I get asked lots of questions on Facebook from IMGs. Each week I’ll be sharing one of these questions or a theme of questions with my answers. If you have any advice you want to add for doctors with similar questions, please comment below!
I have worked as a GP in my home country. When I register with the GMC can I apply for GP registration and work as a GP?
Short answer: Probably not.
The reason being there is a big difference between the meaning of a GP in the UK and a GP in many other countries.
In some countries, doctors may work independently as general physicians right after graduating from medical school. Other countries require completion of an internship year before doctors can work as GPs. What’s common in both these scenarios is that there is no further post-graduate training.
In the UK however, GPs have completed a 12-month internship (known as FY1), 12 months experience as fully licensed doctor (known as FY2), followed by 3 years post-graduate specialty training in General Practice.
Therefore the most likely answer to this question is that you will not be eligible for GP registration. The most appropriate type of registration to apply for full registration.
You will then be able to apply for jobs in any specialty at a junior level, but you won’t be able to apply for GP jobs.
Related: The 4 types of GMC registration
What if I have completed training in General Practice or Family Medicine overseas?
With the huge shortage of GPs in the UK, there is a drive to recruit GPs from overseas to fill the gap. So far the International GP Recruitment Programme focuses on GPs from the EU but they are looking to accredit other countries too – currently Australia is being assessed.
In the meantime if you’re from outside the EU and Australia, you may be able to become a GP through something called CEGPR. This involves compiling documentation to prove that you have the equivalent training of a doctor that has completed the UK GP training programme. You can do this by using your overseas experience or through non-training jobs in the UK. But beware, this route may take longer and prove more difficult than simply repeating the 3-year programme which is very much open to IMGs for application!
- Types of GMC registration
- Specialty training in the UK (the training pathway including GP training)
- The alternative route to specialty training (becoming a Consultant or GP without entering a UK training programme)
- GMC guidance on CEGPR
- International GP Recruitment
- More info on the International GP Recruitment Programme