Clerkship refers to the clinical rotations undertaken during medical school. It forms part of your primary medical qualification and is a basic GMC requirement of an acceptable medical degree. It is not considered the same as FY1 or internship since as a clerk, you are not yet a qualified doctor and you are not directly responsible for patient care.
Please see the screenshots below taken from the GMC website.
So what is internship?
The GMC defines internship as “formal training and experience after you’ve completed your primary medical qualification.” It can take place immediately before graduation or after.
It is expected that doctors who have completed internship are prepared and eligible for full registration or a license to practice. Clerkship or medical school clinical rotations do not lead to full registration or a medical license.
To be clear, the equivalent of FY1 is an internship or a house job.
Be very careful of labelling clerkship or clinical rotations as equivalent to FY1 in your CV or job application. You may be accused of inflating your experience which can turn into a serious probity issue with the GMC.
Will the GMC accept your internship?
Internship completed overseas must follow the strict GMC criteria in order to be accepted. You can read all about them here.
Can you apply for GMC registration?
If you do not complete a GMC accepted internship, you can apply for provisional registration. The only job you can apply for with this type of registration is UK internship which is the UK Foundation Programme.
If you do complete a GMC accepted internship, then you can apply for full GMC registration. This will allow you to apply for many other types of jobs.