European Oncologists - a doctor's route to the UK

  • June 28, 2022
 

There are several routes a European oncologist can take to GMC registration and medical or clinical (radiation) oncology in the NHS. 

All European oncologists looking to secure a job in the NHS will need to satisfy certain criteria before they can register for full GMC (General Medical Council) registration to practice in the NHS. As an oncologist, these criteria depend on where in the world you trained, and the qualifications you hold. In this blog, we’re giving you a snapshot of the steps you need to take to start your journey to the UK, as a European-qualified oncologist. We will be covering the following: 

EEA Doctors 

Firstly, it is important to note that where we refer to EEA in this article, this refers specifically to all countries inside the EU, including Lichtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland & Norway. If you trained & qualified as an oncologist inside the EEA or Switzerland, then you will have a few different options potentially available to you. 

Depending on the country and year you completed your residency or basic medical training, the GMC may automatically recognise your qualifications and grant you either General Registration, or Specialist Registration in the UK. To find out if your country’s qualifications will allow you to register for either general or specialist registration, check the relevant GMC page here

Knowledge and Skills

Basic Medical Training: If you have met the basic medical training requirements, this would mean that you would not need to demonstrate your medical knowledge and skills to work as a doctor in the UK and would not need to complete a UK- recognised postgraduate qualification or PLAB to register with a license to practice. You would be granted full registration in this case, but not Specialist Registration.  

Specialist Training / Residency: If you have met the criteria listed for your country, then once you have completed the GMC application process, you would be granted Specialist Registration in oncology and can be appointed as a substantive or permanent consultant in the NHS. So as an oncologist, if you hold a Relevant European Specialist qualification, you would be put on the specialist register for medical or clinical oncology and can be appointed as a substantive oncologist in the NHS. 

Therefore, the main hurdle that you will face as an EEA doctor will be demonstrating that your English skills are of a high enough standard to practice safely and proficiently as a doctor in the NHS. 

As a European oncologist, this is in most cases the easiest route to becoming GMC-registered and being able to practice oncology in the UK. 

If you do not meet the GMC requirements for your training to be approved for full or specialist registration, other routes you may consider to GMC registration include PLAB or (via the postgraduate route) the Royal College exams for either clinical oncology (FRCR) or medical oncology (MRCP). You can find out more about these alternative routes here

English Language Testing

All EEA oncologists, regardless of experience, and country of origin, must demonstrate that they have a sufficient grasp and competence of the English language. This can be done by passing either the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the OET (OET – Occupational English Test). Detailed guides to these tests can be found below: 

IELTS – a guide for overseas doctors

OET – a guide for overseas doctors

Certificate of Good Standing

All doctors registering with the GMC must provide a certificate of good standing from each medical regulatory authority they have been registered or licensed with in the last five years.  

The medical regulatory authority may send you a certificate of past good standing if you are not currently registered or licensed with them. You can find out which medical regulatory authority to contact vis the GMC website here

Please note that each certificate is only valid for three months from the date it is signed and must be valid when the GMC approve your application. 

If there is no medical regulatory authority in the country to issue a certificate, the GMC will give you further advice once your application has been assessed. 

GMC Registration

Once you have completed your English language exam, you can now apply for full GMC registration with a license to practice. For registration, you must provide evidence of: 

English language capabilities - either your IELTS, OET or an approved reference from your current employer (if you have been working in an English-speaking country for the last two years)

AND 

Sufficient skill and knowledge – as an EEA oncologist, this would either be your recognised primary medical degree, or your recognised specialist European qualification (REQ) 

AND 

Certificate of good standing – the certificate from your medical regulatory authority which demonstrates good standing

To understand the registration process more fully, read our on GMC registration for overseas doctors here

So, there you have it! Hopefully any medical or radiation oncologist planning a career in the NHS should have their route to the UK clarified. If you ever have some questions or wish to know more about the oncology job market, then get in touch with our team. 

For regular news and updates on all things oncology, follow IMG Connect on social media using the links below:

            

 

Relevant Jobs

50,373 - 78,759
An opportunity to join University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust who are looking to expand the Oncology Consultant team based at one of the main hospital of a great NHS Trust. The department are looking for an experienced Oncology Consultant and specialist interests can be accommodated with some flexibility and this can be discussed further at interview. The trust is supportive of applicants looking to attain CESR, and the department have much recent success in helping consultants to progress to the specialist register. 

WHAT IS THE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST LIKE?

