If you are an IMG and you do not have an acceptable pattern of internship from overseas, then you will not be eligible for full registration with the GMC.
In this case, there are 4 options:
- Apply for provisional registration and FY1 (UK internship) through the UK Foundation Programme.
- Complete the requirements for Pattern B overseas then reapply for full registration.
- Obtain an accepted postgraduate qualification (PGQ) and reapply for full registration.
- Apply for full registration through the sponsorship route.
Each of these options has their own issues, but it’s not impossible.
1. UK Foundation Programme
The UK Foundation Programme is a 2-year programme for new medical graduates. The first year (Foundation Year 1 or FY1)
2. Pattern B overseas
If you have no barriers to working back home, this can be a good option for you.
If you are unable to work back home for various reasons and therefore cannot meet the requirements for Pattern B, you can try option 3 or 4.
This is the most problematic of the 4 options. There are very few, if any, places in the UK Foundation Programme for doctors who require a Tier 2 work visa to work in the UK. I often say that choosing this pathway is essentially gambling because it is 100% dependent on whether there are leftover seats after all the local graduates and IMGs with right to work in the UK are given places.
IMGs have been successful with this in the past 2 years only but not everyone gets a place. If you still want to go ahead, do so at your own risk.
3. Postgraduate qualification route
Your internship does not need to meet the strict criteria of Pattern A or Pattern B if you are going through the postgraduate qualification route. In fact you can see in the GMC list of requirements for this route, details of internship are not asked for.
It also states in paragraph 6 of the GMC guidance for internship, that “applicants applying through the PGQ or Sponsorship routes are considered to have demonstrated the necessary experience for full registration.” So if the GMC officer handling your case is giving you a hard time about your internship through the postgraduate qualification route, you can refer them back to their own GMC guidance.
If you are considering this route, then this is the list of postgraduate qualifications accepted by the GMC for full registration. These include MRCP and MRCS.
4. Sponsorship route
Similar to above, your internship does not need to meet the strict criteria of Pattern A or Pattern B if you are going through the sponsorship route to registration.
This is the list of GMC approved sponsors. This route can be difficult as it requires that you’ve been working as a doctor for 3 years in the last 5 years, including the last 12 months but if you’ve been doing this then it’s an option. You can read more about the process of applying for registration through sponsorship here. You can also read our guide about sponsorship.