DERMATOLOGIST WORKING AT EALING HOSPITAL TRUST AND LONDON MEDICAL CENTRE HARLEY STREET
WHERE DID YOU STUDY AND WHAT EXACTLY?
I went to medical school at the University of Florence and then specialised at the same university in dermatology and venereology.
DID YOU WORK AS A DOCTOR IN ITALY?
I worked in the department of dermatology at the University of Florence as a researcher for two years before I moved to London. At the same time I started my private practice in Florence.
WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU ARRIVED TO THE UK?
I didn’t move to London for work but for love, so my working career in the UK was a very unconventional one. I had a private practice in Florence that was going very well and a job in the public sector as well.
I didn’t apply for jobs in London, but I started shadowing a colleague on Harley Street while I was in London spending time with my boyfriend. Through my colleague I was offered a job as a dermatologist on Harley Street, which I accepted. I slowly started finding myself spending more time in London and therefore I gave up my hospital job in Italy. I worked for four years between my private practice in Florence and the one in London. I was then offered a job as a locum in London, which I accepted and this job later became a permanent NHS post. I now have a private practice in Florence where I spend one week each month. I spend the remaining three weeks here, between my private practice and my NHS post.
IS AN ITALIAN DEGREE ENOUGH TO WORK AS A DOCTOR IN THE UK?
You can easily practice as a doctor in the UK with your Italian degree. You just need to apply to the General Medical Council and have your papers approved. At present you also need to pass a language test, which was not necessary when I started practicing here. As a dermatologist, the Italian (or European) degree as specialist in dermatology and venereology does not allow you to go onto the specialist register per se. A lot of paperwork is necessary to get your training fully recognised. However, you can work as a dermatologist up to the level of locum consultant.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO OPEN A PRACTICE IN LONDON?
Opening a practice in London is as complicated as anywhere else. You need premises, staff and permits to conform to all the rules and regulations. On top of that you need a pool of patients that in my view is the most difficult part of the process. If this is too difficult, you can join a clinic that provides you with premises and patients, where you work as an employee.
WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL DAILY ROUTINE?
Each day of the week is very different for me. For example on Mondays I take my kids to school, start work at 9.30 and hopefully get home by 8pm to put my kids to bed. On Tuesdays I take my kids to school, work in the NHS until 3, pick up the kids, take them to do their sport, do my sport at the same time and spend the evening with family and/or friends.
HOW MUCH CAN A RECENTLY GRADUATED DOCTOR EXPECT TO EARN?
I should do some research but I would think about £30k.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WORKING IN ITALY AND IN THE UK IN YOUR SECTOR?
I only work in a private practice in Italy at the moment. The work pace is slower, maybe because of the economic situation. Working in London is very intense and demanding. However, there are huge opportunities and ways of improving.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF YOUR JOB?
It can take over your life, you have to learn to give yourself limits otherwise all you do is work. There is lot of demand, but you have to find a balance to also be able to look after your personal life.