Doctors Direct Gateway for Doctors Our Members

Dr Jerome Linkwinstar's Testimonial

Dr Jerome Linkwinstar shares his experience of moving from Bulgaria and joining the NHS through the Doctors Direct EU Programme


Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Dr. Jerome Linkwinstar and I’m currently working at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH) with a keen interest in orthopaedic surgery. I attended Sofia Medical University, in Bulgaria. It has been a huge life experience living abroad at a young age. It really teaches you a lot about yourself. Cooking, cleaning and taking care of yourself in a country 1000km away makes you grow up fast. People sometimes underestimate how hard it all is, but the path I have chosen has made me more resilient.

I really did enjoy my time in Bulgaria, the people that I met, experiences that I shared and especially that the fact that it made me independent. Time has gone really fast, it only feels like yesterday when I first started in Bulgaria.


Can you tell us about your role as a Gateway Doctor?

My role as a Gateway Doctor is equivalent to any other junior doctors’ roles in the NHS. My duties and responsibilities are the same.


Why is the Gateway for Doctors programme so important to you?

This programme will always have a place in my heart. When I finished medical school, I felt a certain level of panic and uncertainty. No one was sure what the process was to get registered or get a job and there also was a lot of misinformation. The Doctors Direct Gateway Programme took away that panic and gave me confidence that there was a safe and certain pathway.


What does the Gateway for Doctors programme mean to those completing it?

I cannot speak for everyone, but I would say we are happy with everything especially on how well it is structured. The biggest difference between working in the NHS and doing medical school abroad is the guidelines that are taught to UK medical graduates. This programme gives you the time and education to get acquainted with these guidelines and be exceptional at your job.


What training and support do you receive whilst on the programme?

Everyone in the programme is given a Clinical and Educational Supervisor. They are there to support your journey on the career path you choose. As well as that, Gateway provides weekly lectures that are given by consultants to enhance our knowledge subjects and UK guidelines. 


Is there a particularly memorable moment from your involvement in the programme?

There are a lot of memorable moments since joining the programme. The support I received when joining the programme and being part of the Gateway video is probably a highlight thus far. 


What made you decide to apply for the Gateway for Doctors Programme?

Before graduation, I was in a place of uncertainty, between getting registered and obtaining a job, it felt like there was a whole world between both. Gateway took away that anxiety that many people faced and allowed me to enter the workplace with confidence.


Why is the Gateway for Doctors programme different to other training programmes?

Doctors Gateway has been doing this for a number of years - this level of experience and knowing that are improving year on year would make this programme an ideal programme to join.


What is the most rewarding part of working at your Gateway Partner and completing the Gateway for Doctors programme?

The opportunities in research and audits are the best part of working at RNOH. It allows us to get acquainted with projects that we previously may not be exposed to since doing medicine in a non-English speaking country. RNOH also gave me the right education I needed to do daily duties in accordance with guidelines. 


What would you say to anyone considering applying for to a Gateway Programme?

I would say - do it. It’s a programme that offers all the education that we need to get acquainted with the NHS, provides regular education, and provides us with the support we need for any situations that may arise. 


What opportunities will you have as a result of completing the Gateway for Doctors Programme?

The most important result is the signing of the CREST form. We need this to go into speciality training. The programme aids everyone that joins to receive the competences we need to get this form signed. This programme also gives everyone the opportunity to do publications and audits which are important for points for the speciality training.