The Savvy IMG

How to decide between PLAB and MRCP/MRCS

Deciding whether to take PLAB or a Postgraduate qualification like MRCS or MRCP to gain full GMC registration can be a stressful decision. Walk through the different factors with us to help you decide.

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Deciding between whether to take PLAB or a Postgraduate qualification like MRCS or MRCP to gain full GMC registration can be a stressful decision. Walk through the different factors with us to help you decide.

Updated: February 16, 2023

One of the great things about coming to work in the UK as a doctor is that there are so many options, there is no one way to gain GMC registration. But this can also make it very confusing! Today we’ll be tackling which exam is best for different situations to help you decide.

As a reminder, the GMC requires you to demonstrate that you meet a certain standard of clinical knowledge and skills. Most IMGs achieve this by passing PLAB but it is not the only way. Certain postgraduate qualifications can also be used to gain full registration in place of PLAB.

Postgraduate qualifications are generally awarded after passing the relevant exams. The most common exams that many IMGs consider taking instead of PLAB are MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians) and MRCS (Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons).

Other examples include MRCOG, MRCEM MRCPsych, FRCR etc. You can view the full list of UK and international qualifications  accepted by the GMC here.

Which exam you take can also affect what training pathway you go down as an IMG. Find out how by enrolling in our FREE online course The IMG Shortcut where I show you how to get into UK training within 2 years.

Don’t take unnecessary exams!

If you’re considering MRCP/MRCS instead of PLAB, check first whether it is even required for your target specialty.

MRCP is only required for specialty training in medical specialties eg. Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology. It is not required to enter training for other specialties such as Paediatrics, Psychiatry, GP, Ophthalmology, Surgery etc. This seems to be a common misconception. Make sure you know your training pathway so you don’t take unnecessary exams.

MRCS is required for most surgical specialties. It is not required for Obstetrics or Ophthalmology.

You can check the required exams for your target specialty on the GMC curricula. Use this guide to interpret the GMC curricula.

What factors need to be considered?

If your specialty does require MRCP or MRCS at some point, there are several factors that you need to consider when deciding whether to take MRCP/MRCS or PLAB.

1. Pass rates

Many IMGs want to take MRCP/MRCS instead of PLAB to save time and money. This is perfectly reasonable but remember, you can only save time and money if you pass on your first attempt. MRCP/MRCS have much lower pass rates compared to PLAB. Have a look at the numbers so you can make an informed decision.


The pass rates for PLAB are higher than MRCP

2015 69% 68%
2016 72% 73%
2017 76% 79%
2018 69% 66%
2019 64% 66%


The pass rates for MRCP are much lower than PLAB, especially for Part 1 and PACES. In particular, non-UK candidates have a lower passing rate for PACES compared to UK candidates. This may be due to lack of UK experience.

2019 Pass rates for first attempt of MRCP 2-4
  Overall UK candidates Non-UK candidates
Part 1 46.7% 58.1% 41.3%
Part 2 68.7% 71.9% 66.6%
PACES (OSCE) 50.6% 61.9% 40.3%


Recent pass rates are not published on the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) website however I did find this Powerpoint presentation from RCS with these numbers. There is no year on the presentation nor is there any distinction between UK and non-UK graduates but these figures give you an overall idea.

MRCS Overall pass rate 5
Part A 30-35%
Part B (OSCE) 57-60%

2. Preparation time

Exams deserve and require dedicated preparation time. Being a more basic exam, PLAB is much easier to prepare for in a shorter period of time compared to postgraduate exams like MRCP and MRCS.

I’ve given the typical times that UK trainees tend to recommend for MRCP/MRCS when preparing for an exam alongside work. Keep in mind that the times may be shorter if you do not work while preparing for the exam, and longer if you work very long hours.

 Typical preparation time
PLAB 11.5 – 3 months
PLAB 2 (OSCE)1.5 – 2 months
MRCP Part 13-6 months
MRCP Part 23-6 months
MRCP PACES (OSCE)4-6 months
MRCS Part A3-4 months
MRCS Part B (OSCE)4-6 months

3. Costs

When it comes to factoring in cost, there are 2 main things to look at:

  1. Exam fees – self-explanatory
  2. Location of closest testing centre – this will affect the cost of flights tickets, accommodation, and exam fees (fees can be higher if you take the exam overseas). 

