The Savvy IMG

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

All the essential information to help IMGs understand the application process for specialty training (residency) in the UK.

Table of Contents

all the essential information the international medical graduates need to know about applying to specialty training in the UK also known as specialty recruitment

UPDATED: October 28, 2020

The process of applying for specialty training (residency) in the UK is known as specialty recruitment or national recruitment and can be thought of as similar to “the match” in the US.

It’s a nationally organised process which occurs once a year for most specialties, and at least twice a year for GP, Psychiatry and Anaesthetics. All applications are submitted through the website Oriel.

Specialty recruitment can be a complex process and will be very different to the residency application process that you know of back home.  This article should help clarify several of the key concepts you need to understand as an IMG.

If you’d like an overview of the entire process and our strategy on how to get into specialty training in just 2 years, enrol in our FREE online course here.

No priority for UK graduates

The priority is not actually for those who graduated from a UK medical school. The priority is for doctors who are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).

RLMT is an immigration rule that basically says that a foreign national cannot work in the UK unless there is no one from the UK suitable for that job. Therefore those who have right to work in the UK are given priority.

Fortunately, as of October 6, 2019, all medical jobs were added to the UK Shortage Occupation List meaning that all foreign doctors applying for jobs in the UK are now automatically exempt from RLMT.

This is a huge milestone for IMGs because it means that your application for specialty training will no longer be dismissed just because of your immigration status. Where you graduated from will have no bearing at all.

Are UK graduates still preferred over IMGs even if IMGs are exempt from RLMT?

No, according to the Medical Recruitment 2020 Applicant Handbook (pg 50), once exempt from RLMT, IMGs and UK graduates are given equal consideration. Each applicant will be given credit solely on the merit of their application.



There is a set number of training jobs available each year and there are usually more applicants than jobs. Therefore applications are highly competitive. Even local graduates can take several years to successfully land a training post in the most competitive specialties.

You can get an idea of how popular a specialty is from the competition ratio. This is the number of applicants divided by the number of available jobs. So for example, if there are 100 doctors applying for Radiology and there are 50 jobs available, the competition ratio is 2. 

  • Low to moderately competitive: Competition ratio of between 1 and 2. You will need a solid application strategy to succeed.
  • Highly competitive: Competition ratio between 2 and 4. You will need a focused application strategy to succeed.
  • Extremely competitive: Competition ratio of more than 4. You will need a highly intense strategy to succeed.

You can find all the competition ratios for the past 5 years on the HEE website.

In this video, Kim explains how why competition ratio is important and it is more than meets the eye. It is a small part of our FREE course “The IMG shortcut” so be sure to enrol and watch the whole series!

Difficulty for IMGs

Many IMGs ask how difficult it is to get into UK specialty training. As mentioned above, UK graduates are not given priority so IMGs have the same chances as anyone else. There is no longer a specific disadvantage for IMGs compared to UK graduates.

So if you do thorough research, have a well-developed strategy, and you are ready to put in the hard work required, then it is not that difficult to succeed as an IMG.

However, if you don’t do your due diligence, have a poorly-informed strategy, or expect to succeed without putting in the necessary effort, then you will find it extremely difficult and frustrating.

The good thing about UK specialty training applications is that it is highly objective. You do not need to charm your interview panel to convince them to hire you.

Applications are scored according to a national scoring matrix so that every applicant can be compared numerically. If you achieve everything on that scoring matrix, then there’s no reason you can’t score well and succeed.

Related: 8 tips to succeed when applying for UK specialty training

Entry Requirements

You can find the specific requirements for each specialty in a document called the person specifications. Each specialty at each level will have its own set of person specifications. I’ve listed the basic requirements below. 

