Visa Guidelines is back

Alhamdulillah, I got married to a lovely lady by the name of Sarah and we're enjoying our new phase in life since that momentous day. You probably expect a post about it but i decided to keep it to myself for now :D

And yeah, I graduated from the University of Nottingham and thus, escaping from the evil clutches of my medical school. woot2! probably needs a post on this as well but yeah, maybe later.

but for now, i'm going to write an article on visa guidelines for medical students graduated from UK medical schools under MARA scholarship who are planning to work as an FY1 doctor in the UK.

After all, it was my visa guidelines which i made 5 years ago that helped me to get to know a lot of people and for some, have now become my close friends. And it helped a lot of other people as well. So I hope that this guideline would ease your efforts a bit. Visa application is always confusing.

Scroll down to the bottom for the guideline

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

legacy

Just to be clear, this post is simply for my reading. But I don't mind if you want to read it too. As you probably know, I write on this blog because I want to remember things..it's an alternative to writing them in my journal.

I named it "legacy" because it was one of the names of our university email account which had changed a no of times throughout the 5 years. I like this name the most.

So I learned that we're going to lose access to our university address soon. Thus, I transferred some of the emails which I wanted to keep to my business email address and for some, I put them on my blog so I can look at them whenever I want to :D

Let's go right from the bottom end of my inbox:

1. Random Fling

Gambar hiasan. Source: click me

It's the university's Frisbee team which I joined from the first few years. I saved the files on play tactics to my computer in case I want to use them in the future, hahaha.

Monday, May 19, 2014

the only exception

So now you know why I was so stressful in the weeks leading up to the resits. In addition to the thought about repeating the whole of Final Year, I also have an additional worry in mind..

via FB

As always, no matter how good our plan is, Allah's plans are the best. Everything went according to the original plan apart from my failures in #FebFinals. The things which happened perfectly include:

Friday, May 16, 2014

over you

It's over. I defeated you. 

I managed to slay you by achieving perfection in multiple stations. Alhamdulillah, again another miracle from Allah has been bestowed upon me and I am ever so thankful for He'd given me a happy ending from this long arduous journey. 



"You just remember who the enemy is"

Statistics


Now, I'm going to talk about the double OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) that I faced in April 2013. Firstly, let me just tell you about the statistics for #FebFinals:

91 out of 332 Final Year students failed the OSCEs


It's definitely a huge no of failures. So if you're one of those who failed, you shouldn't be too scared cause almost a third of the year failed. Hence, the failure rate of Nottingham Medical School for 2014 is 27.41%.


70 failed OSCE1 and 41 failed OSCE2. So yeah, still a huge no for both.


But if you failed both (like I did), you're one of the Top 20. Doesn't sound that many now, does it? And because 20 is a smaller number and knowing that I'm facing double OSCEs, the odds were not in my favour. I woke up everyday during this difficult period realising that I'm one of the 20 who have a higher chance of being eliminated.


This is double OSCEs okay! It's like facing double elimination challenge on Masterchef Australia. 


The Double Elimination Challenge

Alhamdulillah, this was the timetable..




I had a day between the 2 OSCEs. Lama okay tak dapat gap between OSCEs, huhu.


OSCE 1


12 stations of 6 mins each 

(Allowed to fail 2 stations only regardless of your marks)

In Feb, I failed 3 stations, hence an overall fail.


In Apr, I put down 4 stations as the ones I'm worried about:


1. Cardio - The examiner was asking me about systole/diastole and I was confused but before the time ran out, I shushed him and said in the most confident way about what happens in systole and he nodded. Result: PASS



Source: Click here

2. Prescribe IV fluids - The wild card station from last year which made a lot of my senior colleagues questioning what they were supposed to do in the station. Now I know how it felt like. I was not even sure of what I was supposed to do. Result: PASS with a borderline mark

3. Set up IV infusion - The examiner was one of my fav Teaching Fellows. But since she let me struggled to find the cap at the end of the IV tube for 2 mins, she's out of my fav list. Didn't complete it at all. Result: FAIL



