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As the Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project approaches its four-year anniversary, Dr Hazzim Elawad, who gained GMC registration in May 2023, shares his thoughts on the benefits of programme membership.

The quest towards General Medical Council registration through the PLAB exams can be long and tiring. This is manifested in the time and effort required to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic also seriously impacted on the number of PLAB test places available, creating an ongoing backlog and significant numbers of doctors waiting to book and secure a seat.

Another challenge is having to combine study with work while pursuing exams. Exams are expensive and no one would risk taking the PLAB 2 exam unless they feel well prepared. As a result of this, guidance and support is a game changer here, leaving the candidate with higher chances of passing first time.

As I decided to take the PLAB route towards registration in the GMC, I was looking for a recent taker to give me an insight about the exam. A friend mentioned to me a group that helps doctors through this route, and so I heard about the Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project (LRDP).  I wasn’t sure if I would meet their requirements of joining, since the group name implies certain statuses only being accepted, but I gave it a try to see what could come out of it.

Things went smoothly, and after a few days, I was given the green light to start attending sessions, which was a major positive turning point for me. Although the exam effort mainly depends on the exam taker; facilitation and mentoring provides you with a firm footing, and LRDP played a crucial role here.

Through the PLAB 1 time, I was, among other colleagues, blessed with a group of volunteering senior doctors and consultants who devotedly kept helping and supporting all the candidates through the period of the exam, sharing their valuable experiences that aligned with the materials needed for studying. They also simplified many ‘twisted’ questions, and provided clear explanations of the exam preparation material.

After passing through the PLAB 1 gate, I reached another level of care and support from LRDP. The PLAB 2 exam tests you on many aspects which require devotion and patience to master. Again, LRDP tutoring with its high quality of production and sincerity, resulted in the exam being approachable and with no doubt, very doable.

LRDP generosity in support is shown in many ways. This includes providing some of the expenses needed for the exam and supporting their members to join the Medical Support Worker (MSW) programme in hospitals around Lincolnshire.

As they say: ‘A team without leadership is like a ship without a rudder’ and the LRDP team who are coordinating and facilitating the “ship” of success that carries candidates to their goals, are the cornerstone of this successful story, with Carol Hornsey, Emma Riley, Rebekah Pearson and others behind the scenes, being the leaders of this ship towards the shores of success. Sadly, Rebekah left at the end of my period with LRDP, as she joined a new career path – in which I wish her all the best.

At the end, the light at the end of the tunnel was reached by me, as well as many other colleagues, and the PLAB journey came to a nice end. Despite being a hard and difficult journey, it was with no doubt made smooth and easy by LRDP’s endless help and support.

Dr Elawad joined LRDP in May 2022. He passed both parts of the PLAB exam at first attempt; and achieved full General Medical Council registration in May 2023

Guest Lecture with Professor Roger Strasser

Dear all,

We’re delighted to have the opportunity to invite you to a Guest Lecture with Professor Roger Strasser, who will delivering an overview of his widely appraised Rural Workforce Research, at the Stephen Langton Building, University of Lincoln, LN6 7TS, from 5-7pm on Wednesday 30th November 2022.
(Virtual option to attend is available, you still need to book via the form below and will be sent a link nearer the event date).

Professor Strasser is a leader in the global reform of health professional education. Recognizing the importance of context and community in medical education and research, Professor Strasser has gained an international reputation for developing and refining novel strategies to educate health professionals in and for rural communities. As a result of his formative work in this field, Professor Strasser has become one of the world’s foremost authorities in rural, socially accountable medical education, as well as a sought-after speaker and advisor. Professor Strasser is one of the few Professors of Rural Health in the world. He is leading a growing body of research relating to socially accountable health professional education, recruitment and retention of health professionals, and rural health service delivery models.

Between 2002 and 2019, Professor Strasser was Founding Dean of Canada’s Northern Ontario School of Medicine.  In 2020, Prof Strasser became New Zealand’s first Professor of Rural Health at the University of Waikato and in 2022 undertook a Global Fellowship at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Over the last 10 years alone, Roger’s publication profile extends to 17 monographs, including book chapters; 46 articles in peer-reviewed journals; 39 peer-reviewed conference abstracts; 90 invited international conference presentations, including 18 keynote addresses. Additionally, he has provided Consultant advice to many Canadian, Australian and international government and non-government organizations. These include; Health Quality Ontario via the Health Equity External Advisory Committee and the Technical Working Group to Review Geographic Stratifiers; the Ontario Health Ministry as a member of Health Workforce Advisory Table; the University of Alabama Rural Programs; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Human Resources for Health 2030; the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); the World Bank; and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Roger’s lecture will definitely be an event not to be missed. We hope that you will join us in welcoming Roger to Lincolnshire.