Here’s a table of the 2020 fees to compare:

 UK exam feeOverseas exam feeLocations
PLABTOTAL: £ 1,114  
PLAB 1£ 239No additional feeWorldwide
PLAB 2 (OSCE)£ 875N/AUK only
MRCPTOTAL: £ 1,487 £ 2,390 – 2,485 
MRCP Part 1£ 419£ 594Worldwide
MRCP Part 2£ 419£ 594Worldwide
MRCP PACES (OSCE)£ 657£ 1,202 – £ 1,297Worldwide
MRCSTOTAL: £ 1,516£ 1,573 – £ 1,671 
MRCS Part A£ 550£ 596 – 659Worldwide
MRCS Part B (OSCE)£ 997£ 977 – 1,012Worldwide

You’ll notice that exams for postgraduate qualifications tend to be more expensive than PLAB, especially when taken overseas. However being able to take MRCP and MRCS overseas may make up for the cost of flight tickets and accommodation of coming to the UK for PLAB 2.

Review your budget and the full cost of registration through PLAB route to make a decision.

4. Required clinical experience


PLAB 1 can be booked as soon as you have passed your final exams in medical school & have evidence of English proficiency (IELTS/OET/PMQ). Internship is not a requirement to sit PLAB.

These exams test the basic and most important clinical knowledge and skills of competent doctors. Many IMGs are able to pass PLAB with or without completion of internship.

Related: Getting ready for your first visit to the UK as an IMG


Similar to PLAB, you can book Part A of MRCS right after graduating from medical school provided you meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. You can also book Part B but passing it without clinical experience, especially UK experience, can be difficult.

The Royal College of Surgeons recommends that candidates attempt Part A during the first year of core surgical training (CT1) which is 2 years post-graduation, and Part B during the second year of core surgery (CT2). Many doctors who aim to pursue surgery sit Part A prior to CT1 applications, and clear Part B during CT1.


This exam requires 12 months postgraduate clinical experience before you can sit MRCP Part 1 which means you must complete internship first.

There are no further requirements for postgraduate experience for Part 2 or PACES however as a postgraduate exam, MRCP requires postgraduate experience to pass. It appears that UK clinical experience is also very important considering the lower pass rate of IMGs compared to UK candidates, especially for PACES which is an OSCE.

The Royal College of Physicians says that based on their data, the pass rates are highest when candidates:

  • make their first attempt at the Part 1 Examination within 12 to 24 months of graduation
  • make their first attempt at the Part 2 Written Examination within 36 months of graduation
  • delay their first attempt at the Part 2 Clinical Examination, PACES, until 36 months after graduating
  • pass the Part 2 Written Examination before attempting PACES.

5. Job prospects

PLAB is enough to secure a job in the NHS. Having a postgraduate qualification such as MRCS or MRCP is a bonus and will look good on your job application, however, it is not essential. Completing MRCP/MRCS with the idea that it’s the only way to get a job is misguided.
The vast majority of IMGs will start working in the UK in a non-training job. MRCS or MRCP are not required to secure non-training jobs, especially at SHO level. It can help for registrar level roles but again it is not a requirement.

So if you’re worried about not getting a job because you don’t have a postgraduate qualification like MRCP or MRCS, don’t be!

Related: The best first job in the UK for overseas doctors

Training jobs

Full MRCP or MRCS are not entry requirements for the first-year of training (CT1). Passing Part 1 of MRCP or Part A MRCS will gain you points on your application to core training, but passing Part 2/PACES/Part B will not. So consider how much effort you’ll be putting into unnecessary exams – effort that can be spent improving other parts of your application eg. research, audit, and teaching.

You are only expected to pass all parts of MRCS or MRCP by the end of core training which is 2 years for surgery and 2-3 years for medicine. Only then will you need it to enter higher specialty training eg. Cardiology or Gastroenterology for medical specialties, or General Surgery or Orthopaedics for surgical specialties.

If you have already completed postgraduate specialty training (residency) overseas equivalent to UK core training, you can work towards having your training recognised and apply for higher medical or surgical training at ST3 level. In this case it may be worth your time to pursue MRCP or MRCS instead of PLAB.

Related: What IMGs need to know about applications to specialty training (residency) in the UK


For those who have just graduated or just finished internship, PLAB is the logical choice.

It does not require any further postgraduate experience, needs less preparation time, and allows you to start working in the UK sooner.

Your first job in the UK is going to be at SHO level and having MRCP or MRCS is not required for this role. Applicants without them are just as likely to get an SHO post. MRCP and MRCS can be cleared while working in the UK. The UK clinical experience will give candidates a higher chance of passing.