Source: Click here

4. Cervical spine - Another wild card station from previous year. I knew what I had to do. and believed that my examination was flawless. It was C6 but apparently, the examiner didn't even know what C6 does. Seriously, dia tak tau C6 is elbow flexion pastu boleh jd examiner. Corrupt sungguh. Panas aku dengan examiner ni. I looked at my marksheet and knew that I didn't get full marks for most items. Yelah, dah knowledge si mamat examiner ni pon sangat questionable. Kalau tak tau C6, gi masuk balik medschool la wei! Haha. Result: FAIL


So yeah, the no of stations that I'm worried about was 4 which is similar to my first attempt in Feb but alhamdulillah, since I only failed 2 stations, I passed! Not going to meet any more slackers iA.


They weren't all bad stations. Let's talk about the things that gave me hope..


1. Radiology - I started with Radiology as my 1st station AGAIN! How ironic is that?! And who's the examiner? My funny, handsome and awesome Radiology consultant. I showed him that I can talk about X-rays like water gushing out of my mouth, lol.



Source: Click here

Sunday, May 11, 2014

lightning

It was raining heavily on that Friday, 9th of May 2014. The sound of thunder roared through the heavens above and lightning illuminated the darkened atmosphere of Shah Alam. The time was around 5.30 pm and the lights in the house blacked out; I knew that the result was going to be released via email at 7 pm Malaysian time (12 noon in the UK). Then I remembered that my little brother Irfan was scared of lightning. When Irfan was a toddler, he would startle when he sees flashes of bright light during a heavy downpour. So I went downstairs to stay with my little brother in the dark.. at least, if he's scared, he has someone next to him.

Source: click me

While waiting for the rain to subside, I can't help worrying and thinking about the revelation which was about to come. The thought of facing the whole 5th Year all over again was too daunting for me to comprehend. Then I suddenly remembered a verse in the chapter, Thunder (Ar-Ra'd, 13). I decided to have a look at it when the power's back on.


Friday, May 02, 2014

hold on, we're going home

It has been a really tough week for the 91 of us. The OSCEs: All Stars weren't easy but we made it through the week. Now, it's just the wait for the revelation.



And I'm flying home this Friday for my elective period which I have been fighting for persistently since 4th Year. I definitely earned this trip to go back home..I fought 3 times for it well, 4 if you include the Finals:

1. Obs and Gynae MACCS (Mandatory Assessment of Core Clinical Skills) resit
2. May 2013 - Obs and Gynae resits
3. Nov 2013 - Paeds resit

Yeah, my journey has not been that smooth. I survived all of the above and managed to secure my elective period. Sure, I eventually lost a few weeks due to #FebFinals but at least, I'm still going home, alhamdulillah.



Just need to hold on...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

defying gravity

I promised myself that I will never forget what happened in May 2013..

On that Monday, the exam week began with a double online exam challenge. After the exam, I was so worried that I fail them..which then revealed to be my double distinction for the Specials module. That was awesome, alhamdulillah!

On that Wednesday, it was the most difficult exam day thus far. 3 Knowledge exams of different specialties on 1 day & I had my first ever panic attack - and I shall always remember that experience.

On that Thursday, I disguised myself in an OSCE for the first time ever because if I were to get my Psychiatry Consultant who was really mean to me as an examiner; he wouldn't recognise me.

Finally on that Friday, in the resit for Obs and Gynae Skills exam; halfway through the 4 stations, I actually believed that I have a fighting chance to move on to Final Year. 

And that's exactly what happened.

It's the story of self-doubt and the need to believe in yourself

This Revision Week is not that helpful. It's actually causing more stress to not only me but to a whole lot of other people. Please pray for us. Second chances don't come that often...

Friday, March 28, 2014

just the two of us

Tonight whilst at S's house.


W: "Sedar tak? In the next 3 weeks, it will be just the 2 of us. Pastu, resits. Scary tak?"

S: (having a sudden realization) "Scary jugak la"

W: "Itula kannn..."

Monday, March 10, 2014

here we go again

Hello everyone,

My name's Adlan Wafi Ramli and I recently experienced failures for the second time.