A reception will be held from 5-5.30pm, followed by the Lecture in the Stephen Langton Building, University of Lincoln.
(Virtual option to attend is available, you still need to book via the form below and will be sent a link nearer the event date).

To book please follow this link

Kind Regards

Patrick Mitchell, HEE Executive Director & The Lincolnshire Rural & Coastal Programme Team     

Congratulations on Plab 1

Congratulations to LRDP members who have received excellent results from the February 2023 Plab 1 Clinical exam.

100% Plab 1 pass rate in 2023 – let’s keep this going!

Clinical Leader Opportunity

The Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project, a non-profit Community Interest Company formed in 2016 and works across North East Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire. Our mission is to enable qualified refugee and asylum seeking Doctors within the UK to become registered with the General Medical Council and practice in the NHS.  LRDP provides targeted support through educational programmes that enable our doctors to improve their language skills and acquire the necessary level of language competency as recognised by the General Medical Council. As part of their learning, the project also provides opportunities to refresh their clinical knowledge and communication skills through a series of taught clinical sessions and placements, in partnership with local NHS and Primary Care Trusts.

Due to the growth in numbers of doctors participating in our programme, we are looking to support this expansion by appointing an additional Clinical Leader, preferably from a Primary Care background, to work alongside the two Clinical Leaders who are already providing clinical leadership and support the the programme members.

Can you help?

Our Clinical Leader will be experienced in medical education, preferably with knowledge of Plab 1 and 2, including curriculum planning, managing a network of tutors, identifying learning needs and undertaking learning reviews to ensure our programme members have the necessary support to achieve GMC registration. You will be supported by our Learning & Development Co-ordinator and will also have administrative support from the project where needed.  Currently, our learning programme is, in the main, delivered through Zoom/Teams but once we can safely do so, we would anticipate some of the teaching would ideally be done face to face.  We are currently looking to source up to 4 half day sessions per week, and we offer remuneration of £43.50 per hour on a bank/sessional basis.

If you would be interested in being part of this fantastic opportunity to make a genuine humanitarian  difference and support the NHS locally, or would like to discuss any aspects of the role or the project, please contact our Director of Operations who will be happy to arrange a conversation at your convenience.

To download the full job description please click here.

Plab 2 Preparation With LRDP

Dr Yihya Al Eryani and Dr Mashal Khalid are LRDP Clinical Tutors, focusing mainly on Plab 2 preparation and support.
They have designed a unique Plab 2 Preparation Course for LRDP members. It provides a thorough overview of the test, as well as an introduction to several of the more challenging stations, and lots of opportunities to practise with teachers and fellow students.
It is designed as a step up to the intensive Dr Swamy Plab 2 Academy – which our members also attend. As International Medical Graduates who completed Plab 2 themselves very recently, Yihya and Mashal are perfectly placed to understand the requirements of those preparing for the exam.

Dr. Yihya Al-Eryani, FY1 Doctor at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust told us:

I felt there was a need for a bridging course before the intensive academy course allowing more time to cover the basics of history taking and communication skills which IMGs often find challenging. This is what Dr. Mashal and I aimed to achieve when we designed the PLAB 2 Preparation Course, it is an opportunity for LRDP members to gain the skills necessary to be ready for future PLAB 2 training.”

Dr Mashal Khalid, FY1 Doctor at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust added:

I wish that I had had more resources and support before enrolling on an intensive PLAB 2 course. This is why Yihya and I designed the PLAB 2 Preparation Course, so future doctors will have mastered the foundations of this exam, giving them the necessary skills and confidence to proceed with an intensive academy course.”

New Team Member Joins LRDP

We are delighted to announce that Rebekah Pearson has joined our team as an Apprentice Administrator. Becky will be supporting the delivery of our programme from our Grimsby office whilst studying for a qualification in Business Administration through our partners at Lincoln College. We look forward to working with Becky and supporting her development over the coming months.

Getting Refugees Cycling

We are delighted to be proud partners of The Bike Project – Getting Refugees Cycling!

This brilliant organisation refurbishes bikes and donates them to destitute refugees and asylum seekers who have no access to transport.
Our role as partner referrer means that we can regularly refer our members who would benefit from this.