For ST1/CT1 posts

For a first-year position (ST1 or CT1), these are the basic requirements:

  • Full GMC registration by the time you start ST1 or CT1
    • This means you have completed internship (FY1 equivalent) and you have GMC registration or you are already in the process of GMC registration with IELTS/OET and PLAB.
    • If you have completed internship overseas, then you do not need to repeat internship in the UK (FY1).
    • Please note that sponsorship or MTI cannot be used for GMC registration for the purpose of a specialty training programme.
  • 12 months post-internship experience by the time you start ST1 or CT1 (not at the time of application)
    • Option A: 12 months of clinical experience in a supervised hospital post in a specialty with acute medical responsibilities either in the UK, overseas, or a combination of both, OR
    • Option B: Standalone FY2 in the UK
  • F2 competences
    • Option 1: A valid CREST 2021 form (previous versions of CREST will no longer be accepted). Applicable to Option 1 above, OR
    • Option 2: Foundation Programme Certificate of Completion (FPCC) – applicable to Option B above

NHS experience is not a requirement to apply but is hugely beneficial. Starting your first job in a training post is challenging and can have negative effects on your career progression if you perform poorly.

Please note that you can be overqualified for an ST1/CT1 post if you have too much experience in the same specialty you are applying for. You can read more about this here.

Yes. Health Education England  have said that if a doctor were to start CT1 or ST1 without 12 months post-internship experience, an investigation would take place.

No. Clerkship refers to the clinical rotations undertaken during medical school. It is a basic GMC requirement of an acceptable medical degree (source). It is not considered the same as FY1 or internship therefore it is not counted as part of the clinical experience required to enter ST1/CT1.

Be careful of labelling clerkship or clinical rotations as clinical experience or equivalent to FY1/internship 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.

For ST3+ posts

In general, ST3 posts will require you to have:

  • A certificate to confirm previous training equivalent to ST1/CT1 and ST2/CT2
  • Minimum required months of experience
  • Compulsory exams eg. MRCP, MRCS, etc.
As an example of the requirements for ST3 applications, check out this article which explains the requirements for ST3 Cardiology and ST3 General Surgery.

Preparing yourself for applications

We have made a FREE short course where we give you an overview of the application process and how you can prepare early. Join us in the IMG Shortcut now.

If you want an even more in-depth, step-by-step guide, be sure to check out our Masterclass to learn how you can succeed as an IMG.

Allocation to a Hospital

Applications for a training post are not made to individual hospitals. Instead, you submit one application per specialty to the national recruitment office.

You then list all the geographic regions of the UK or each job placement you are willing to work in, and rank them according to preference.

Depending on your performance during the application process, you will be assigned a rank amongst all applicants. The higher your rank, the higher your chance of getting matched to a preferred region/job placement.

If there are special circumstances that require you to be physically present in a specific region or hospital, there is a process to apply for special treatment but these are not always guaranteed.

What if I don’t get a job in my desired location?

If you do not get into your desired region, it is possible to request for a transfer for the next year, a process called Interdeanery Transfer (IDT). You can read about the process here. A successful request depends on the availability of jobs in that region and your circumstances. Those with medical conditions, caring responsibilities (eg. children), and those in committed relationships are considered first and in that order.

So it’s important to emphasise now that unless you have special circumstances: the best way to ensure you get a job in your desired region is to score highly in your application.

Applying to Multiple Specialties

It is possible to apply to multiple specialties without discrimination. The panel of one specialty will not be aware if you’ve applied to another specialty.

If you plan to do this, you will need to prepare a portfolio and be ready to interview for each specialty so beware of spreading yourself too thin.

Related: Comprehensive IMG guides per specialty

Application Fees


In fact, you can usually claim reimbursement for expenses incurred when attending interview. This can be for a train ticket, or a hotel room if you have a morning interview and live far from the interview venue.

Age Limits

There is no age limit for specialty training in the UK. Discrimination based on age is illegal and violates the Equality Act of 2010.


There is one interview per specialty. There is no need to travel to multiple hospitals to interview with each. More and more specialties are moving away from personal questions such as “why this specialty?” or “why this region?” Instead interviews tend to be very structured, almost like an OSCE, with multiple themed stations. Applicants are scored by a panel of Consultants who can come from all over the region or the country.

