What postgraduate routes are available for overseas doctors?

  • April 10, 2020
 

Recognised postgraduate qualifications are essential to work in the NHS with full GMC registration.

The GMC must be satisfied you have sufficient knowledge and skills before it grants you a license to practice, and for international doctors there are various routes to be considered. Your experience and desired role in the NHS should help shape the route you take option for you. The following postgraduate routes are available to you:

PLAB:

The first and most popular route for more junior doctors is the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board or PLAB as its commonly known. It is a two-part exam, with Part 1 taken all over the world and the second part taken in the UK only. It is a quick and relatively simple set of examinations for overseas doctors to work in the NHS.

Have a read through our detailed and helpful blog series on the PLAB tests for more information.

UK Postgraduate Qualifications / Royal College qualifications:

One of the most popular routes for overseas doctors is to attain a UK Postgraduate Qualification through one of the UK's Royal Colleges.

There are twenty-four Royal Colleges in existence in the UK, and they are the professional bodies responsible for the individual medical specialties they cover. Amonst their many duties, their role is to set and monitor the educational curriculum for those training to enter their respecitive professions.

UK trainees will sit a series of examinations set by their Royal College depending on what medical speciality they have chosen and these generally are set to a higher level of specialism and training when compared to the PLAB examinations.

Attaining a Royal College Qualification will of course satisfy GMC postgraduate criteria for full registration and are often the route for more senior international candidates looking to work in the UK. Certainly, if you want to 

Have a read through our Postgraduate Qualifcation section to find the qualification set against your specialty. The entire list of Royal College examinations can be found below.

Alternatively, have a look through our blog on PLAB v Royal College to help you decide.


CLICK ON THE QUALIFICATION BELOW TO READ A USEFUL GUIDE FOR IMGs.


Awarding Body 

Qualification

Royal College of Anaesthetists

Primary FRCA examination

Royal College of Emergency Medicine 

Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine 
(MCEM/MRCEM)

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 

Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 
(MRCOG)

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Royal College of Pathologists

Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists
(FRCPath) by examination only

Haematology, Histopathology, Medical Microbiology

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
(FRCS Glasg Ophthalmology)

Royal College of Physicians London 

Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Membership of the Royal College of Physicians MRCP (UK)

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
(MRCPsych)

Royal College of Radiologists 

Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR)

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh 

Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
(MRCS Ed Opthalmology)

Royal College of Surgeons of England

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Any of the following:

Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons - MRCS

Intercollegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons - (MRCS (ENT))

Collegiate Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons - (MRCS)

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons - (following examination) (FRCS)

Recognised or Equivalent Postgraduate Qualifications

Another option is to attain a GMC recognised overseas qualification. These overseas qualifications are recognised by the GMC as equivalent and will be accepted as evidence that you have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to apply for full registration with a licence to practise.

Have a read through our blog on GMC Recognised Postgraduate Qualifications to find out if your qualification is on the list and recognised by the GMC. 

Please note, you must be granted full registration with a license to practice within three years of passing your postgraduate qualification.

Recognised Equivalent Qualifications:

Country

Awarding Body

Qualification

America 

American Board of Pediatrics (ABP)

Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics - General Pediatrics

America  

American Board of Anaesthesiology

Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology

America

The American Board of Radiology 

The American Board of Radiology diagnostic radiology examination

Australia/New Zealand 

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Australia/New Zealand  

Royal Australasian College of Physicians 

FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations

OR

FRACP Paediatrics or evidence of three years basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations

Australia/New Zealand  

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) awarded since January 2012

Australia/New Zealand 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists 

Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology)

Fellowship of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Radiation Oncology)

Bangladesh 

Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons

Fellowship in Anaesthesia or Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999

Canada 

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - diagnostic radiology examination

Europe

European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology

European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong College of Physicians

Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians

Ireland

College of Anaesthetists of Ireland 

Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists

Ireland

Royal College of Physicians in Ireland

 MRCP Medicine (Medicine of Childhood)

Ireland

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

 

MRCS (collegiate examination)

MRSCI (intercollegiate examination)

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Malaysia 

Ministry of Health

Master of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010

This must include four years of clinical experience (required to complete MMED) plus two years of training

Pakistan 

College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan

FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan

Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since1998

Singapore 

National University of Singapore

Master of Medicine (Paediatrics) 

Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK) 

Singapore 

Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore 

Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore, plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010

South Africa 

College of Anaesthetists of South Africa

Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa

FCA (SA)

South Africa 

Colleges of Medicine of South Africa 

Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) - Diag Rad awarded after 1 October 2013

Sri Lanka 

University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Doctor of Medicine or MD (Anaesthesiology)

Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Paediatrics)

Doctor of Medicine or MD (medicine) awarded after January 2017

Doctor of Medicine or MD (surgery) awarded after July 2017

West Africa 

West African College of Physicians

Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics)

West Indies 

University of the West Indies

Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003

(Course title has since changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive care)


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