Derriford was my rescue plan. I had certainly not planned to come to the Southwest when I first came to the UK. It seemed so far and lonely, but Derriford was my saving grace when I lost my first training job due to paperwork and visa issues. I didn’t have time to process or reflect, I had to start interviewing for a new job immediately, and out of all the interviews and offers I got, I chose Derriford because the consultants interviewing me were so friendly and bubbly it seemed like a good place to start picking up the scattered pieces of my life, and it really was the perfect place.
Plymouth is a beautiful city, not exactly multi-cultural but friendly. The stunning views on the sea-front are therapeutic. I remember thinking to myself, how can anyone be sad here when you have the sea on your doorstep! ( obviously, you can still be sad, but it does help!! )
You will find Halal shops, Asian and African food shops, mosques and other worship places.
The hospital is far from the town centre, and buses can sometimes be a disaster. I tend to always look for a house within walking distance to take away the stress of the commute in the morning because I don’t drive. If you drive, you may like to live closer to the town centre and the sea-front.
The department is supportive, and I never felt overwhelmed in my first NHS job. IMGs start in the NHS, having heard many horror stories and statistics about IMG and minority ethnicities referral rates to the GMC. We carry that stress to our jobs and wonder which mistake could land you in front of the GMC every day. A supportive work environment where I felt I could learn from my mistakes rather than be judged helped build my confidence and helped me shake off all that anxiety.
Every department has a culture, and the culture in Derriford is that of kindness and support. Everything isn’t always rosy and peachy, but cultures aren’t about specific incidents or individuals but rather the overall way of doing things. If I have a bad day or a bad encounter, I know I won’t be expected to get on with it. I will find support and kindness, and in turn, I give support and kindness back to everyone else. This is what makes our tough jobs bearable.
As you can see, I have only good things to say about Derriford general paediatrics. That is my experience, and everyone’s experience is different, but I have to say I liked it enough to apply for training in the Southwest, and now I’m here to stay !!