Examples of stations are:

  • Portfolio – your portfolio is discussed with the panel. Some specialties now mark the portfolio in a separate room away from the candidate.
  • Clinical – a clinical scenario is given and the applicant is asked a series of questions.
  • Communication – this often involves an actor posing as a patient or patient’s relative.
  • Critical appraisal – a research paper is given with a set of questions to answer.
  • Audit/Quality improvement – the candidate is often asked how they would design one for a given scenario.
  • NHS – hot topics or questions about how the NHS works can be asked.

This Medical Interview book (available on Amazon) discusses in detail how to approach each of the stations listed above. It is a favourite amongst UK graduates and is a definite MUST-READ if you are serious about improving your interview skills the UK way.

The exact format of the interview differs per specialty. Details are released online to enable applicants to prepare in advance so be sure to read those too!

New for 2021 applications

There will be no face-to-face in-person interviews for applications for 2021 due to COVID.

Some specialties will hold online interviews instead while others will base applications on other criteria without an interview.

Be sure to check the exact process for the specialty you aim to apply for. You can find the links for this in our Useful Links page under the section Specialty recruitment (residency applications)

Entrance Exams

Some specialties requires applicants to sit the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). 

These include: 

  • General Practice (family medicine)
  • Anaesthetics
  • Core Psychiatry
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Radiology
  • Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (CSRH)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) 

The MSRA is a computer based test with 2 components: professional dilemmas (110 minutes), and clinical problem solving (75 minutes). The higher your score in the MSRA, the high

Do you need to pass any other exams?

For ST1/CT1 level:

MRCS, MRCP or any other college exams are not required to apply for training at ST1/CT1 level, however, passing the first part of these exams attracts points for your application so you may want to consider taking them.

For ST3+ level:

College exams are usually compulsory for applications to this stage of training. The type of exam you need to take depends on the specialty.

Please see these articles to find out which exam you need to take for your specialty:


The timelines for specialty recruitment are very strict and there is no tolerance for late applications. The exact dates are different for each specialty but in general, these are the important dates.

Round 1

This round is for applications to ST1 and CT1 posts, and some ST3 posts.

NovApplications open
Jan-MarInterview season
Feb-MarResults are released
AugJobs start

Round 1 re-advert

Sometimes referred to as Round 2. This is when you can apply for leftover posts from Round 1 – if there are any jobs leftover.

FebApplications open
AprilInterview season
End of AprResults are released
AugJobs start

Round 2

This is the proper Round 2 where applications are open for most ST3 posts.

Jan-FebApplications open
Mar-AprInterview season
AprResults are released
Aug-OctJobs start

Round 2 re-advert

This is when you can apply for leftover ST3 posts from Round 2 but these jobs do not start in August, they usually start in February.

Jul-AugApplications open
Aug-OctInterview season
OctResults are released
FebJob starts

Exact dates for this year

Please see the official website for the up to date timelines. You can find them on our Useful Links page under the section “Specialty recruitment (residency applications)”

Further Information

You will find all the official information about applying to specialty training in the UK through the links on our Useful Links page under the section “Specialty recruitment (residency applications)”

If you can’t find the answer to your query about specialty training, the first thing to do is email the official office. Make sure you check the FAQ pages of these websites first before emailing. All the offices are extremely responsive and their advice supersedes anything written in The Savvy IMG.

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68 Responses

  1. Hi both,
    I have a few questions. Sorry about that.

    Firstly, I wondered how you would prove you have 12 months of post-GMC registration experience. Because at the time of application in November/December you may still be working in that post. Let’s say you started working a post in June then you would only have 6 months by the time of application.

    Secondly, there is a difference in start dates between London and the rest of the UK. In order to be eligible for the London intake in October you’d have to start a job by September the year prior the latest, correct? And for the rest of the UK in July at the latest?

    Thirdly, for those 12 months do they need to be in a permanent post or would locum work be acceptable?