For those who have significant postgraduate experience or have completed  residency overseas, you have a choice between a PGQ and PLAB.

PLAB is faster and has a higher pass rate, while a PGQ is more expensive and takes longer, but will be in your specialty. 

Your first job in the UK can either be at SHO or Registrar level, most likely in a non-training role. For these types of jobs, MRCS and MRCP are also not required but can help when applying for Registrar level positions. Just keep in mind that the lack of UK experience can be an obstacle to passing.

Frequently asked questions

No, you need to pass all parts of a postgraduate qualification to use it for GMC registration.

Yes, you can certainly save time and money by clearing one set of exams instead of two, but that relies on you passing the first time. MRCS and MRCP have much lower pass rates compared to PLAB!

Being postgraduate qualifications, your success in MRCP/MRCS is generally tied to your postgraduate clinical experience. Postgraduate clinical experience (especially UK experience) is usually needed to succeed.

So if you have only completed internship, you may end up spending more time and more money with multiple attempts of MRCP/MRCS compared to PLAB. But if you feel up for the challenge then by all means, go for MRCP/MRCS.

If you have already completed postgraduate specialty training (residency) overseas, it may be worth your time to pursue MRCP or MRCS instead of PLAB.

Yes, you may need to pass MRCP or MRCS at some point but these exams are not entry requirements for first-year specialty training (CT1).

You are only expected to pass MRCS or MRCP by the end of core training which is 2 years for surgery and 2-3 years for medicine. Only then will you need it to enter higher specialty training eg. Cardiology or Gastroenterology for medical specialties, or General Surgery or Orthopaedics for surgical specialties.

For entry to the first year of core training, passing Part 1 of these exams is sufficient.

If you have already completed postgraduate specialty training (residency) overseas equivalent to UK core training, you may wish to skip UK core training and apply for higher medical or surgical training at ST3 level. In this case it may be worth your time to pursue MRCP or MRCS instead of PLAB.


1. General Medical Council. (2019). Recent pass rates for PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. [online] [Link] [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].

2. MRCP(UK) Part 1 2018 performance report. (2019). [ebook] MRCPUK. [Link] [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].

3.  MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination performance report 2018. (2019). [ebook] MRCPUK [Link] [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].

4. MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written 2018 performance report. (2019). [ebook] MRCPUK. [Link] [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].

5. MRCS: when, what and how?. (2019). [ebook] Royal College of Surgeons. [Link] [Accessed 6 Apr. 2019].

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60 Responses

  1. Hi Nick thanks…Really informative article, indeed a great help. I am currently working as second year postgraduate surgical trainee in pakistan. Which route will be best for me PLAB or MRCS?

  2. Hello, I’d like to know if i can start working in the UK as core trainee just by clearing MRCS part A and not PLAB ? I’m planning to give MRCS before plab since there aren’t any plab seats available in the near future, do you think it’s a good idea. Also MRCS part A is a theory exam, does it still require work experience in the UK to perform better?

    1. Hi there, I’m afraid you can’t get GMC registration with just MRCS Part A. You’ll need both A & B. Once you pass both, and you have GMC registration, then yes you can start applying for UK jobs including core training. Of course, to get into core training there is entire process of portfolio up your portfolio. MRCS Part A does not require UK experience. Good luck!

  3. Hi there,
    Is it possible to take MRCS part1 immediately after graduation while doing internship?
    If yes, how long after part 1 can i take part2 of MRCS?
    Is there there any experience required before taking part2?
    If yes, how much experience?
    When i ultimately reach there after completing my internship/house job , what post will i be eligible for? FY1? FY2? ST?

    1. Hi Ahmed, please see the RCS website for details about the MRCS. If you have MRCS + internship, you’d still apply for FY2 or SHO level jobs, same as PLAB + internship. All the best!

  4. Good day! Thanks for this info. Im from Philippines and want to go to greener pastures in UK. Unfortunately, I am still financially unstable and would want to go to residency training in Internal Medicine while saving up for the processing and for the exams as well.
    1. What are your advices?
    2. After the training, should I take PLAB or MRCP? Or should I take first the diplomate exam here in the Ph before taking either PLAB or MRCP?
    3. As in IMG, is it easy to bring your family to UK? Or is it more preferable or easier to start your family in UK? (As I am married now and no kids yet. My husband and I wanted to be an IMG in UK)

