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:
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.
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 Collegeto help you decide.
CLICK ON THE QUALIFICATION BELOW TO READ A USEFUL GUIDE FOR IMGs.
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.
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