Refugees come to the UK having faced persecution and atrocity.
A bike can provide them with a free, healthy, and sustainable vehicle to access the resources their local area might offer: employment, education, and psychological support.

The project relies on donations of bikes and on volunteers to refurbish them.

Learn more at – The Bike Project

GMC Registration Success

We are delighted to share that an LRDP member has recently registered with the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) and is looking forward to joining the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust as a doctor!
Well done, doctor! Thank you to our incredible team of English Language teachers and clinicians who work so hard alongside members to achieve these results. 

New English Teacher Joins LRDP

LRDP has a new team member!

English teacher Jennifer will be helping our doctors to refine their English skills and pass the medical English test: OET.

“I am utterly over the moon to have started working with LRDP this week as their English Language Teacher, and what a week to start on: Refugee week – #Wecannotwalkalone. I am really looking forward to walking beside these wonderful doctors, supporting them on their journey with language acquisition, and helping them to grow in confidence with their communication skills.

This is a fantastic project that I am extremely proud to be a part of.”

LRDP Collaboration With Bishop Grosseteste University

This week, LRDP met with staff and students from the MA Ed TESOL programme at Bishop Grosseteste University to talk to them about the OET test, and the invaluable work that our OET and ESOL teachers do in supporting our members to achieve GMC registration.

Dr Kay Johnson, who is the BGU’s MA TESOL programme leader, said:

Guest lectures delivered by LRDP for the university have demonstrated what a valuable role LRDP play in unlocking the potential of the doctors they support. Thanks to these lectures, students from BGU’s MA and BA TESOL programmes have been able to see even more opportunities for them to apply the language and teaching knowledge and skills they develop at university when they graduate. Our students left inspired and enthused, thanks to the expertise and passion shown by LRDP staff for what they do – thank you LRDP!”

We look forward to further collaborations with BGU in the future – and very much hope that we might have inspired some future OET teachers.

Independant Review of Work to Date

We are delighted to present this independent review of our work to date, which describes what we have achieved so far on our journey.

Can we thank all those who contributed to the production of this review, especially our members whose journeys to join us, continue to amaze and reward us and why we are delivering this project?

We also wanted to thank those in the population of Greater Lincolnshire who have helped us to date and ask them and more to continue to support our community-based work.

This is a description of our beginnings, there is much more to be done, including a further review of our work to detail our effectiveness and value for money and we hope to commission this in the next few years.

Vince Ion,
Chair of the Board

OET Success

Another double celebration for LRDP this month.
Huge congratulations to members Dr Khrebeh and Dr Alali, who have recently passed the medical English test OET, and have achieved the excellent grades required for registration with the General Medical Council.

PLAB 1 Success for LRDP Members

Congratulations to two of our members who are celebrating passing the General Medical Council’s Plab 1 test today!

Eman and J will now prepare for the second part of the test – Plab 2 – after which they will be eligible for GMC registration.

LRDP Expanding in 2021

Lincolnshire Refugee Doctor Project (LRDP) is expanding in Lincoln and North East Lincolnshire in 2021!

… and we need social mentors just like you to help make it a real success!

You are invited to an information event for prospective social mentors that will take place on Wednesday 31 March, 6-7pm, via Zoom.
Please register in advance (it takes literally 20 seconds!):

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting.

To learn more about LRDP in the meantime, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

We look forward to meeting you!
Ben Hudson, LRDP Board Directors
Ruth Ingamells, LRDP Director of Operations

Lincolnshire Training Hub

We are excited to share that we are now collaborating with primary care educators, the Lincolnshire Training Hub (LTH).

The partnership will complement our existing teaching programme which is based around the topics and skills required to pass the GMC’s Plab tests. For LRDP members this collaboration will deliver teaching sessions, access to LTH webinars and courses, as well as clinical placements in General Practice.

MSW Training

LRDP medical support workers practising suturing, during a surgical skills session delivered by Dr Ali Syed at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

Our members are taking part in regular departmental training at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital as part of the medical support worker role. They are also being coached in the development of portfolios, so that all training is documented.

Medical Support Workers

We have worked closely with our local trusts to help facilitate a new role for LRDP members: Medical Support Worker. The role is suitable for those who are medically qualified but do not yet have GMC registration, such as refugee doctors living in the UK. Pictured is Dr Baraa Khrebeh, one of several LRDP members who is combining his role as a Medical Support Worker with his LRDP training.
For more information on the role, go to…/medical-support-workers/

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