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sam! Sorry for the delayed response. Great to hear from a fellow Filipino MD! To answer your questions:
      2. You can do either PLAB or MRCP. It might be worth doing MRCP while doing IM residency instead of after so you can make the most of your time. It takes time to pass MRCP. Doing the exam in the Philipines is really up to you, it doesn’t have any bearing in the UK but you might need it if you want to return to the Philippines later.
      3. Yes, you just apply for a dependent visa for them, it’s quite straightforward! 🙂
      It can be scary and quite confusing so if you are looking for one-to-one guidance for your specific personal circumstances, you can book a session to discuss your options here:

  5. Hello,
    I have 3.5 years of experience in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and completed the initial 6 months of Anaesthesia training. Planning to sit for Primary FRCA. If I get through that, is it possible to pursue training in Anaesthesia as a Registrar without having previously worked in the UK or without IELTS..?

    1. Hi there,
      It may be possible get into anesthesia training directly if you can meet all the entry requirements, have a good portfolio and good interview performance. Although it’s highly recommend to gain some UK experience first before applying to training to prepare you.
      You will still need IELTS or OET to get GMC registration.
      It can get quite confusing so if you are looking for one-to-one guidance for your specific personal circumstances, you might be interested in booking a session to discuss your options. For more details, please visit our page here.
      I look forward to speaking with you!

  6. I have 15 years service as a doctor in Sri Lanka in the fields of Aneasthesia and Oncology. I started a MSc in Scotland Sep 2021 (1 year ). I have PSWVisa for another 2 years. Is it possible to start MSRA in either of above fields in order to get in to NHS before GMC registration? So that I can utilise that 2 years in health sector while planing for GMC registration.

    1. Hi there, there seems to be some confusion. The MSRA is only taken as part of the application process to training programmes in certain specialties. If you get into a training programme, you need to have GMC registration before you will be allowed to start working. It’s not possible to work as a doctor in the UK without GMC registration.

  7. Hi, I graduated 6yrs ago. Have worked in a private hospital in my country for 5yrs. I am presently in London doing postgraduate in public health but I have exhausted my four attempts on plab 2. Is it advisable to take MRCS exam, will GMC agree to register me after passing it

    1. Hi there, sorry to hear about your struggle. It’s possible that the GMC will accept it but if you only pass the exam without any further clinical experience, they may not. You can try but I’m afraid there are no guarantees in this case.

  8. Hello
    Thanks a lot for such a clear guidance to help IMGs. I have a question. I am an IMG with MD+ 2years of internship+ postgraduate specialty training for 4 years in Urologic surgery, and 2 years of job experience. I plan to go through the GMC registration pathways, but not sure which of the PLAB or MRCS routes are suitable for me to save time and money.
    Will I become ST/3 of urology training If I can pass the MRCS?
    Best regards

    1. Hi there, MRCS seems more suitable given your experience. You will not automatically be given an ST3 urology training post once you pass MRCS. You’ll need to complete all the other eligibility requirements, prepare your portfolio and attend the interview. This can all take 1-2 years but if you do well in the application, you can certainly get a training post. If you are looking for one-to-one guidance for your specific personal circumstances, you might be interested in booking a session to discuss your options. For more details, please visit our page here.

      Best of luck!

  9. Hey Nick,

    Thanks a lot for such a clear and to the point guide.
    I am an IMG and graduated at 2016. I have been working as a general practitioner since then. I have passed the PLAB part 1 and MRCP part 1&2 but unfortunately have not been able to secure a placement for PACES (the prospect of getting a slot soon is not bright due to the backlog caused by COVID).
    My question:
    Would I be able to apply for a job and start working in the UK without clearing PACES?

    Thanks in advance

  10. Hi Nick thanks for such a nice info . indeed a great help … kindly now let me know that I have completed my Internship in 2021 May .. Now I wanna appear in MRCS but I have a confusion that after passing part A can I get training in UK or I do need to pass both parts first …having my GMC registration then I would be able to get training as well …. is it ??? waiting for your reply … thanks in advance

  11. Hello there. I am doing plab to join rehabilitation specialty. I am seeing that i need mrcp to join the specialty. So i am confused with doing plab or mrcp. Can u tell me what i need to do in order to get to the pathway of pm&r?

    1. It depends where you are in your career. If you’re a fresh grad with no other training or experience, you can do PLAB, complete 2-3 years core training in any of the specialties listed here pass the exams for that specialty, then apply for Rehab med. Please see the requirements for ST3 here good luck!

