Russell Thomson qualified as a medical doctor in South Africa in the late 1990’s. He had over 10 years’ experience of working at sea, and therefore has a deep understanding of the cruise ship medical industry and what it takes to be a ship’s doctor, nurse or paramedic.
Here is what Russell has to say:
South African qualified and experienced medical staff are highly sought after in the cruise ship industry given their work ethic and skill set. With a prior background in the practice of cruise ship medicine, and experience in private healthcare management in South Africa, I believe I have the ability to recognize those unique characteristics required of doctors, nurses or paramedics that wish to work at sea.
For some, being a ship’s doctor, nurse or paramedic is a career change, for others it is the gap year they never had, or an opportunity to break away from the norm and do something exceptionally rewarding and exciting – an opportunity to work and travel to exotic destinations and earn a competitive US $ salary. Making that career change is a big decision and I aim to support our applicants every step of the way.
I strive to provide a highly personal service to the medical staff I recruit. I make myself personally available to my applicants from their first contact with me, until they are completely settled into their new positions on board.
After a successful interview, recommendations for employment are made to the cruise lines’ medical recruitment team for employment consideration. Throughout the process I also provide pre-joining orientation advice and discuss personal queries regarding life at sea and benefits such as relatives’ travel, local leave or having a spouse on board. I can also put new recruits in e-mail contact with the medical teams on board the ships they are scheduled to join for their first contracts.
Keeping current with every aspect of the cruise ship industry, and keeping in close contact with the cruise lines’ medical operations teams and their manning agents, I keep myself up to date with the latest developments in the industry, the ships themselves, itineraries, new-builds and on board and shore-side developments in the medical department.
I take personal pride in the medical staff that I recommend to the cruise industry. I remain my applicants’ advocate and independent point of contact during their first contract should they have any ongoing concerns or questions, and will go out of my way to ensure that the career path they have chosen is as rewarding as it promises to be.”
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