Case study 5 – Dr Patel

This case will assist doctors who have had a break in practice between 1-3 years.

Background

Dr Patel graduated from medical school in July 2011 and then completed a 12-month postgraduate internship in July 2012. Dr Patel applied for full registration with a licence to practise in May 2017.

Dr Patel:

  • worked in India as a medical officer in general internal medicine between September 2012 and January 2013 and then as a radiologist from February 2013 until August 2013
  • moved to Ireland in September 2013 where he worked as a clinical research assistant. During this time he was also studying towards various qualifications in radiological imaging. He was awarded a postgraduate degree in radiological and diagnostic imaging in July 2015
  • returned to India in July 2015 and worked as a medical officer in general internal medicine until February 2017
  • moved to the UK in March 2018 and applied for medical radiology posts.

As part of his application he submitted:

  • supportive references relating to his medical posts in India
  • detailed supportive references from the consultant who supervised his work during his clinical research post in Ireland. The reference provided details of duties including collecting data from patients, using enhanced ultrasound for renal transplants and using software to process ultrasound images
  • a detailed account of how Dr Patel used his postgraduate degree in Ireland to assist him in his research role
  • a certificate of good standing from the Medical Council of India.

What did the decision maker take into account?

The decision maker took into account the criteria and guidance on breaks in practice on breaks in practice. In particular:

  • when Dr Patel applied for registration it had been five years and ten months since he graduated. He practised for two years and six months, so did not meet the criteria requiring that the doctor must have practised for 60% of the time since graduation
  • but he had worked in a medical capacity in the 12 months before he applied, so he did meet the second element of the criteria.

As Dr Patel did not meet the first criteria, the decision maker considered whether he had submitted evidence to demonstrate that he had mitigated the break in practice.

They considered:

  • his experience during his internship year and his subsequent practice in India and noted that this provided experience of a range of core skills.
  • a certificate of good standing from the relevant medical regulatory authority in India
  • detailed positive references supplied both for Dr Patel’s clinical experience in India as well as his clinical research work in Ireland
  • dr Patel’s experience in both his clinical research role and postgraduate degree in radiological and diagnostic imaging. Although this role and degree did not constitute medical practice, in the documentation submitted Dr Patel had set out what he had learned from the role and how this and the continuing professional development has enhanced his knowledge and skills in radiology.

What was our decision?

Although Dr Patel did not meet both aspects of our criteria, he had provided evidence to demonstrate that he had mitigated the break in practice. He had done this by presenting information and documentation that demonstrated he had used his knowledge and skills as recently as February 2017 – only one month before he applied for registration with a licence to practise.

The decision maker therefore decided to grant Dr Patel full registration with a licence to practise.

Note: these case studies are not real cases and are intended to illustrate our criteria and guidance. Even if your situation is similar to one of our case studies, it does not mean your application will have the same outcome. Each case will be considered on an individual basis, and on its own merit.