  12. Good day, thanks for your clarifications so far. I graduated Nov, 2019. Done with internship, now undergoing residency training in Internal medicine in my country Nigeria. However, I’m interested in doing it in the UK. I prefer the MRCP route, I learnt one can get into UK after passing MRCP part 1 via a sponsorship program, how true is this? And can you throw more light on the sponsorship program? Thank you

  13. Hi Nick. Really informative article!! I am a practising ophthalmologist in India for last 6 years.I have cleared all parts of ICO exams prior to 2018 and FRCS Glasgow part 2b. I am still waiting for final part of FRCS. What is the easiest way for me to secure GMC registration? Can I also give PLAB exams alternatively. Or should I give any other exam to make the pathway easier. Aim is to initially land a job in opthalmology and become a UK consultant in future. Kindly clarify. Thanks in adavance!

    1. Hi Amit! You might be able to get GMC registration with that, best to contact GMC directly for official advice. If not, PLAB or MRCS is probably the easiest/fastest way. FRCOphth will take a few years, and UK experience and training is really important to do well.

  14. hey
    I hace completed my graduation in 2018 then i directly started doing a job as a medical officer in surgical department i hacve completed three years of this plain post and now wish to persue my post graduation in the UK as of now my confusion is shoould i give plab is it compulsory or i can directly finish my mrcs and come and work in uk and finish my post graduation there
    please help

  15. Hi Dr.Nick,
    I have few questions
    * I graduated (MBBS) in 2017 from China
    * Now I have 4 years of gap and still going on (as I am not allowed to work as a doctor in China)
    * I am planning to prepare for MRCS instead of Plab (as these days it is very difficult to book a seat for PLAB).
    So question is
    1.Can I take MRCS pathway to get GMC registration?
    2. If yes, I will start from FY2 or as registrat after GMC registration?(through MRCS pathway)
    3. Will there be any trouble for that long gap ?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Dr! To answer your questions,
      1. Yes
      2. FY2 provided you have completed internship. Your position will depend on your experience, not any exams.
      3. It may take a little longer getting GMC registration and a job, but it’s not a strict barrier. IMGs have managed to start work in the UK with 10 year gaps!

  16. Thank you! This was really helpful. I’m planning to give MRCS part A next Jan and Plab 1 next Feb since I’ll be free for the next 4 months. My question is can I book the two exams at the same time? Or Do I have to give one in advance in order to be able to book the next one?

    1. Hi there, the 2 exams are completely separate and unrelated so you can book them in any order you wish. Best of luck!

  17. Hi Nick, Thanks for information
    But I’m having doubts regarding something
    I’m from india & completed graduation(mbbs) in 2019 but due to some reasons i did not look into overseas courses until now.
    Now I’m interested in the courses
    Would like to know if I’m eligible to pursue CARDIOTHORACIC AND VASCULAR SURGERY(CTVS) IN UK or general surgery postgraduate course
    If I’m, what would be my best course of action to pursue the degree
    Money and pass percentages are not an issue
    It would be very nice, if i can get anymore additional information from you or any contacts regarding information

  18. Hi Nick,
    Thank you for the detailed and precise information on the routes to GMC registration and the most suitable jobs for IMGs.
    I have been in the UK for several years, studying a PhD, doing non-clinical research and teaching postgraduate courses in medicine.
    My plan is to apply for specialty training (Endocrinology).
    As an IMG with completed 12 month internship who hasn’t been practicing for quite a few years, should I follow the MRCP route?
    Also, what would be the suitable first job for me?

    Thank you

    1. Hi there! With your background you’re probably best going for PLAB since you need to go through the CCT pathway. As you have not yet completed any training in Internal Medicine, you need to start from FY2 level. I would recommend going for Standalone FY2 or any junior role. This free short course should make things clearer

  19. Hi, if I take Plabs and gmc registration during my assistantship in the oversea country, can i be able to continue my training from where i am? or do i have to start from the fy2 level.

    1. Hi there, you’ll need to either start again (CCT pathway) or start from the middle of a training programme (CESR-CP pathway) if that’s available for your
      specialty. You don’t necessarily need to start from FY2. Please enrol in our free course here to get a better idea of what you need to do

  20. If i pass mrcp’s after failing plab 2, will i get gmc registeration or do i need to pass plab 2 as well

    1. Hi there, it’s actually not that simple. The GMC will look at your application as a whole to see if they are satisfied with your clinical competence. If you have pass MRCP and have work experience after failing PLAB 2, then you may still get GMC registration. But if you pass MRCP and have no further clinical experience after failing PLAB 2, then you may be asked to pass PLAB 2. Best to ask the GMC directly for their advice. Hope it works out!