    And lastly, in order to get the CREST form signed, do you need a permanent post or is that possible with irregular locum work? Does it really just depend on finding a consultant to sign it off?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Marv!

      1. They just assume you’ll continue working until the start of the training job. If you get accepted but then quit your job and don’t complete 24 months clinical experience, they can withdraw your place in training.
      2. Most training jobs in London and throughout the UK start in the first week of August so it’s best to plan for that.
      3. If by locums you mean irregular shifts, it will probably be difficult to get that accepted. You need 12 months full time equivalent after internship, so unless you can find regular work with locums for 12 months, it may not be accepted. But you don’t need a permanent job either, tbh there aren’t many permanent jobs for juniors. By permanent I mean there’s no end date to the job. Most jobs are just contracts for a set period of time, like 6-12 months. You can use these. Some of these posts are termed “locum” posts but this is different from irregular shifts.
      4. You may be able to get it signed off through locum posts, but you still need to fulfill the requirement of working with the same consultant for the equivalent of 3 months.

      Hope that helps! Definitely download the latest CREST guidance for the most up to date info.

  2. Hi, I am currently a resident in paediatrics for over 1year. But I have attempted and failed plab2 once. Will I be eligible to apply for specialty training in paediatrics in the UK?

    1. Hi Osas, failed attempts of the PLAB exams do not affect your application to specialty training as long as you eventually pass the exams and gain GMC registration.

  3. Hello, Nick. God bless you for this tremendous work you have been doing.My Query: What are the best options available for a Senior General Surgeon in India with 20 years of experience, recently appearing the MRCS, if planning to explore options in UK or Ireland? Can I get an admission into CT3? If not, what are the chances of getting a Non-training job (SHO, etc) and later FRCS – Speciality register – Consultant? I think satisfying the documentations of CSER pathway are too cumbersome and not practical. I will try to consult you on Calendly once I pass both teh MRCS parts, OET and get a GMC regn.

    1. Hi Raju! Great to hear from you. As a very experienced surgeon, you will be penalised in your application to training but it’s still possible to enter successfully. Although I have to say, it’s unlikely that you’ll be satisfied working as a trainee again with long hours and relatively low pay compared to a consultant. You might find it more fulfilling to work as a locum consultant and go through the CESR route over time. But all routes are possible!

      I look forward to speaking with you in the future.

  4. Hello Doctor,
    I have a question regarding Mrcp of Ireland, since I am a fresh graduate I can apply for MRCP of Ireland but not the UK as i didn’t complete one year of experience. Would MRCP of Ireland be acceptable if I did my core training and GMC registration in UK and plan to apply for higher specialty training in the UK. In other words, use the MRCP of Ireland to register and do my entire specialty in the UK without the need for the MRCP of the UK.
    Another questions, can CREST form be filled by local doctor or UK doctor

    1. Hi there, the person specifications for higher specialty training state that as an alternative to MRCP(UK) you can use completion of Irish Basic Specialty Training in medicine and the MRCPI full diploma by
      time of application.
      CREST can be completed overseas as long as you have fulfilled all the criteria and competences on the form. But you would not need that to apply for higher specialty training. The certificate of core competences assumes you have foundation competences.
      Best of luck!

  5. Hi,I’m a 9 years experienced i ophthalmology and for 3 years experiencing Hematology. My dreamis to become a ophthalmologist in UK. I’m 43years now . Please let me know on how will be the my opportunity get fulfil my dream.

  6. Hi Nick! Thank you for your super helpful blog, really appreciate it.
    I have a question. If a histopath trainee in overseas country wants to come to the UK and reapply histopath training from the scratch(st1) after clearing out ilets/plab exams, do they still need a crest form? Can they get it from their home country ? I am asking because histopath trainees don’t see patients at all but do they need an experience stated on the crest form? Thank you

    1. Hi Ekin, unfortunately yes, if you apply for ST1 then you’d still need the CREST form. To gain the form you’d need a minimum of 3 months in an acute medical specialty seeing patients where you can gain all the competences on the form.

