Internal Medicine Training (IMT) is the core level training for all the un-coupled medical specialties (e.g. cardiology, gastroenterology, nephrology etc.) in the UK. A trainee in this programme rotates through various specialities and achieves the competencies of becoming a medical registrar. In a way, IMT is the door to all higher specialisation in any particular medical specialty.
Core Medical Training (CMT) has been replaced by Internal Medicine Training (IMT) starting from August, 2019.
Which specialties will require IMT?
The medical specialties have been divided into two groups. Group 1 specialties are the one which support the acute hospital care and Group 2 specialties are the one which provides primarily non-acute, out-patient based services.
Group 1 Medical Specialties
The following specialties will require 3 YEARS of IMT completion before you can apply for them:
- Acute Internal Medicine
- Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
- Endocrinology & Diabetes Mellitus
- Genitourinary Medicine
- Geriatric Medicine
- Infectious Diseases (except when dual with Medical Microbiology or Virology)
- Palliative Medicine
- Renal Medicine
- Respiratory Medicine
Group 2 Medical Specialties
The following specialties will require 2 YEARS of IMT completion before you can apply for them:
- Audiovestibular Medicine
- Aviation & Space Medicine
- Clinical Genetics
- Clinical Neurophysiology
- Infectious Diseases (when dual with Medical Microbiology or Virology)
- Medical Oncology
- Medical Ophthalmology
- Nuclear Medicine
- Paediatric Cardiology
- Pharmaceutical Medicine
- Rehabilitation Medicine
- Sport and Exercise Medicine.
Clinical Oncology, Medical Microbiology, Medical Virology and Occupational Medicine will also recruit trainees who have completed the first two years of internal medicine training.
Person specifications for IMT
- MBBS or equivalent medical qualification
- Be eligible for full registration with, and hold a current licence to practice from the GMC at the intended start date (usually August of the year applied)
- Have evidence of achievement of foundation competences (now called Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training) , in the three and a half years preceding the advertised post start date for the round of application (usually August of the year) via:
- Current employment in a UKFPO-affiliated foundation program, OR
- 12 months medical experience after full GMC registration (or equivalent post licensing experience), and evidence to commence specialty training in the form of a Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training.
You should look at the full person specifications for Internal Medicine Training (IMT) here.
The 12 months experience required must not only be from the UK. Your medical experience back in your home country will also be counted. Certificate of Readiness to Enter Specialty Training was previously knows as alternate certificate of foundation competence.
When is the time to apply for IMT?
This question can be answered from two perspectives.
- Literally, when (as in dates) the application rounds open?
- When in your career should you opt for IMT?
IMT application rounds
Round 1 timetable
If you have the eligibility to apply in round 1, the following timetable is for you:
Round 2 timetable
For up-to-date timeline always check IMT recruitment website.
When in your career should you opt for IMT?
Specialty training is not a race. You should grow into this steadily. You should be able to participate in all aspects of your career advancement as you work in the NHS.
That being said, if you notice the selection criteria for IMT, it also contains the following:
- Clinical skills
- Academic skills
- Research & audit
- Personal skills
- Communication skills
- Management & leadership
- Team involvement
- Organisation & planning
- Commitment to specialty
Providing proof of all these without ever working in the UK can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply directly without having worked in the UK.
So, the best time in your career to apply for IMT would be after working in the NHS as a non-training doctor for at least 6 months – 1 year. Keep in mind that this is not a hard and fast rule.
Do it when you have ticked off a lot of the selection criteria and you feel ready that you have the total understanding about how the healthcare in the NHS works. Don’t feel pressurised into directly joining a training post without prior NHS exposure just because you feel you are lagging behind.
The one book you need to study cover to cover in order to prepare for training interviews is the Medical Interviews: A comprehensive guide to CT, ST, and Registrar Interview Skills.
Further training after IMT
There is no “Internal Medicine Consultant” in the UK. The IMT training is making you competent to become a medical registrar and passing MRCP along with it is a part of the training. After that comes further specialisation in your chosen specialty.
As mentioned already, IMT will be followed by another selection process to get into either Group 1 or Group 2 medical specialties. That training will start from ST3/4 level depending on the specialty.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the entire medical training in the UK? How long will it take to become a medical consultant?
How much an internal medicine trainee (IMT) earn?
I have just my internship experience. Can I apply for IMT?
Does the 1 year post internship have to be in the UK?
Should I join IMT without NHS experience?
Is the training the same across all regions?
How will IMY3 differ from ST3?
When do I need to decide if I want to apply for a Group 1 or 2 specialty?
Can I complete all 3 years of IMT and still apply for a Group 2 specialty?
We hope you’ve understood now how the IMT works and when best it would be for you to apply. If ever you have any questions or confusion you’d like to clear up, please don’t hesitate to ask any question you may have in the above forum!