International Doctors

International Medical Graduates

Please see full guidance on the GMC site. You need to read and take note of this guidance as it sets out the requirements for registration with a licence to practise for International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

There is also further information on the NHS site
NHS FAQ Opportunities for Overseas Doctors


Employment Prospects

It is strongly recommended that you find out whether you have a realistic chance of obtaining the kind of job you want before you commit to take any tests such as PLAB. Competition for training posts is high, particularly in certain specialties eg Surgery, Radiology, and in certain parts of the country eg London. Training posts in the popular specialties and in popular places are likely to be filled by resident doctors from the UK or European Economic Area (EEA). There may be opportunities in service grades (consultants, specialty doctors) supporting the NHS service delivery. Information about the number of applicants for posts categorized by specialty and location can be found at:

British Medical Journal Careers website

which can be found on the NHS Employers website.

Doctors who wish to work in the UK from outside the EEA will need to meet the requirements of the UK Border Agency immigration rules under the points-based system.

All doctors who wish to practice medicine in the UK will need to be both registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and hold a licence to practise. For more detail, see information for doctors


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Non-EEA applicants applying for registration must satisfy the GMC that they have the necessary competence in the English language. Doctors must take the Academic Version of the IELTS test and achieve minimum scores of 7.0 in spelling, listening, reading and writing. Information about the format of the test as well as addresses of UK and overseas IELTS test centres and application forms are available on the IELTS website.


Professional Linguistic and Assessment Board (PLAB)

The PLAB test is the main route by which international medical graduates (IMGs) demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK. All applications for PLAB exams must be made online through the GMC. If you are unable to apply online you should contact the GMC for an application form on +44 (0)161 923 6602. Part 1 of the test can be taken in some overseas countries (listed on the GMC website), but part 2 of the test can only be taken in the UK. You must pass part 2 of the test within three years of the date you passed part 1.


Useful website links


 Please note details above can be subject to change, so always check information is up to date by contacting the GMC.