    1. If you’re referring to the official specialty training programmes, no. You need to either complete MRCP or PLAB to get GMC registration so you can work in the UK.

  21. Hi I’m an IMG currently preparing for MRCS ENT. I had 2 questions
    1- Is a MRCS recognized as a APQ by the ENT community in the UK? I was told it would help with GMC but not with applying for training roles in ENT later on.
    2 – Since there are so many things to submit during GMC application, can I get my PMQ verified by EPIC initially and get my APQ verified later? IE, is it alright if I do it in 2 steps? Will that help speed up the process?
    Reading through your website has helped so much in clearing things up. Its so discouraging to read about how difficult and unwelcoming the UK is towards IMGs. Keep up the good work and thanks for your time!

    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by our site.
      1. Yes, MRCS a basic entry requirement for any surgical training role at ST3 level.
      2. I don’t see why not. PMQ verification can take some time so best to get it out of the way first.
      Best of luck!

  22. Hai, thank you for that guide. I work as a family medicine registrar in the middle east. I want to do GP training in the UK. I passed IELTS with the required band score but unable to book Plab 1 due to lack of slots, all seats completely booked for 2021. Now, Im thinking of giving MRCP exams instead of waiting for the PLAB 1 dates, as it is in very high demand and not predictable in 2021. If I pass MRCP and attain GMC registration, can I still go for GP training ?

  23. Hello, thanks for information.
    I am a foreign medical graduate if I want apply for run through course (neurosurgery). Which exam I need to pass? Can I directly apply for MRCS rather than PLAB?

      1. Hi there,can you help me my question?I finished trainee in the oversea country.(cardiovascular surgery).I don’t have much money for MRSP and I want to learn anything. So,gmc’s postgraduate rules say that if you want to entry training in uk ,your postgraduate education must little from 36 months. Now,i completed my trainee with 60 months and working by a surgeon. I don’t want MRSP. I want to begin from fy1/fy2. I WANT TO LEARN “Will my 60 months of education prevent me from starting everything again by applying to PLAB and working to be a fy1/fy2 doctor?

        1. Hi there, unfortunately you won’t be able to enter the official Foundation Programme since you will most likely be given full registration by the GMC after PLAB making you ineligible for FY1. You can apply for FY2 standalone but after that, you won’t be able to enter core surgery CT1 or cardiovascular ST1 as you’ll be considered overqualified. You may still be able to enter surgical training at ST3 level but just not cardiovascular surgery because after 2022 there will be no entry to cardiovascular surgery at ST3 level. You can still try applying for other surgical specialties though. Hope that helps.

  24. Hi, thanks for information you delivered
    I am an overseas cardiologist with more than 10 years clinical experience and I want to work in UK as a cardiologist. I think it is better to pass MRCP exam than PLAB, I want to know if MRCP questions are only on the cardiology topics or it encompasses all general medical knowledge?

    1. Hi there, thanks for visiting our website! MRCP covers all internal medicine as it is required for entry to all specialties – Cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, rheumatology etc

  25. Hello, thank you for the comprehensive guide.

    I wonder, as an overseas IMG and intensive care specialist, if I can apply for junior or senior clinical fellowship and become a consultant in a couple of years. If yes, is it MRCP exams I have to sit?

    1. Hi there, to become a consultant you’ll need to either complete UK training (CCT or CESR-CP route), or prove that you have gained equivalent training (CESR route). Please see this article about the different routes:

      And this article about how to find the pathway and exam requirements for your target specialty:

      Best of luck!

    1. Hi there, as mentioned above, many IMGs take much longer to pass MRCP/MRCS compared to PLAB so in the end it’s not faster. Also MRCP and MRCS do not allow you to skip core training, there are other requirements for entry to specialty training other than MRCS/MRCP that most IMGs aren’t aware of so in many cases it takes longer. Please see this article: Once I hold full MRCP or MRCS I can skip core training, right? But of course it’s not impossible! You can always try.

  26. Good day! If for example, I take the MRCP pathway (as I am planning to apply as Internal Medicine Trainee in the future), will I still be able to get non-training job posts in other specialties like acute medicine, GP, pediatrics?

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Meet the Team

Hi, we’re Drs Nick & Kimberly Tan, the two IMGs behind The Savvy IMG. We write comprehensive guides, create courses, and provide one-to-one guidance to help other overseas qualified doctors on their journey to the UK.
We have scoured the official guidance to put these posts together, but we can make mistakes! If you spot anything that is incorrect, please get in touch and we’ll put it right.
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