The trust is renowned in the region for it's well run clinical services, excellent leadership structure and friendly culture, welcoming to doctors and healthcare professionals the world over. The Trust was formed on 1 July 2018 to bring together five hospitals and provides the highest quality care to patients across the Midlands. The trust has over 13,000 members of staff offers huge opportunity for development, training and personal growth. The trust's recent CQC report highlights these very areas. 

The NHS Foundation Trust is fully committed to promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and human rights in employment and delivery of its services. The Trust is committed to providing an environment where all employees, patients, carers and visitors experience equality of opportunity by means of understanding and appreciating the value of diversity. The Trust is committed to listening to their staff and learning lessons. There are a variety of ways in which concerns can be raised in person, by phone or in writing (including email).

The Trust have recently secured a successful bid for £20 million from NHSI to extend and redesign acute front door services across the their main site, this will see a major development in the next few years and allow the NHS Trust to provide superior facilities for both their patients and staff. It's truly an amazing time to join!

WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT & TEAM LIKE?

The department offers a range of cancer services across the NHS Trust's sites and strive to deliver a high quality, comprehensive service that is tailored around the individual needs of the patient. The dedicated cancer care team is here to offer support in every aspect of care, and at every stage of treatment. Their services range from diagnostics to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The team provides a comprehensive specialist Consultant-based service for the assessment, treatment and follow-up of cancer patients. They have a skilled multi-disciplinary team consisting of Therapy Radiographers, Registered Nurses and a Chemotherapy Team. Patient support includes access to a dietician, social care worker, pharmacy, and counselling and information service.


WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN THIS MIDLANDS COUNTY?

The hospitals are located in the north east midlands with great access to the North Westerly cities, Birmingham, London and the rest of the UK with its excellent national transport connections. The local region is beautiful, not far from the world-famous Peak District National Park and home to some of the UK’s most beautiful and dramatic countryside with nature, fresh air and wildlife being the cornerstone of this stunning part of the UK. It is not just a rural area however, and the area is well developed with two cities and several towns offering a feasible location for individuals to set up home.

In terms of location, this location offers the best of both worlds – city life on the doorstep of a stunning rural environment. We border the National Forest and we are in easy reach of the Peak District, offering outstanding natural beauty. Centrally located, they have excellent transport links to the rest of the country including major cities.

ELIGIBILITY

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Oncology
  • Board Certified Specialist in Oncology

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Oncology
  • MRCP

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Oncology
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
£45,124 to £77,519 pa

A large South-Eastern Trust are looking for full-time, permanent Specialty Doctor Oncologists across all specialisms. The trust is considering either UK or Overseas trained doctors in other specialties. The trust will support with CESR.  

This is a high performing and supportive department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK-based doctors looking to further careers in the UK.

THE TRUST:

The Trust consists of 4,500 employees, and provides services to approximately 336,000 people living across the southern counties.

The Trust has received an overall ‘Good’ rating from the CQC with Medical care (including older people’s care), End of Life Care and Maternity services being deemed ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC. They are investing in our colleagues through our health and wellbeing programme and a commitment to supporting professional development as well as investing more than £45 million in their physical environment and new equipment in the next few years.

THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND TEAM:  

 The Trust services have received International and National recognition and praise and our patients benefit from the latest and most innovative treatments available, delivered by a team of committed and highly skilled staff. We attract referrals from across the whole country for our specialist services, such as urology and brachytherapy.

The Trust is a clinically led service, drawing on the knowledge and experience of our team of 27 Oncologists. The Consultants delivering the service are involved in National and International teaching and research.

Across two sites, the radiotherapy department is well equipped with state of the art radiotherapy equipment. They are proud to be one of the few departments in the UK to have an Adaptive Varian ETHOS™, allowing real time adaptive radiotherapy, plus seven Varian Truebeam® (one STX with ExacTrac and four with 6 degrees of freedom couch). Furthermore, they have an established SABR programme for lung cancer, and oligometastes.

The Trust also provide a nationally renowned High dose rate brachytherapy service, including gynecological, prostate, rectal and oesophageal brachytherapy; with a dedicated brachytherapy theatre on-site, which is also used to house the Contact radiotherapy machine for rectal treatments.

There is a large SACT service, treating up to 200 patients a day across our four sites, with an ongoing focus on delivering chemo closer to home. Additionally, The Trust has a well established, innovative nurse led service, with nurse led SACT clinics and PICC service running daily.

