Gateway for Doctors: Meet Aista

1. How you have found the gateway programme so far

The gateway programme has been an incredible journey so far. The programme helped me build my portfolio and enabled me to secure a job in the very trust that I wanted to work in. The support we have received has been extremely beneficial; from the monthly catch up calls with our programme director, to the mentors we have been allocated.

2. What it has been like working on the frontline/ Your experience of the NHS and does it differ from your expectations?

COVID 19 has had devastating consequences globally, so naturally my experience starting in the NHS has greatly differed to other international graduates. It has been both exciting and equally challenging. Coming back home to work and serve a community very close to me felt rewarding, however, I have also had to face challenges along the way. I feel privileged to have started working at a time where my role was much needed and appreciated. It has definitely been a unique experience with an ample amount of clinical scenarios that I will perhaps never see in my practice again.

3. Were there any challenges you faced and how you overcame them?

Along with the challenges faced by our healthcare system, the protective measures we have had to implement has been difficult for both our patients and their families. Visitation has been restricted and we have additional pressure to effectively utilise our communication skills in order to support the patients and families. I have had to develop my communications skills in a very short amount of time, which I believe will be of great value to my future practice.

4. Your proudest moment working for the NHS so far?

 My proudest moment would have to be my first weekend on call. As the only doctor covering the ward for the weekend, I felt all my clinical skills and knowledge being tested at once. I learnt a lot over the two days and understood the importance of effectively communicating and escalating to my seniors when necessary. The NHS provides a lot of support to its junior doctors and it’s important to recognise the support system put in place to safely manage our patients. After my on call, my confidence has increased and I truly feel like I am part of the team.

5. Any other information you would like to share?

I am proud to be part of an organisation that has worked tremendously hard during a very difficult period. I look forward to broadening my clinical experience and completing my two years with the gateway programme.