  7. Hello Nick!
    Thank you for those valuable articles. Really helpful
    I checked the specialty competition ratios and I’m aware that plastic surgery is a highly competitive specialty.
    But, for an IMG, is it doable? Or is it nearly impossible? (just like in the US)
    Thank you !

    1. Hi Cal! UK and IMG applications are treated equally in the UK so there’s no reason why you can’t get a place in plastic surgery if you have a good application!

  8. Hi Nick, I am a Caribbean IMG currently in the process of doing my family medicine residency in the United States, however, I would love to pursue general surgery. If I wanted to obtain a surgical residency in the UK after the completion of my 3 year residency, would I be entering at a CT1/ST1 level or would I need to do additional training in the UK prior (I do have surgery rotations within my current residency training)? Another issue I was curious about is that although my school is recognized by WHO, apparently the medical council in the UK does not recognize it. Will this still be an issue even though I will have already completed a residency and will be a licensed GP? Thanks!

  9. Hello Nick, thank you very much for all the information, te blog is really complete.

    I wanted to ask, if I am a medical graduate (Argentina) and had completed a 12month internship in my country, I understand the steps for applying to a specialty training in the UK program would be:

    1. Register at GMC (for that I need to pass PLAB test)
    2. Then have a 12 month doctor working experience in the UK
    3. Then apply for an application to speciality training in the UK

    Are these steps correct?
    Thank you very much for your help


    1. Hi Catalina! Yes those are the general steps! But just a few things to keep in mind:
      1. You also need to pass an English test such as IELTS or OET before you can book PLAB.
      2. You do not need to have 12 months UK experience, you need 12 months experience after internship. Part of that can be in Argentina and part of that can be in the UK.
      3. You can apply for training before you complete 12 months, as long as you complete the full 12 months by the time you start training.

      Hope that clarifies things! Be sure to enrol in our free course for more guidance 🙂

  10. Dear Tan,
    Thank you for the very comprehensive article.
    I would like a question where I have been getting several different answers to.

    I am an IMG currently doing residency outside of the UK and would like to apply to CT1. I am will soon be done with my plabs and be GMC registered.

    Can I obtain CCT without fy1/fy2/nontraining and still become a consultant as an IMG?

    1. Hi Ziad! No, you do not need to complete fy1/fy2/non-training to become a consultant. As long as you complete your specialty training programme, you will get a CCT.

  11. Hi. My name is Nick and I am a medical graduate from India. I graduated in 2018 and have no clinical experience post graduation. Will I have a problem applying for an FY2 job? And having a clinical gap problematic for my job?

    1. Hi Nick! Did you complete a house job or any kind of internship? If not, and if you don’t intend to complete it before coming to the UK, then you’re only option is to apply for the UK Foundation Programme. In that case, a clinical gap is not a problem because it’s just internship level. Please see this guide

      If you have completed a house job/internship, then having no recent clinical experience may disadvantage you when applying for jobs as those with recent clinical experience are usually favoured for obvious reasons. Hope that helps!

  12. Hi,
    I am an IMG and will be getting my full GMC registration within the next month. I will then be starting a nom training position. Can I apply for GP training this August if my 12 months of post GMC registration experience is not fulfilled at the time of application?

    1. Hi there, yes you can as long as it will be fulfilled by the time GP training starts. But it doesn’t have to be post-GMC registration, just post-internship. So experience overseas after internship can count too.

  13. Hello. I have just completed my internship overseas, and i wanted to know that can an IMG get into CT1 via giving MRCS?

    1. Hi there, I’m not sure what you mean exactly. You can get GMC registration with MRCS but applying for CT1 is a completely separate process. You need to have 12 months experience AFTER internship, plus a good portfolio and a good interview performance. MRCS Part A gets you some points in your application but it is not a requirement to apply and passing the exams doesn’t exempt you from all the other requirements mentioned. Best of luck!

