Five Pieces of Advice for Expat Doctors and Healthcare Professionals Looking for Jobs in Dubai

Nov02

Very often (more like three times a day) we receive CVs from physicians asking us to contact them if we have a suitable healthcare job opportunity in Dubai. As much as we appreciate the attention, we believe the time when one had to send CVs everywhere to find a job is actually over, and this is nowadays absolutely the wrong approach. So we decided to write a few sensible pieces of advice for physicians and other healthcare professionals looking for opportunities in Dubai. Or anywhere else actually.

 

  1. Be proactive, because it doesn't just “happen”. Most medical doctors at least once in their career think of completely changing their job type, or location. Many people think of coming to work in Dubai, attracted by the prospect of good paychecks, sunny weather and luxurious lifestyle. But despite many people search the internet randomly for jobs and contact a few agencies, a very low percentage actually start working here. Why? Well, the first thing to understand is that finding a job requires an active participation and several steps to be undertaken by the seeker before the “jump” or “change” is possible. Dubai isn't (anymore) the promised land where anybody can find a job in a week by virtue of just having a medical degree. The standards required are high and healthcare employers screen carefully. There is no “golden door”, and being setup for a dream job by an agency (very unlikely nowadays) just doesn't happen like that. A successful jobseeker really has to do take actions in hand by him/herself and be persistent to achieve the objective of finding the right job

  2. Know the environment and your demand. The Dubai healthcare environment is very unique, due to the city's unusual demographics. The population is very young and made mostly of healthy people in their working age. Not all specialties are present because not all specialties have enough “market” to justify setting up a viable department in a hospital. So the offer of healthcare services is very irregular and the demand for physicians is too. Let's make an example: while pediatricians, or obs&gyn specialists are always needed and have very high turnover rate, other specialists such as hematologists, or transplant surgeons are a lot less frequent and have much lower turnover rates. It's a good idea before buying your one-way ticket to actually consider if your specialty is needed and how likely you are to come across job openings. While this is difficult to know beforehand it is always possible to find a colleague or connection in Dubai who can give you the real picture of employment opportunities in your clinical area.

  3. Know the licensing process and go through it before you look for the job. The two features in your CVs that any employer will look at first are from what country is your professional license, and if you already have a valid professional license in Dubai. The reason is simple: you can't work without a license, and the ease of getting one largely depends on where in the world you are licensed in the first place. Top healthcare employers in Dubai frequently forward job offers only under the condition of successfully achieving a valid license. Obtaining a license can often require more than one attempt and take up several months. This slows down the recruitment process terribly, so employers will always be much more inclined to hire a good candidate who already holds a valid local license, rather than a “perfect” candidate who still is not licensed here. So get your local license before you start competing or even searching for jobs, if you want a strong advantage.

  4. Be mindful of using agencies. “A leading hospital is offering a competitive compensation to the successful applicant” Does that sound familiar? Could that be any more generic? That's because most agencies advertises jobs providing very few details about the employer, the job or the compensations package. Obviously that's because agencies are usually bound by confidentiality agreements with the employers, or because in a minority of cases the agencies are not working on a mandate from the employer. There have been some reported cases of fake agencies, or ones asking for a payment from the job seeker. The bottom line is that agencies will keep the job details covered initially to pass you to the employer at a later stage, and sometimes they will want to build up their list of candidates' CVs before there is even a demand. This can lead to duplicate job advertisements that are sometimes more confusing than helpful. If there is one single advice you should keep from this article it's the following: applying directly to the employer will make the experience more transparent. (Disclaimer: there are several agencies that are fully ethical about their recruitment behaviour, this paragraph just wishes to point out the potential inconveniencies of dealing with ones that aren't)

  5. Look in the right places. Ok so where do you start looking for jobs? One safe way to go is find all the potential employers in your clinical area (that's usually the biggest hospitals, or medical centers) and go through their websites one by one to search for job openings and apply. That's one way, which tends to be rather long and will make you miss smaller yet attractive potential employers. But probably the faster way is to find an online healthcare recruitment marketplace like GulfSpecialists.com . Marketplace websites are hubs where candidates and large or small employers can post profiles or job openings for free and connect directly with each other, without any agencies. This make the recruitment process faster, and less expensive and inclusive for everyone. Another advantage is that GulfSpecialists.com has a very detailed two-way search engine that allows very relevant candidate-to-job matches, and doesn't share your name or contact details with anyone unless you decide to connect.

 

In the end, when it comes to finding right healthcare jobs in the Gulf, it’s all about being active, using right channels of information, targeting right places (employers) at the right time. An online healthcare recruitment marketplace is the most effective solution for achieving employer visibility within the high growth healthcare industry in the Gulf.