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Haematology is a demanding yet well regarded specialty in the NHS, offering opportunities in research, academia and the balance of ward and laboratory based activities. It is an area of much demand in the UK. 

What are the requirements for an overseas haematologist to work in the UK?

The qualification route you take may differ depending on your experience and years working in pathology, and there are more middle grade opportunities available for haematologists than some other pathology specialties. Regardless of grade or experience, satisfying an english language requirement and attaining full GMC registration are both essential to working in the UK.

  • IELTS or OET or an acceptable emloyers reference (ask your IMG consultant if this applies to you). This requirement applies to all candidates not already registered with the GMC.
  • FRCPath Haematology is a desirable qualification for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification.
  • MRCP UK is the desirable additional qualfication for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification. There are some GMC recognised equivalent qualifications to the MRCP UK - please ask your IMG consultant if you are unsure.  
  • PLAB will also facilitate GMC registration for non-EEA qualified candidates. 
  • EEA applicants may be able to register for general and specialist registration if they have a Relevant European Qualification (REQ).

IMG Resource Library

If you have not already, check out our IMG Library where you can find out more about IELTS or OET, GMC Registration, MRCP UK and FRCPath Heamatology. Additionally, this article may help you to understand the journey an anatomical pathologist can take to work in the UK: A Pathologist's Route to the UK

What should you know about Haematology in the UK? 

Whilst the specialty has coverage from both the Royal College of Physicians (Medicine) and the Royal College of Pathologists - a new curriculum was implemented as of August 2021 and is under the scope of the Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board. UK trainees will typically pass MRCP UK during core training years before entering haematology specialty training, completing five further years. UK consultants will have both MRCP UK and full FRCPath Haematology by the time they are awarded their CCT. 

For overseas candidates, holding both MRCP UK and FRCPath will give access to most senior job opportunities, of which there are many across the UK. Support with CESR applications can be arranged from there on in with future employers. 

NHS haematology also offers the opportunity to develop special interests in a wide variety of clinical and laboratory areas including haemogloginopathies, haemostasis and thrombosis, paediatric haematology, transfusion medicine, haemato-oncology, bone marrow transplantation. 

What can you expect from a typical working week in the NHS?

You can expect to work 40-hours per week encompassing both clinical and laboratory practice. This dual role provides a unique opportunity to combine clinical skills with appropriate, often cutting edge, science to make a diagnosis, choose the optimal treatment plan and monitor progress. Clinical care is delivered in both in-patient and out-patient environments and an NHS haematologist will frequently contribute to the diagnosis and management in other specialties and in the intensive care setting. This holistic approach to clinical care is a highlight of the specialty.

Did you know? William Hewson, often referred to as the father of haematology, was a British-born surgeon, physiologist and anatomist. Amongst many of the notable contributions, his most widely-recognised was in isolating fibrin, a key protein in the blood coagulation process.

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