But somehow, I'm pretty calm for a few reasons:
1. being me
2. I asked a few friends to make du'a so Allah will give me peace and serenity when the revelation day was approaching
3. Cause I quite like the idea of redeeming myself

Now, let's hear this story of mine this time around. Firstly, I would like to apologize that I'm writing another post about failures for a second time. I was pretty confident that "don't dream it's over" would be the the last one (currently, it is the 4th most viewed post of all time on this blog and I didn't have to put it up on FB like I usually do).

Last Friday, 7.3.14

Just need to do a shout out to my mutarabbi, that we had usrah on the night before Revelation Day. And you guys definitely took away my anxiety. So, thank you. I really appreciate the time you spent with me. So, apa lagi, jom join usrah!

It was a really good day. I managed to cut my nails as its sunnah, even had time to perform duha prayer between lectures because I didn't do any of these when I left home in the morning cause I was in a hurry. Me, Syakir & Hosni went to the results room to get our envelopes. Yeah, for Finals, each one of us have our own envelopes.

The envelope

The initial plan was not to open it up since I was going on a hiking trip with my usrah mates for the weekend and if I were to fail, that would definitely made me feel sulky. And then I saw a lot of people posting their statuses on FB saying that they are now Dr "insert surname" which I liked all of them cause they were such happy news. So, I can't help peeking through the transparent plastic and read the sentence behind my address & saw that it contained the words "repeat" and "penalty". And if you read this post entitled "survive the game", I've posted the letter that you'd receive if you failed and I don't think they would put those words in a letter for a person who passed their Finals.


I peeked through the plastic window and learned the result of my Finals

So that's when I realized that I failed and I've called some people who passed to confirm the content of their letters. So yeah, I failed. That was VERY disappointing. I had so many plans that I've had in mind if I were to pass. Because I've seen the seniors from previous years and what they had during the weeks after Revelation Day was pure happiness. No care about the medical world (most of them) and just do whatever you wanted to do. I was really looking forward to that. Really wanted that feeling. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

And when I went back on FB and saw more of these statuses on FB about becoming doctors, I liked them all again just because they're really good news & they're inspiring.

My plans after Revelation Day

The things which I planned to do if I pass Finals on my first attempt (in no particular order):

1. Go to Ashraf Zakwan's house to cook him some salmon since he's so busy with PhD.
2. Go to Leeds and London to see my friends.
3. Book plane tickets to go to Cork and Dublin.
4. Go and see my Mum and Dad who will be in Ireland between March and April.
5. Plan really fun activities for my mutarabbi.
6. Take my friends from 18 Lace St to go for a ride on my car and go somewhere.
7. Buy a cheesecake in Wollaton.
8. Read books which are not medical-related.
9. Attend ALL national & local events.
10. Bake a cake.

I really wanted to cook salmon for you but that's okay, you'd still be around iA (source)

11. Clean the microwave in my house because it looks horrendous.
12. Call a lot of my family members (Opah, Mak Su, etc) and friends in Malaysia.
13. Cook more than once a week for my housemates.
14. Go to KFC more often.
15. Memorize more verses from the Quran.
16. Buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
17. Be a better naqib.
18. Go on a shopping spree and buy wedding gifts for my friends who are getting married.
19. Buy flight tickets to go back to Malaysia asap.
20. Organize some teaching sessions for Amir Fikri and friends (3rd Year Medics).
21. Take Akhtar for a ride in my car to go wherever he wants to.
22. Start preparing for MRCP.


This is an oreo cheesecake

So I want to say sorry to everyone related to the above list because I am unable to continue with my wishes. I have to do this the hard way..again.

How did I feel on Friday?

Firstly, it was hard to take in because I've only experienced being "normal" aka student without failed credits for less than 2 months. I love that feeling. When I passed 4th Year completely, it was so awesome! But now I'm back in limbo. I feel like going into the Hunger Games for the second time. 

I also initially felt like not wanting to go on that hiking trip but then I changed my mind. I need this vacation. I need to see my friends. So we went to a place called Hope. How beautiful is Allah's plans; it's like a message to me.


hope.