  14. Hello, I am currently working as a SHO in a surgical job and I want to pursue medicine training because of some issues, so will this one year of surgical experience be accepted as a post-licensing experience??

  15. Hello Dr. Tan
    I’m working as a junior resident in ICU of a reputed hospital in India since last 1 year after completing my internship, under supervision of critical care consultants. I’m planning to apply for the psychiatry post. I have done almost everything mentioned in the Crest form. Even for audit, have started doing one with the help of a fellow resident.Can I get my Crest form signed by consultant here and what kind of evidence do I need to show that I did an Audit, as not many doctors do it here, therefore I’ll need to ask my consultants to help in that?

    1. Hi there! If you have done everything on the CREST form and meet all the other criteria then yes you can get it signed overseas. For audit, a letter from your supervising consultant should suffice.

  16. I have done my DM cardiology( University Degree course) that is 3 years specialization in cardiology post my MD medicine which is equivalent to CCT in cardiology in UK. I am interested in doing only fellowship in inter cardiology
    Do I need to do mrcp, then medicine training to do Fellowship in interventional Cardiology. If I clear my MRCP is it enough to get GMC license?

  17. Thank you very much for the infos you provide!
    I graduated in 2018 and after I worked as a rural doctor for one year. Now I am in my first year of residency in Paed Surgery in Greece. I would like to ask you if I am eligible for the CT1. The 12- months service as a rural doctor is a post- internship job. I would like to clarify if the CREST form should be completed by my consultant in the hospital I worked during these 12 months.

    1. Hi thanks for stopping by! The 12 months post-internship should a be a supervised hospital post or approved training programme. If the consultant who supervised you there can sign you off for all the competences you’ve completed in the CREST then that should suffice. Please go through the CREST form and accompanying guidance for the full instructions to ensure your form will be accepted!

      1. Hi Nick, thank you very much for this information. I have learned a lot.
        I graduated in 2017 as an MD. I have 3 years of working experience. Can I apply for residency in General Surgery in the UK? Is the 3 years of working experience considered as 24 months of Professional Internship?

        1. Hi there, it depends. The 24 months clinical experience needs to be in supervised posts. This is usually made up of 12 months approved internship programme + an additional 12 months in a supervised post. If you are working independently with no supervising Consultant, then it may not count.

  18. Hi nick your article is very informative. I am working in ireland at the moment amd my plan was to apply for ST3 in respiratory this year. But recently i received an email mentioning that there will be no ST3 recruitment and they are only recruiting for ST4 and CMT year 3 candidates can only apply. Im not sure if thats accurate but this is what my understanding is. They have mentioned that recruitment will resume in 2021 for st4. Can you please explain this if you have any information on how are things going to change for someone who wants to apply for CESR CP pathway. Can i apply for ST4 next year?

  19. Hi there, thank you for all this valuable information.
    Do I need an online portfolio if I am practicing outside the UK ? If not, how can I show the procedures that I have done to the panel ?
    Thank you.

  20. Hi ,
    You are doing an amazing job by helping IMGs.
    I am a Pediatric cardiologist p( 2 years fellowship in India ). I completed my MD paediatrics in 2013 and 2015-1017 I did my pediatric cardiology fellowship. I am working as an assistant consultant since 3 years now. I have a total of 5 years of peds cardiology experience. I am preparing for mrcpch for GMC reg. What should be my approach ? what stage do I enter? how many years does it take to become a consultant if I apply through the NTN ? or do I apply through CESR? I plan to come to Uk next year sept 2021
    Many thanks in advance : )

    1. Hi there, thank you for visiting our website and for your kind words! CESR is an option, you can collect your evidence while in India and apply for senior level jobs in the UK where you can complete the rest of your documentation and then submit an application for CESR. You could also consider entering paediatric cardiology training at ST4 level and you might be able to request accelerated training on account of your previous experience, but of course it’s also very competitive. It’s really up to you, you’ll need to research each route and weigh the pros and cons for you personally. Hope this article helps! Best of luck!

