified doctors on their journey to the UK.
We have scoured the official guidance to put these posts together, but we can make mistakes! If you spot anything that is incorrect, please get in touch and we’ll put it right.
Photo of Dr Nicholas Tan