If I were to pass, I planned to call my Mum and tell her that I have a birthday gift which is me becoming  a doctor (because her birthday was just a day before Revelation Day). But no, that plan would have to be postponed.

But anyway, I didn't open up the envelope because I know that if I find out that I've failed multiple things, I would be devastated. So I left it unopened but I already know that I failed from that Friday. In addition, I also learned that I passed the Knowledge exams via online. So, I know that I've passed Knowledge but not yet known if I've failed one or both OSCEs :(

Hiking up the hills for hours

I was asked to deliver a short tazkirah and I originally wanted to present something about success/failures but that would have been too obvious. After all, I've announced to my usrah mates that I would only reveal my results on Sunday. So, I went with something that is inspiring by Akhi Ikmal Nordin whom I haven't met for ages! The beautifully written post - Twinkle twinkle little star.


hiking.

I think going on the trip was a really great decision and for me not to tell them until Sunday was also strategically planned. I didn't want them to feel bad for me throughout the treacherous paths that we've encountered. It was such a cool experience going on that hiking trip. The views were simply majestic.

Sunday

It was the day to open the envelop. Somehow, before I opened the envelope, I sort of have this feeling that I'm going to fail both OSCEs. I was ready and opened it up and confirmed my suspicion that indeed I've failed both OSCEs. Of course, I was frustrated but it didn't really crush me. Medschool, you failed. You failed to bring me down. 

I just have a feeling that if I were to fail, I would fail in the worst or one of the worst possible ways. I cannot simply just fail one assessment, but I have to fail multiple things. Because Allah wants to give me a cool experience. So when I passed all of them, it would be epic iA!

Not gonna kidding you, I was jumping up and down in my room as if I just passed Finals. And when I look at myself in the mirror, it's a mixture of anxiety + excitement. 

The following sentences were added today after the feedback meeting at King's Mill - I don't know why I was so positive in this post. Right now, I feel so low.

So now, my remaining exams change from this..


Before

To this..


After

When you said that I'm "pandai"


Dear Syakir, I have to explain something to you about the lunch we had at Bonzai after the last exam with Hosni. When we talked about the failures of 4th Year and how we agreed that a lot of people who are bright and smart but ended up failing multiple assessments and then I said, "ye, orang pandai pon fail".

Then, you said "Adlan pandai jugak tapi fail". And then I blushed and smiled. It's not because I was proud or felt superior but it was because I don't think I am "pandai" and  to hear that coming from you whom is one of the smartest medics I've known, that sort of gave me hope. Yes, I'm not that smart and that's okay. I've come to terms with that throughout the 5 years. 


Nasi lemak at Bonzai

Indeed, I was one of the top students (not THE top but let's say top decile) in most of my academic career until I arrived at The University of Nottingham. So when I failed in 4th Year, it definitely crushed me. I was devastated. Never in my life had I ever failed so epically.  

Let me remind you what happened last year..

In November 2012, I failed 3 exams in which all of them took place in the same week. So, I definitely felt worthless to have achieved something like that. And in May 2013, it was either I make it into 5th Year or enter gap year.

In February 2014, I failed 2 exams which took place in the same week. This time, I'm ready to face it all again. Yeah, I'm tired of failing. Letih kot. Leceh jugak. I'm so gutted.

When I phoned you Syakir, I said, "It's like May 2013 all over again". Which is true. Because this time around, I will either graduate or enter 5th Year again.

Tak nak lalui medical school kat Nottingham dah. Cukup, cukuplah.

A silver lining on Monday

Monday was the day of the results of our foundation year placements. Again, this is the 2nd year consecutively where it is oversubscribed (read: more applicants than the no of jobs available). So you can see why medics in Nottingham are feeling pretty stressful - 2 results back to back; Finals on Friday and job placements on Monday. 

I really had a strong feeling that I was going to get a job at North Western because it's going to be the perfect irony for me. Everything is part of Allah's plans. He wants me to have the job but I have to work hard for it. Hence the double failures.

So I was sitting next to Hosni and then, he told me (we were having a lecture in a small room) that FPAS was out. He got Trent which was his first choice. And then I got nervous. I didn't want to open up my application next to him and in the middle of a small room! Iman and Syakir were in that room as well. People could have seen my reaction if I didn't get a job!


