Frequently Asked Questions

This page covers our most frequently asked questions from Trust Grade Drs and international medical graduates. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, or on the other tabs on this website, please get in touch with PGME Coordinator, Caitlin Taylor

How do I apply to attend courses and conferences? 

To attend any learning events you will need to apply for study leave through the study leave process. This includes submitting an application form to the Junior Drs Study Leave inbox at least 6 weeks in advance complete with signatures from your rota coordinator and educational supervisor. Please see the ‘Study Leave’ tab on for a copy of the digital form* as well as some further information regarding the process. 

Trust Grade Drs have access to a capped budget of £577 pro rate per contract year. This can only be accessed if the study leave process has been followed. They do not have to adhere to the Health Education England courses list as non-trainees nor the funding categories associated with this. 

*It is important to be completed on Adobe on a desktop computer, not on the browser and all signatures need to be added digitally. Digital signatures are not the same as electronic signatures (which are not as secure). Please click here for a guide on how to set-up a digital signature on Adobe. 

How to I attend a Life Support course at the Trust? 

We do not coordinate Life Support courses here at PGMC. The Life Support Training team provides Life Support Courses, such as ILS, ALS and ATLS, for the Trust. You will need to contact the team directly to enquire about these courses and be added to the waiting list for any courses you are interested in attended. You will need to follow the study leave process in order to attend any courses and claim back any expenses or course fees. 

If you cannot secure a place at Derriford in the timeframe you need then you can book yourself onto courses at other venues around the country and use your study leave allocation for this. You would need to be careful of cost as some private venues charge a huge amount of money for these and if you are a Trust Grade Dr you are only entitled to £577 pro rata per contract year in study leave expenses. For reference, the Derriford ALS course cost is £250 but some venues can charge up to £700.

What do I do if I am unwell? 


There are a number of external resources designed to support IMGs - below are some of our favourites! 


  • Road to UK -  Two of our amazing IMGs at the Trust, Dr Ibreez Ajaz and Dr Mohammed Ivan, have created the Road to UK website and YouTube channel. This platform contains a wealth of information and videos about being an IMG in the UK, training pathways, career planning, exams and much more. We highly recommend this resource to any IMG working in the Trust.

  • IMG Network South West - This HEE supported network is designed 'to bring IMGs together to share experiences and ideas of working and training in the UK' by providing a safe space to share ideas and raise concerns. 

  • The British Medical Association (BMA) Toolkit - The BMA have put together a toolkit for doctors who are new to the UK. This resource has information covering; communicating with patients and autonomy; communicating with colleagues and NHS structure; how the NHS works and doctors’ titles explained.