Routes to medical practise in UK for an IMG

Routes to medical practise in UK for an IMG
Routes to medical practise in UK for an IMG

Doctors who graduate in medicine from the UK or within the EEA(European Economic Area), are eligible to register with the GMC and get a license to practice.

Some of the main routes International medical graduates (IMGs) from outside the EEA looking to practice medicine in the UK need to undergo are:


The PLAB route is the most common route for IMGs to obtain registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). The PLAB test assesses an IMG’s knowledge and skills in line with UK medical graduates. The test consists of two parts: Part 1 is a written examination and Part 2 is a practical assessment. If an IMG passes both parts, they can apply for registration with the GMC.

PLAB is soon going to be replaced with UKMLA- the new two-part assessment being introduced by the GMC to act as a common threshold for safe medical practice in the UK. All doctors will need to sit for this assessment before being registered with GMC, including those who graduate from the UK or within EEA.


The MTI route is a government-sponsored program that allows a small number of  IMGs to train in the UK for a maximum of two years. The program is designed to help IMGs gain experience and skills in their chosen specialty, as well as to promote the exchange of medical knowledge between the UK and other countries.

To be eligible for the MTI program, IMGs must have:

a primary medical qualification recognised by GMC and verified by EPIC

a valid medical license in their home country

A postgraduate qualification(MRCP part 1, MD or other)

at least three years of post-qualification experience

been in clinical practice for 3 out of the last 5 years including the 12 months prior to GMC registration having been granted

It allows for GMC registration without having to go through the PLAB process. Although if you aim to stay and settle in the UK, you will have to find another employer and a different visa. The 2 year period of MTI also does not count towards ILR(Indefinite Leave to Remain).


The MRCP route is a postgraduate qualification offered by the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK. It is a highly respected qualification and is recognized worldwide. The MRCP exam is divided into three parts:

Part 1 tests an IMG’s knowledge and understanding of basic medical sciences,

Part 2 is a written examination that assesses clinical knowledge and skills, and

Part 3 is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) that tests clinical skills.

After passing MRCP, you can apply for a full GMC registration with a license to practice.

The list is not exhaustive but definitely lists the most common routes. Each route has its own eligibility requirements and benefits, so IMGs should carefully consider their options and circumstances before deciding which route to pursue. The routes vary but the destination for all is the same- registration with license to practice in the UK.

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