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Medical Microbiology

Medical microbiology and Virology (MMV) in the NHS involve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the spread of infection in hospitals and the community. As with many of the pathology specialties, it is in high demand in the UK, and whilst it is laboratory-based, UK microbiologits make a major contribution to clinical infection management in a hospital. Following the emergence of COVID-19, Microbiology has obviously taken on further importance to the UK's healthcare planning.

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

The qualification route you take may differ depending on your experience and years working in the specialty, and there are more middle grade opportunities available for microbiologists than in some other of the 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 Microbiology is a desirable qualification for candidates not holding a recognised european qualification.
  • MRCP UK is an additional 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 Microbiology. 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 Microbiology in the UK? 


Medical microbiologists provide services to aid the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases helping ensure the safety of those at risk, both in hospitals and the community. Although this role is laboratory-based, the microbiologist’s role is increasingly clinical and it is the scope of the clinical ward based work that is a key differentiation between other healthcare systems. 

Microbiologists provide advice regarding the interpretation of results, appropriateness of further investigations & antibiotic treatment and have a hands-on role supervising the running of the diagnostic laboratory. In cases where antimicrobial drugs are required, medical microbiologists provide advice concerning the choice of such drugs and the duration of treatment. Medical microbiologists also play a key role in controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Microbiologists work with hospital infection control teams to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals (including hospital ‘super bugs’ such as MRSA and Clostridium Difficile and Covid-19).

For overseas candidates, holding FRCPath will give you access access to most senior job opportunities, though it can differ from hospital to hospital. MRCP UK, good clinical ward-based grounding and experience in infection control, even if not part an country's standardised training programme, can all boost an individuals chances of landing a role. 

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

NHS Microbiologists and virologists don’t usually work directly with patients in person, but liaise between clinical colleagues in the hospital, GPs and laboratory staff. For more complex tests, microbiologists and virologists often undertake hands-on bench work in the laboratory using techniques that include:

  • traditional culture techniques such as microbiological stains
  • measuring antibody response to infection
  • detection of microbial antigens
  • nucleic acid amplification (polymerase chain reaction)

Did you know? Around 95% of clinical pathways rely on patients having access to pathology services. A staggering 14 pathological tests for each person in England and Wales are performed annually, 300,000 tests are performed every working day across the UK and 50 million reports are sent from labs to GPs every year!

40,000 - 82,400

An exceptional NHS job opportunity awaits a Middle Grade Microbiologist to join the Microbiology Pathology Department at an \"outstanding\" rate NHS Trust.The role involves diagnosing and managing infections caused by microorganisms, contributing significantly to patient well-being.

This is an ideal chance for overseas Microbiologists or Middle Grade Doctors to establish themselves in the UK NHS system, with potential CESR support. Suitable for EEA-specialized candidates or experienced IMGs seeking career advancement.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?

This NHS Foundation Trust is a dynamic organization with an £180 million turnover, employing 12,000 staff to serve 500,000 people across acute and community healthcare services. Recognized for excellence by the CQC in 2016 and 2019, it primarily serves an urban population but extends its care across a rural expanse from the River Tyne to the River Tweed, offering picturesque landscapes. The Trust operates three major hospitals and numerous community facilities, including the state-of-the-art Specialist Emergency Care Hospital. With ongoing capital investments, it ensures modern, purpose-built facilities and expands its services to meet evolving healthcare needs.

They provide an extensive array of specialties, boasting some of the region\'s largest specialist departments. These include the foremost trauma and orthopaedics service, a significant cardiology department, and one of the region\'s most expansive units for colorectal surgery services.

The NHS Foundation Trust prioritizes supporting its staff in achieving a healthy work-life balance, irrespective of individual circumstances. Applicants unable to work full-time due to personal reasons will still be considered for the position, and adjustments to job responsibilities can be discussed on a case-by-case basis upon appointment.

What is the Department & Team like?

The Clinical Support and Cancer Services Business Unit manages Radiology, Pharmacy, and Pathology departments, as well as cancer services, across several hospitals. These services also extend to six community hospitals. With modern facilities and dedicated staff, the Pathology department, including the microbiology laboratory, benefits from significant capital investment and supports medical education initiatives.

The Microbiology team offers clinical consultation services through various channels such as ward rounds, telephone, email, and multi-disciplinary team meetings. They collaborate closely with Infectious Diseases, Infection Prevention and Control, Public Health teams, and the laboratory. Encouragement for networking with Consultant Microbiologists in the Newcastle area is given to improve patient care across organizational boundaries.