  21. Hi guys ,
    I am qualified urologist and a renal transplant surgeon in India . I finished my urology residency in 2017 and have been working as consultant specialist in urology in a medical college in India . I am planning to do a fellowship in renal transplantation or urooncology and I am using the MRCS route for getting a GMC registration. I just want to know that is it possible to apply for the CESR route after registering in a fellowship program . I also want to know if I can give the FRCS (UK) exam after working in the UK and getting approval from seniors there or is it necessary to do a CCT programme

    1. Hi there, great to hear from a senior surgeon! To answer your questions: 1. Yes, you will need to meet all the CESR requirements which will likely include evidence from your residency back home. 2. It is not necessary to be in a UK training programme to sit FRCS. You can check the eligibility requirements on the JCIE website. Best of luck!

  22. hi nick and kim,
    fantastic work
    your blog has been instrumental in clarifying my concepts baout training in the uk and inspiring me to take this very hard decision..
    so,i am an IMG with masters in OBG from home country followed by teaching experience as asst prof in medical college and mrcog and 6months training in reproductive medicine as well as gynec keen to work at a nont raining post followed by getting into st3 specialty.
    i have 8 years experience including my post graduate residency.
    so,if i do work hard and smartly to get into st3 level,will my overqualifed status be deterrant for gettin into st3 training post?

  23. Hi.

    If I’m an IMG (fresh graduate) and I take the MRCP exams after my 1 year internship, once I have the MRCP degree I can apply for a non-training post and then to an ST3 post right? Is that a path that’s taken by people and what are your thoughts on it? Grateful for any guidance. Thank you.

  24. hi nik
    im a general surgeon working in india at a medical college as a consultant with 7 years of surgical experience after attaining my primary medical degree and post graduate surgical degree. i have recently completed MRCS. i intend to get into ST3 general and colorectal surgery.
    1) how difficult is it to get all the PBAs, WBAs and everything required to build up a portfolio for ST3 while working in a non training job?
    2) is the workplace attitude generally conducive and encouraging towards attainment of portfolio targets?
    3) do they consider my surgical experience in a non uk country?
    4) is the CESR route preferable ?

  25. Hi Nick,

    Thanks for the info, does clinical research fellowship count as clinical experience

    1. Hi there, if you are not actively practising as a doctor and not involved with patient care then I would think it should not count.

  26. Hello,

    Does working as an Instructor in Medical college in Clinical Pathology counts in experience? I understand it is not exactly a clinical job.

    The IMT webiste specifies this in the experience section:

    Any ‘specialty’ – experience in all specialties/programmes counts (provided this is postgraduate working/training), irrespective of whether this is a training programme (eg foundation in the UK), medical specialty, general practice, psychiatry, etc.

    I mailed the IMT recruitment team about this but they sort of referred me back to the same link 😛

    1. Hi there, it says “candidates must have at least 24 months experience working as doctor to be eligible”. If you were an instructor then you’re not working as a doctor because you’re not seeing or treating patients or making any management decisions so I would think it does not count as experience. You’d also not be able to get CREST signed from that post. Hope that helps!

  27. Hello
    For the 12 months experience in another country post internship, does clinical attachment count as such?

    1. No, clinical attachments involve observation only and therefore do not count. If you are actually treating patients then it can’t be labelled a clinical attachment and you will need to provide work references.

  28. Hello Nick. I really find your blog very helpful. Keep the good work up!
    It would be great if you tell us more about relocation to the UK. Do we actually receive assistance from the hospitals to help us settle in? What about tax relief also? These are very common questions among IMG doctors and it would be of huge help if you provided us with some guidance regarding that matter.
    Thanks Nick.

    1. Hi Mohamed, we’re definitely looking to add more topics to the blog in the future and relocation will be one of them! We have a long list of topic requests we’re currently working on so I do hope you can be patient with us. Thank you for visiting the blog and I’m glad you’ve been finding it helpful!

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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.
Photo of Dr Nicholas Tan