The dedicated oncology / haemato-oncology inpatient ward (Onslow) has 34 beds. Chilworth Day Unit has designated facilities for day care chemotherapy and procedures. Chemotherapy is also provided in the community via a mobile infusion and injection service, with partnership with McKesson UK and Lloyd’s pharmacy Clinical Homecare Ltd (LPCH).

CAREER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:  

The Trust provides fantastic career development opportunities.  The Trust also has a well-established oncology research department, providing the opportunity for the post holder to run and develop clinical trials. There is a strong record of recruitment into clinical trials, including NCRN, commercial and Phase I/II trials, the latter in collaboration with the Clinical Research Centre at the local University. Strong links exist between the Centre and the University; four of our Oncology Consultants hold joint appointments with the University. All prospective post-holders will be expected and encouraged to perform research. 

The post-holder will be required to participate in programmes for teaching medical students, training junior doctors and in clinical examinations. It is expected that this will be an integral part of everyday clinical activity. The post-holder will be required to keep himself/herself fully up-to-date with their relevant area of practice and to be able to demonstrate this to the satisfaction of the Trust. Professional or study leave will be granted at the discretion of the Trust, to support appropriate study, postgraduate training activities, relevant CME courses and other appropriate personal development needs.

LIFE IN SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND:  

Southern England is a great place for you and your family to call home. Thanks to the size, location and geography of the region, there’s a huge diversity to the places where people live.

350 miles of stunning coastline and huge skies. Estuaries, beaches, cliffs, wildlife and water sports – the South-East has it all. With excellent transport links into the City, the South-East offers many of the benefits of living in London, without a lot of the drawbacks - plus, of course, the additional benefits of living in the countryside. 

The schools are some of the best in the country - across primary, secondary and University facilities. 

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

To be eligible for this vacancy you will need the following:

EEA Candidates:

  • Recognised European Medical Degree or Specialist Qualification in Oncology
  • IELTS or OET

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCP or FRCR qualifications
  • Experience in Oncology
  • IELTS or OET

UK-Based Candidates:

  • MRCP or FRCR qualifications
  • Four years experience in Oncology

This is a great opportunity for any experienced Oncologist working towards CESR in the UK and Specialist Registration in Oncology. There will be opportunity to develop and lead on sub-specialist areas of cancer care.

 

£79,894 to £90,677

These are CESR Specialist Grade roles in Medical Oncology. These are newly created posts specifically designed to help doctors through CESR in the quickest time possible. They do this by offering rotations in all major cancer sites, acute oncology and ward oncology work, shadowed by consultants who can observe and sign off the evidence needed to build a CESR portfolio. This is a very robust and structured approach to completing your CESR application in a very quick space of time, and would be hugely beneficial to you if you want to be on the specialist register for Medical Oncology.

INTRODUCTION TO THE TRUST:

The Trust is in the top 5 largest trusts in England and provides acute care for a local population of 600,000 and over 1.2 million people for tertiary services. The Trust covers a large geographical area, much of which is rural. The population for this area is around 1.25 million.The total number of referrals received into the Trust is nearly 4,500 new cancer patients per year. This service forms part of the Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance.

THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND TEAM:

The oncology and haematology department offers a full range of adult cancer services with 116 inpatient beds, full outpatient facilities including a designated chemotherapy delivery suite and 6 linear accelerators. They are keen to continue to build on their excellent reputation in training, research and the development of advanced radiotherapy techniques. 

All grades of nursing staff undertake a rotational programme to maintain and develop the unit’s skill mix. Within the outpatient facility, the service comprises a spacious outpatient clinic area staffed with dedicated oncology nurses and the Chemotherapy Day Treatment Unit (DTU).

The department has recently received a £4.9M grant from Cancer Research to fund research into inequalities in outcomes in cancer care with a particular emphasis on age and social deprivation. 

THE CANCER PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICE:

The team has a cancer psychological service in which workers are trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychological support workers, all of whom are backed up by an administration and secretarial team. The service is for patients affected by cancer and any members of their family or friends they would like to be involved in their care. 

CLINICAL TRIALS IN THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT:

Together the academic team oversee an active clinical and basic science research programme in oncology which includes collaboration with scientists at a top Medical School where there is an established basic sciences research laboratory. The Academic Department is within a purpose-built clinical trials office staffed by dedicated trials nurses and data managers. This provides the infrastructure for high quality clinical trials and ensures the seamless integration of trials into everyday clinical work. There are also dedicated research roles within the radiotherapy physics and therapeutic radiographer workforce.