I have a job waiting for me despite this year being oversubscribed for the 2nd year running. Alhamdulillah.

But I opened it anyway. I have nothing to be afraid. Then, I looked at the first page and it looked different than usual. Then, I saw the words "North Western" at the top right corner (image above) and showed Hosni, if that was what I think it was. He nodded and I was beaming with joy. I couldn't contain my excitement. It was such a good news. I have extra motivation to pass the resits. You should've seen my face. Pure happiness. I got my 1st choice.

Time to call home

Since last year was quite a really sad phone call, I want to turn this into a much more confident one. This time, I want to be the one to motivate my parents. Because last year, it was them trying to give me words of encouragement. So I called them and my mum answered it. So I told her everything. That I failed both OSCEs. I was aiming not to make her cry and I succeeded! Alhamdulillah. I convinced her that I'm not giving up and then I talked to my Dad and I was being sarcastic about the medschool. So, in a nutshell, I think I showed them that I was very determined to graduate this year. And I will, inshaAllah.


I will eat this chicken whenever I want to. You can't judge me.

Faiz Khalid

One thing about Faiz; that is if you're friends with him, it is so hard to get in touch with him because he's so busy even when he's in the UK! So I guess I have to fail drastically in order for us to have a FaceTime chat. Funnily enough, I think the last time I FaceTimed him was the time when I failed 4th Year. It's like deja vu all over again. So yeah, it was nice talking to him after so long and also because I have the good news that I have a job waiting for me in August 2014.

I also said to him that I will enter each of the 12 stations and 5 stations of OSCE 1 and 2 respectively "dengan semangat membara".

What now?

These are the things that are going to happen:
  • I won't be going home in April unfortunately. But I will go home in May iA. 
  • Resits are in the last week of April.
  • Elective period is reduced.
  • Haven't bought my flight tickets so that was another strategically planned decision.
  • Face double OSCEs (sounds like May 2013)
  • Work hand and enjoy the journey to Finals the 2nd. The Final Redemption.
And I believe these are all part of Allah's plans to give me the best possible chance at not just to become a good doctor but to become a better Muslim...

revolutionists

Visa Guidelines

Disclaimer: Everything that I have written in this article would not confirm your success in applying for a visa. It is intended to be an explanation of the things that I have done in order for me to get a Tier 4 Visa to begin my work as an FY1 doctor.

N.B. I have just posted the documents required to the Post Office and I am using the Standard Service. The success of my application is still unknown

The document which I used as a basis of my decision can be found on this link - click me

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED (in my opinion)

1. The ones listed on the cover sheet. For me:
Current passport and previous passport (which contained Tier 4 Visa for medschool) and 2 passport photos

2. A letter of unconditional consent from MARA.

This is based on this section on the Visa Guidance

"54. If you are currently financially sponsored by a government or an international scholarship
agency, or your financial sponsorship ended within 12 months of your application being
made, you will need your sponsor’s permission to stay in or re-enter the UK. You must
provide us with your financial sponsor’s unconditional consent in writing. This must confirm
that your sponsor has no objection to you continuing your studies in the UK. If your financial
sponsor does not give consent, we will refuse the application."

page 8 of 78

Method: Call MARA and explain to them that you would like this letter. Email MARA with your full name, passport no, name of hospital for FY1 and your Foundation School. E.g. Royal Preston Hospital, North Western Foundation School

3. Bank statements

The amount for outside of London is £1640. So I sent them a bank statement which is dated within 31 days of my application and the money has been held in the account for 28 days consecutively

4. CAS letter

I just printed it out from the email? I'm not even sure about this, haha

5. BMedSci and BMBS degree

Yeah, I actually posted both degrees lol. This is because in the CAS letter, it states that the evidence required to obtain the letter is my degree. Hence, the reason why I did that. In addition, I chose "I have an academic qualification, at least
equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree, taught in
English" as an evidence to demonstrate my English language ability. So, I think these degrees would be sufficient.

6. Cover sheet

Which you can print off after submitting your application

That's all for now. I'll let you know what happens...