The Savvy IMG

Pathway E: From IMG to UK doctor (not aiming for GP or Consultant)

Step-by-step guide for IMGs who aim work in the UK without becoming a UK-recognised GP or Consultant.

Table of Contents

This pathway is suitable for you as an IMG in the UK if you fit the following profile:

If you think you do not fit this profile or the pathway doesn’t sound right for you, make sure to go through the pathway finder tool!

steb by step guide for international medical graduates to become UK doctors without becoming a GP or Consultant Pathway E

By this point you will have probably read all about these steps before. I have provided links back to the accompanying blog articles and official websites below for each substep. Make sure you check the most up-to-date version of the official websites before taking action. Good luck on your journey!

Step 1. Obtain full registration with the GMC

Substeps Relevant articles and links to official guidance
Obtain evidence of English proficiency Read more about the English requirements in this blog article. Go through the blog FAQs about IELTS and OET. If you will not be taking PLAB, read about the types of alternative evidence accepted to demonstrate English proficiency. Review the GMC guidance about the English requirements.
Open account with GMC online Open your account here. Check the total costs of GMC registration here. This pertains to the PLAB route.
PLAB 1 & 2 + UK visitor visa if needed Read this article for all the essentials about PLAB 1 & 2.  Book PLAB 1 online through your GMC account. For PLAB 2 it’s best to enrol in an academy to prepare. These are the 15 things you should consider when looking for one. If you book PLAB in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a UK Visitor Visa. If you are an EU national who graduated outside the EU, you may not need to sit PLAB. Please contact the GMC for further guidance. If you are a UK national who graduated outside the EU, you still need to sit PLAB.
As an alternative to PLAB you can submit an accepted Postgraduate Qualification (PGQ) Check the accepted Postgraduate Qualifications here. These include both UK and overseas qualifications.
Obtain other documents for GMC registration Step-by-step guide on how to obtain EPIC verification of your Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) and Postgraduate Qualification (PGQ). You will need a certificate or letter from the hospital where you completed your internship or postgraduate experience. The letter must contain the dates and specialties of all your clinical rotations. GMC requirements for the Certificate of Good Standing (if applicable).
Apply for GMC full registration This is done online through your GMC account. You may need to submit some documents by post. All documents are valid for a certain time period only. Read about the deadlines here.

Step 2. Land your first NHS job

SubstepsRelevant articles and links to official guidance
Open account on NHS Jobs websiteNHS Jobs
Submit job applications for SHO level, Registrar level, specialty doctor, or locum consultant depending on previous experienceUnderstand the different titles and levels of doctors here.
Prepare for interviewFuture article
Accept a suitable offerFuture article
Apply for Tier 2 (work) visaTier 2 (work) visa
Relocate to the UKFuture article
Join a trade union and obtain medical indemnity cover cover

Read about these organisations in this article.

An article on how to find medical indemnity cover will be published in the future.

Step 3. Continuing professional development

SubstepsRelevant articles and links to official guidance
Update and maintain knowledge & skills through the CPD system

Future article

Read the GMC guidance about CPD here.

Undergo annual appraisal and 5-yearly revalidation

Future articles

Read this BMA guide about annual appraisal and revalidation.

Self-explanatory substepSeek promotion or change jobs when appropriate.

Step 4. Optional progression to GP or Consultant

If you decide you want to become a UK-recognised GP or Consultant at any point, you have the option of entering training or pursuing the alternative route. For this, please refer to step 3 & 4 of Pathways B, C or D.

Usually doctors in this position will go through the CESR or CEGPR routes (Pathway D).

CCT and CESR are considered equal in the UK. This may not be the case overseas. If you plan to migrate after working in the UK, please check with the medical authority of the country you plan to work in.

You might also like

6 Responses

  1. Hi Doc! If ever you pursue this pathway, will your salary increase every year just like with doctors who are in specialty training? Thank you doc!

  2. Hi Doc Nick!

    If ever I choose to not go into specialty training, will the salary be the same as FY doctors even after 2 years of foundation year? And what available job options are there for those who choose to be in this pathway? Thank you!

    1. Hi there! No, it won’t be the same. The salary goes up with each year of experience. It depends on what you want to do. You can apply for any SHO level non-training job in any specialty, after a few years of SHO experience and possibly with a postgraduate qualification under your belt, you can appyly for middle grade or registrar level non-training jobs. There are other medical jobs in the private sector such as in private clinics etc but those usually require more experience than just foundation years. Hope that helps!

  3. Good day Doc Nick!

    I am a newly licensed physician from the Philippines. I dream of being able to practice medicine in Australia in the near future. Instead of going through the AMC Standard pathway, I am aiming for Competent Authority Pathway.
    I have answered the questions provided in your website on which pathway fits me and I got pathway E. In this regard, is the NHS job I will likely land in the future “supervised practice?” I am NOT eligible for FY programme since I do moonlighting jobs here now. And for Competent Authority pathway, I need to take PLAB 1 & 2 and have 12 months of supervised practice and approved by GMC. Thank you for your time reading this message. God bless you!

    1. Hi there! Essentially all jobs in the NHS below Consultant or GP level are supervised. Only Consultants and GPs (fam med specialists) can really be said to be not supervised. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.
Photo of Dr Nicholas Tan