LIFE IN THE REGION:

The trust is located close to several main cities in the North-East. It is a cultural hotspot, home to festivals, art galleries, theatre companies, and live comedy and music venues. A great region for sporting fans and exercise-lovers alike. Sports in the city include professional football, rugby league, golf, darts, athletics and water sports. Schooling is a prominent feature of the area, with several outstanding sixth forms, secondaries and primaries to choose from. The area is well served by rail and road. You can hop on a train at King's Cross and be in the city centre fewer than three hours later. The local airport provides high-frequency flights to Amsterdam with KLM and Aberdeen with Eastern Airways each day.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: 

This role is a fantastic one for ambitious consultants looking to expand their career opportunities, including significant support with CESR. The department is also exceptionally well-funded for research. Together the academic team oversees an active clinical and basic science research programme in oncology which includes collaboration with scientists at a top Medical School where there is an established basic sciences research laboratory. A successful consultant in this role will learn daily from, and with world-leading oncologists in a diverse department. This role will provide opportunities in the future to lead teams in sub-specialisms and represent the department at domestic & international conferences. 

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

Non-EEA candidates: 

  • MRCP UK or equivalent
  • Extensive experience in medical oncology

EEA candidates: 

  • Recognised European Qualifications 
  • Extensive experience in medical oncology

UK candidates: 

  • Experience in medical oncology
£79,894 to £90,677

These are CESR Specialist Grade roles in Clinical Oncology. These are newly created posts specifically designed to help doctors through CESR in the quickest time possible. They do this by offering rotations in all major cancer sites, acute oncology and ward oncology work, shadowed by consultants who can observe and sign off the evidence needed to build a CESR portfolio. This is a very robust and structured approach to completing your CESR application in a very quick space of time, and would be hugely beneficial to you if you want to be on the specialist register for Clinical Oncology.

INTRODUCTION TO THE TRUST:

The Trust is in the top 5 largest trusts in England and provides acute care for a local population of 600,000 and over 1.2 million people for tertiary services. The Trust covers a large geographical area, much of which is rural. The population for this area is around 1.25 million.The total number of referrals received into the Trust is nearly 4,500 new cancer patients per year. This service forms part of the Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance.

THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND TEAM:

The oncology and haematology department offers a full range of adult cancer services with 116 inpatient beds, full outpatient facilities including a designated chemotherapy delivery suite and 6 linear accelerators. They are keen to continue to build on their excellent reputation in training, research and the development of advanced radiotherapy techniques. 

All grades of nursing staff undertake a rotational programme to maintain and develop the unit’s skill mix. Within the outpatient facility, the service comprises a spacious outpatient clinic area staffed with dedicated oncology nurses and the Chemotherapy Day Treatment Unit (DTU).

The department has recently received a £4.9M grant from Cancer Research to fund research into inequalities in outcomes in cancer care with a particular emphasis on age and social deprivation. 

THE CANCER PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICE:

The team has a cancer psychological service in which workers are trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychological support workers, all of whom are backed up by an administration and secretarial team. The service is for patients affected by cancer and any members of their family or friends they would like to be involved in their care. 

CLINICAL TRIALS IN THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT:

Together the academic team oversee an active clinical and basic science research programme in oncology which includes collaboration with scientists at a top Medical School where there is an established basic sciences research laboratory. The Academic Department is within a purpose-built clinical trials office staffed by dedicated trials nurses and data managers. This provides the infrastructure for high quality clinical trials and ensures the seamless integration of trials into everyday clinical work. There are also dedicated research roles within the radiotherapy physics and therapeutic radiographer workforce.

LIFE IN THE REGION:

The trust is located close to several main cities in the North-East. It is a cultural hotspot, home to festivals, art galleries, theatre companies, and live comedy and music venues. A great region for sporting fans and exercise-lovers alike. Sports in the city include professional football, rugby league, golf, darts, athletics and water sports. Schooling is a prominent feature of the area, with several outstanding sixth forms, secondaries and primaries to choose from. The area is well served by rail and road. You can hop on a train at King's Cross and be in the city centre fewer than three hours later. The local airport provides high-frequency flights to Amsterdam with KLM and Aberdeen with Eastern Airways each day.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: 

This role is a fantastic one for ambitious consultants looking to expand their career opportunities, including significant support with CESR. The department is also exceptionally well-funded for research. Together the academic team oversees an active clinical and basic science research programme in oncology which includes collaboration with scientists at a top Medical School where there is an established basic sciences research laboratory. A successful consultant in this role will learn daily from, and with world-leading oncologists in a diverse department. This role will provide opportunities in the future to lead teams in sub-specialisms and represent the department at domestic & international conferences. 