The microbiology laboratory holds a central position within the hospital complex. It comprises 240 m² of laboratory space and 74 m² of office space, established during the hospital\'s original construction in 1987. Specimens from clinical areas within the North East site are transported to the laboratory via a vacuum air tube system, while collections from GP practices and other hospital sites across the region are managed through regular courier and van services.

Life like in North East

The North East of the UK offers a diverse landscape, blending urban hubs like Newcastle and Sunderland with picturesque rural areas. Residents enjoy a vibrant cultural scene, from historic sites like Durham Cathedral to sandy beaches along the Northumberland coast. The region hosts reputable universities such as Newcastle University and Durham University, complemented by excellent schools. Transportation links are robust, with rail and road networks connecting to major cities and airports like Newcastle International Airport. Housing options range from city center apartments to suburban family homes and quaint countryside cottages, catering to varied lifestyles and preferences.

88, 364 - 119,133

Your Next Leap: Consultant Microbiologist!

Shape Tomorrow\'s Healthcare Today: Elevate your career as a Consultant Microbiologist and take center stage in a groundbreaking clinical infection team. Collaborate with visionary clinical fellows and a dynamic Foundation Year 2 (FY2) doctor to redefine the landscape of medical microbiology. Immerse yourself in an environment that nurtures specialisation and fuels innovation, igniting transformation in the field.

Experience Excellence: Join one of the largest NHS Foundation Trust in serving a vibrant population of 800,000. Spanning multiple hospitals and healthcare facilities, they offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services, including cutting-edge cancer care, advanced cardiology, respiratory medicine, and neurology. Collaborate closely with local healthcare partners for integrated and coordinated patient care.

Pioneering Progress: Be part of their vibrant research and innovation community. Their hospitals actively engage in clinical research studies and encourage your participation as a Principal Investigator. As a teaching Trust, you\'ll play a pivotal role in educating and training the next generation of healthcare professionals, working hand in hand with local universities.

Life in the area: Beyond the hospital, experience a diverse blend of urban and rural living. Bask in the stunning coastline, vibrant seaside towns, and rich cultural heritage. Enjoy good transportation links, recreational activities, and access to reputable educational institutions. This region offers a vibrant mix of history, art, and nature, ensuring a high quality of life.

Educational Excellence: As a vital part of the team, you\'ll shape the education of future doctors, nurses, and clinical staff. Whether supervising junior staff, contributing to educational contracts, or staying updated on educational development, you\'ll play a pivotal role in nurturing healthcare expertise.

If you\'re a visionary seeking to fuse clinical care with strategic influence, seize this monumental chance to redefine infectious diseases care. This is your invitation to be part of this NHS Foundation Trust\'s healthcare evolution. 

Step into Tomorrow\'s Healthcare Today! Embrace the opportunity, redefine the future, and become a driving force in transformative healthcare. Apply now to be a Consultant Microbiologist. Your journey to impact starts here. 

This is a great opportunity for overseas Microbiology Consultants who want to establish themselves in the NHS, and grow their career. The post is suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.


EEA Candidates:

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

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Microbiology
  • Eligibility for GMC registration
  • OET or IELTS (candidates who have booked their test and have good levels of English will be considered)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Microbiology
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
Overseas doctors with interests in entering specialty training programmes and working towards CCT are urged to apply for these fantastic posts in beautiful locations across the UK.
£40,000 = £60,000

IMG Connect are recruiting for experienced microbiologists to join two friendly departments in the South West of England for registrar or senior middle grade posts. These roles are perfect for ambitious microbiologists looking to develop their career in the UK, or those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and fancy life in the peaceful and beautiful South West of England. 

The post is being interviewed for a middle grade post with specialty doctor or specialist grade posts available to senior candidates with the highly desirable qualificaitons such as FRCPath Microbiology. The department can be flexible with the right candidate. 

Job requirements:

  • PLAB or FRCPath Microbiology
  • GMC registration via MTI
  • NHS experience is desirable
  • IELTS or OET
  • Extensive experience in microbiology, at least four years post graduation

Length of contract:

  • 12-month fixed term (subject to be renewed) or permanent (substantive)


  • Beautiful location in the South West England
  • Friendly, experienced department with personalised support form department leads
  • Attractive salary and relocation package for international candidates
  • Training and development opportunities for all grades
  • CESR support for those eligible for senior posts i.e. specialty doctor or specialist grade
  • Tier 2 Health and Care Visa (sponsorship for the whole family)
  • Guidance regarding the CV and full interview preparation
  • Assistance regarding the GMC registration, visa, accommodation and transportation by an experienced onboarding specialist
  • Complete IMG Relocation service from start to finish of process

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