Dr Muhammad Ismail Memon


Doctor Muhammad Ismail Memon had always hoped and planned to settle down in the UK. He started his NHS career in 2012 as an SHO in Accident and Emergency at Prince Charles Hospital Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. He has since been looking for new opportunities to help develop his career. 

He states:

"My parents always wanted me to become a doctor, as it is seen as a proud profession in my culture. I respected their wishes and started working on my plan to become a doctor, starting my journey in medicine at ISRA Medical University in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Soon after graduation, I started my fellowship training in Psychiatry in Pakistan, but I always felt I could achieve ‘more’. To help achieve my goal I left the fellowship and took a job with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia. This helped me to save money and pass my PLAB licence exam, which would allow me to work in the UK.  

"During this time, I moved from Saudi Arabia to the Ministry of Health in Oman. I really enjoyed working there due to their friendly working atmosphere and the rich local culture. I also loved my time in Oman, as Dubai was just a few hours’ drive from the Khasab, which is where I was based and working. During my time in Oman, I passed PLAB 1 and PLAB2 and gained GMC registration. I soon started applying for jobs in the UK and fortunately, the first offer I received was from Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales. I accepted the offer immediately and began my journey with the NHS.   

"When I first moved to Wales, I quickly fell in love with the nature, beauty and its friendly culture. I found it comforting and a pleasant surprise that people on the street would give you a friendly smile and even offer help if they thought you were lost. I loved the contrast of the sandy and rocky beaches and the spectacular autumn season, where trees danced with red, yellow, orange, pink and green leaves. Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is also an amazing place to visit and ideal for those who love hiking or camping.  

"A big reason for me to stay in Wales was the friendly attitude of people from all walks of life, who went out of their way to make sure I felt at home. I have found that the people of Wales have a high regard for those of us in the medical profession – with families showing a lot of respect for those who care for their loved ones. 

"Once I married, my wife (who is also a medic) moved to Wales with me in 2017. She also liked Wales and wanted to continue her medical training here. Between us and after much deliberation, we made the decision to permanently settle and raise our family here. We currently have one young daughter who is 3 years old. As anyone who has a high pressure and career will know, it can at times be a challenge to balance your work and personal life. I am lucky in the sense that I chose psychiatry, as in that field I can find ample opportunity for a good work-life balance.  

"On weekends we often travel to local parks and mountains to enjoy the fresh clean air Wales has to offer. The city road where I live is famous for its Desi, Arabic and Turkish food, with dozens of such restaurants to cater to your specific tastes. We find this is an important tradition for our family as it allows us to enjoy our traditional food, while supporting the amazing local restaurants.  

"I started my core training in Psychiatry at Cwm Taff University Health Board in South Wales. After I completed this training, I started working as a locum staff grade doctor and stayed in that position for approximately 4 years. I then started my higher speciality training in General Adult Psychiatry, with a special interest in addiction psychiatry. I am currently in the last year of my higher training and hope to complete my CCT in just under a year, and then apply for a consultant job in South Wales. Wales has given me so many opportunities to excel in my career since I arrived, that I feel this will be my opportunity to give back to the NHS and local community by serving them as a consultant psychiatrist to the best of my abilities.  

"I have also had the opportunity to undertake a diploma in Psychiatry, and I am also currently studying for my master’s in medical education from Cardiff University. I was thrilled to be appointed as an honorary clinical tutor at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University in 2023 for three years. I have also been elected PTC (Psychiatric Trainee Committee) for RCPsych Wales since 2022 and a PTC representative for the IAC (International Advisory Committee) of RCPsych. In addition to these roles, I am also a member of the executive committee of the BPPA (British Pakistani Psychiatric Association of the UK) and joint secretary of SDAUK (Sindh Doctors Association of the UK). These two charities do a lot of work both in the UK and in Pakistan in relation to the health and educational sector.  

"My message to any overseas doctors who are thinking about a career in the UK is to consider Wales as your first choice, as it is an incredibly beautiful country, and it will provide you with tremendous opportunities to excel and flourish in your career."

As a Muslim I am happy to say that I have never faced any prejudices here, having lived in the capital city of Cardiff, which has more than 20 mosques. You can also find halal food everywhere in Wales, especially in the bigger cities and towns. Another advantage I have found living in South Wales is that London’s Heathrow and Birmingham airports are both just a 2-hour drive.  

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