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

Non-EEA candidates: 

  • FRCR or equivalent
  • Extensive experience in clinical oncology

EEA candidates: 

  • Recognised European Qualifications 
  • Extensive experience in clinical or radiation oncology

UK candidates: 

  • Experience in clinical oncology
£79,894 - £90,677

A globally renowned London Trust are looking for specialty medical oncologists, primarily focussed on treating patients in south-west London.

This is a world-leading and supportive department for overseas doctors new to the NHS, or UK based doctors looking to further careers. 

INTRODUCTION TO THE TRUST:

The Trust is a world leader in cancer research, treatment and education. Together with their academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), they are the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe and the only National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre specialising in cancer in the UK.

The Trust has an annual budget of £360 million and employ over 3,500 staff, including 335 medical staff, across two sites located in London. Over 50,000 patients attend the Trust each year. The Trust provides community services across several London boroughs. It has a Chemotherapy Medical Daycare Unit at a separate hospital.

The Trust has a reputation for delivering high quality performance. It is ranked in the top four Trusts in the CQC national adult inpatient survey results, above average in national cancer patient experience survey and ranked first amongst teaching hospitals in the UK for our staff survey results.

THE ONCOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND TEAM:

The Trust’s workload is from within the London Cancer Networks but, as a specialist cancer centre, the Trust has a high out-of-area referral rate for rare cancers, recurrent disease and treatment-related problems including international referrals. The Trust operates a shared care model with St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust for paediatric cancer. Cancer services are delivered within internationally renowned tumour specific multi-disciplinary units.

The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)  and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), which together form one of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in Europe. Our BRC's excellence in basic biomedical research and experimental medicine, together with strategic partnerships with industry, cancer charities and NIHR infrastructure, ensure that they can translate scientific advances about cancer into real benefit for patients within a short space of time. They aim to deliver improved personalised therapies for all cancer patients through stratified treatment specific to individual genetic, molecular, imaging and functional characteristics. 

There are six research themes including the developmental technology and therapy themes of Novel Cancer Therapeutics (NCT), Targeted Physical Therapies (TPT) to encompass radiotherapy, imaging and surgical research) and the tumour/organ specific themes of Breast, Prostate, Gastrointestinal and Uncommon Cancers. Lung cancer is one of the exemplar areas for both NCT and TPT. In addition there are two cross cutting themes of Genotypes/Phenotypes and Cancer Evolution (GPCE) where novel diagnostics and analytics are being developed and the Digital cross cutting theme which incorporates deep machine learning. 

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: 

This role is a fantastic one for ambitious consultants looking to expand their career opportunities, including significant support with CESR. The department is also exceptionally well-funded for research. The Trust has a strong reputation for education and training. This was recognised as an area of outstanding practice in a recent CQC report.  The Trust supports a number of junior doctor training programmes and provides core training across a wide range of tumours in clinical and medical oncology and surgery. The Trust also participates in rotations for the training of junior doctors in anaesthesia, pain and intensive care medicine.

LIFE IN LONDON:

Life in London can be whatever you make of it. Many people like you have followed their dreams to the city and made their fortune in one form or another.

London is a city for people who enjoy limitless options of things to do, places to go, and restaurants at which to eat. You have virtually everything on your doorstep, and one thing that might surprise you is the abundance of green space to enjoy. Greenspace Information for Greater London say 47% of Greater London is green space and nearly 6% of this is made up of parks and gardens. Keep reading for more information and tips for living in London.

London is considered a very safe place to live, however, like in any city, bad things can happen. 

As well as its art and history, London is one of the fashion capitals of the world, with London Fashion Week, in February and September, drawing the attention of everyone who’s anyone in the industry.

There are a stunning 68 Michelin-star restaurants across London, including ten with two stars, and three leading the way with the maximum three stars: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, The Araki, and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.

The schools in London are world-leading at Primary, Secondary and University level. These include: London School of Economics, University College London, Harrow College, St Pauls and Westminster.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THIS ROLE?

Non-EEA candidates: 

  • MRCP
  • Experience in medical oncology

EEA candidates: 

  • Specialist certification in medical oncology 
  • Experience in medical oncology

UK candidates: 

  • CCT, CESR or within 6-12 months of specialist registration 
  • Experience in medical oncology


 

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