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INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL GRADUATES

ROUTES FOR INTERNATIONAL DOCTORS IN THE UK

IMG ROUTES: About

CAREER OPTIONS

Clinically, there are three main options for iMGs in the UK. 

1. To become a UK Consultant or GP

2. To work in the UK long-term without becoming a UK Consultant or GP
3. To obtain a short-term fellowship and then return home.

Although, it is recognised that IMGs can take several other career paths e.g academia, research, this will not be the focus of this page.

This page will describe each career option in depth and the associated requirements.

IMG ROUTES: Text

1. To become a UK Consultant or GP

To become a UK Consultant, IMG's must be registered and on the GMC Specialist Register. There are three main routes to enter on the GMC Specialist Register:

1. CCT  (Certificate of Completion of Training)

2. CESR-CP  (Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration – Combined Programme)

3. CESR  (Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration)

To become a UK GP, IMGs must be registered on the GMC GP Register. There are two main routes to enter mom the GMC GP Register:

1. CCT  (Certificate of Completion of Training)

2. CEGPR  (Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration)

*It is important to note that IMG's without any postgraduate training are not considered GPs in the UK.*

There are different routes depending on the training completed in a GMC approved training programme.

Specialist Register:

1. CCT (Completed a GMC approved training programme)

2. CESR-CP (Completed part of a GMC approved training programme)

3. CESR (Did not complete a GMC approved training programme)

GP Register:

1. CCT (Completed a GMC approved training programme)

2. CEGPR (Did not complete a GMC approved training programme)

IMG ROUTES: Text

The CCT Route

The CCT Route is an approved training programme. If a doctor enters UK training in the first year (CT1 or ST1) and complete the entire training programme, then they are awarded with a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

This route is suitable for those who have not undertaken any other post-graduate training and/or are new IMGs.

This pathway is not suitable for all IMGs. Doctors are suitable if they fit any of the following criteria:

  • Doctors who have not completed an internship and plan to complete an internship in the UK (e.g. Foundation Programme)

OR​

  • Doctors who have not completed an internship or have not worked after an internship

OR​

  • Doctors who have completed an internship and you have worked after internship, but have not completed specialist training (residency) and are not overqualified for the target specialty

OR​

  • Doctors who have completed internship and have started but not finished specialist training (residency), and are not overqualified for the target specialty 

OR​

  • Doctors who have completed internship and specialist training (residency) but want to change specialty, and are not overqualified

IMG ROUTES: Text

The CESR-CP Route

Doctors can enter a UK training programme in the second year or later which is considered to be the CESR-CP.

CESR-CP stands for Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration Combined Programme meaning doctors completed part of a GMC-approved programme.

This pathway is best for IMGs who have already completed postgraduate training in their target specialty.

Doctors are suitable if they fit any of the following criteria:

  • Doctors have not completed internship and plan to complete internship in the UK (Foundation Programme)

OR​

  • Doctors have completed internship and have not worked after internship 

OR

  • Doctors have completed internship and have worked after internship, but have not completed specialist training (residency) and are not overqualified for the target specialty 

OR

  • Doctors have completed internship and have started but not finished specialist training (residency), and are not overqualified for the target specialty   

OR

  • Doctors have completed internship and specialist training (residency) but want to change specialty, and are not overqualified

IMG ROUTES: Text

The CESR or CEGPR Route

If doctors do not enter a UK training programme at all, they can still become a UK recognised specialist if proof is provided that doctors have had experience equivalent to a UK trained specialist. 

To prove a doctors equivalent training, doctors need to compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of all the required competences of the specialty. This is then submitted to the GMC for approval. 

On approval of the competency portfolio, doctors will be awarded with the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration to become a Consultant or the Certificate of Eligibility for GP Registration to become a GP.

The CESR route is best for those who have completed training and have been practising for many years.

Doctors are suitable if they fit any of the following criteria:

  • Doctors do not wish to re-enter a training programme 

OR

  • Doctors are unable to successfully get a place in a UK training programme

IMG ROUTES: Text

2. To work in the UK long-term without becoming a UK Consultant or GP

Subtitle

Becoming a UK Consultant or GP is not for everyone. Many doctors prefer to work in the UK long-term without this commitment or aim.

However, there are a number of steps required for doctors to achieve and sustain this route:

1. Obtain GMC Full Registration

This is achieved by:

  • English Proficiency (IELTS/OET)

  • Pass in PLAB 1 & 2 or an accepted Postgraduate Qualification

  • Obtaining proof of internship, EPIC verification, and Certificate of Good Standing

  • Apply for GMC full registration

2. Obtain an NHS Job

This is achieved by:

  • Opening an account on the NHS Jobs website

  • Submit a jobs application for ST1/CT1/JCF/SHO or SpR/Registrar/SCF/ST3* or speciality doctor

  • Interview

  • Acceptance of a suitable offer

  • Apply for a Tier 2 work via

  • Relocate to the UK

3. Continuing Professional Development

All doctors should maintain their continued professional development to practice as a doctor in the UK.

This is achieved by:

  • Update and maintain knowledge and skills through the CPD system

  • Undergo annual appraisals and five-yearly revalidation

IMG ROUTES: Text

3. To obtain a short-term fellowship and return home

Many doctors wish to gain training experience in the UK to use to serve their patients back home and many IMGs consider this option.

There are three main options for this route:

  1. The Medical Training Initiative (MTI)

  2. A GMC-approved sponsor (outside MTI scheme)

  3. NHS jobs advertised as fellowships

IMG ROUTES: Text
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