Using the USMLE for GMC Registration

  • November 05, 2021

Many physicians trained in the USA can now register to work in the NHS using their USMLE licensure. Whilst it is not a qualification, the GMC now accepts the USMLE licensing exam as evidence of the appropriate skills & knowledge required to be granted registration with a license to practice. 

In this blog we will outline some of the main points of this process, and briefly explain how to apply for full registration. We will answer key questions such as: 

Please note, the full process is a lengthy one, so for detailed guidance on registering with the GMC using your USMLE, we suggest getting in touch with IMG Connect and we’ll be happy to share this with you.  

Are you eligible for GMC registration? 

You are eligible for this application if you: 

  • graduated from a medical school outside the UK or Switzerland 

and you: 

  • hold an acceptable primary medical qualification 
  • have completed an internship 
  • have passed the United States Medical Licensing Exam: 
    • Step 1 
    • Step 2 clinical knowledge and 
    • Step 2 clinical skills 

Two important things to note: 

  1. Your pass for Step 2 clinical skills must be on or before 13 March 2020. This is because the in-person aspect of Step 2 clinical skills allows the USMLE to be comparable to the PLAB exam. Without this, the USMLE does not meet the GMC requirements for demonstration of skills and knowledge.
  2. If you have taken and failed PLAB part 1 or 2 after you passed any component of an overseas registration exam, either a knowledge or clinical skills test, you will not be eligible for this application. 

If you do not meet these criteria, your application may be rejected and you may need to find an alternative route to GMC registration. Depending on your specialty, you may have an overseas accepted qualification, or PLAB may be another alternative for you. 

Providing evidence of your primary medical qualification 

As part of your application with the GMC you’ll need to send a copy of your Primary Medical Qualification. Some overseas medical degrees are not accepted by the GMC – if you are not sure – take a read of our blog on accepted primary medical qualifications here

Once you have checked your primary medical qualification meets the acceptability criteria, you’ll need to have it independently verified before you can be granted your registration with a licence to practise. You will need to do this if you qualified from a medical school outside of the UK and are not already provisionally registered with the GMC. 

Read our article on verifying your medical degree here – or for a full and detailed guide on the steps required, contact the team via email at  

Providing evidence of your pass in the USMLE 

As part of your application, you'll need to: 

  • complete the application form the GMC send you and return it by email to 
  • send them evidence which demonstrates you’ve passed an acceptable overseas registration exam. You can request this from the USMLE as per the instructions below. 

Requesting evidence from USMLE for the GMC 

  • You can request and download a transcript from the Federation of State Medical Boards. 
  • You need to select ‘General Medical Council (UK)’ from the drop-down list 
  • If you are unable to access your account, call (817) 868-4041 or email  

What other documents will I need to provide as part of my GMC application? 

There are various other documents you will need to provide as part of your GMC application. These include: 

  • Passport 
  • Evidence of your knowledge of English 
  • A certificate of good standing 
  • Declaration of your fitness to practise 

What other information will I need to provide? 

There are various other bits of information you will need to provide which can include translations of any documents not in English, and any additional evidence the GMC may request when reviewing your application.  

Often this is different, dependent on each case, so our advice is to start the application and respond to the GMC’s queries as and when they come. 

I think I am eligible, but unsure how to apply! 

If you are an American physician and wish to discuss your application with IMG Connect, feel free to get in touch via email or phone. We understand the UK registration process can be complicated at times, and IMG Connect are experts on the matter. Rest assured, we are always delighted to help USA doctors to register with the GMC and to find jobs in the NHS! 


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