Postgraduate and specialty or GP training in the UK is the most important and penultimate step of a doctor in their career. It’s every doctor’s dream to be trained in some specific specialty, maybe in some specific region too. Life starts to get complicated with responsibilities and priorities regarding family and all when you reach that age and that’s how a lot other factors start influencing the career choice too. That’s why I would suggest to gather as much info as you can before you reach that point.

Where is the start of the training as doctor in the UK?

A doctor’s training or residency in the UK is separated roughly in three levels.

  1. Foundation training
  2. Core level training
  3. Higher Specialty training

So, a UK medical graduate starts from the 2 years foundation training. Upon finishing that, they apply and get into a 2/3 years core level training in a desired specialty. After that, they again apply and get into 4/5/6 years of specialty training (sub specialty included) in the UK (depending on the specialty).

But, an International Medical Graduate who gets Full GMC registration with a license to practice doesn’t HAVE to go through the foundation training in the UK. They can start at an equivalent level in the non-training side and get the required competencies signed off and proceed onto doing core level training. Sounds complicated? Read on!

Find out ways an International Medical Graduate can get Full GMC registration – How to get registered with GMC.

What is a training job vs non-training job?

The Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) / the deaneries, who control the training of doctors around the UK, can only accommodate specific number of trainees round the year (those are training jobs) but the trusts/hospitals need more doctors. That’s why there are jobs for doctors which are termed as non-training. These jobs will give you work experience, but not count towards any formal training.

These are the kind of jobs an IMG generally ends up taking as their first job. And these non-training jobs also run along with the trainee level, e.g. FY2 level non-training, CT level non-training. The responsibilities are quite the same as a trainee, but trainees have a curriculum to go through, whereas non-training are basically doing a service job.

During these non-training jobs you can get your required competencies signed if you prove yourself up to that level and thus apply for training when the application rounds open. You do get paid the same as a trainee of your level.

We will be talking about competencies in a while.

Levels of Doctors in the NHS

Before commencing the discussion of the complete training structure let’s talk about some terminology. The levels of doctors have shortened form.

Levels of doctors in the UKWhat do they mean
Foundation year 1 (F1 or FY1) Internship or Housejob
Foundation year 2 (F2 or FY2) UK’s internship – in many countries these position is also termed as “medical officer” or the junior doctor of the hospital
Core Trainee / Internal Medicine Trainee / GP Trainee
(CT – IMT – ST 1/2/3)
Junior trainee (resident) doctors in specific specialty
Specialty Trainee (ST3+)Senior trainee (resident) doctors in specific specialty

Now these are trainee levels. How the non-trainee are termed?

All the non-trainee posts are now advertised with their corresponding trainee level so that it’s easier to understand the job description and the modernised level. Still some terminologies for junior doctors are:

  • SHO (Senior House Officer) [FY2 or CT1 level]
  • Trust Grade doctor [FY2 or CT1 level]
  • Junior clinical fellow [FY2 or CT1 level]

And some terminologies for higher grade doctors are:

  • Specialty Registrar [ST3 or up]
  • Senior clinical fellow [ST3 or up]

There is another higher group of non training doctors, they are termed SAS (Specialty and Associate Specialist) doctors. These are non-training roles where the doctor has at least four years of postgraduate training, two of those being in a relevant specialty.

SAS doctors are usually more focused on meeting NHS service requirements, compared to trainee or consultant roles. In the job advertisements, they are generally termed as Specialty doctor.

My take on the terminologies is to understand the modernised (FY1/2 CT1/2) levels first and then ask whatever level the job is. If you are looking for non-training jobs and finding it hard to understand the levels – read more here – How to find a job in the NHS

Training in Medical & Surgical Specialties

Foundation training

The 2 years foundation training by UKFPO is the “internship” equivalent in the UK. If an IMG has completed an acceptable pattern of internship as discussed here, GMC approved internship and UKFPO foundation training, they don’t need foundation training by UKFPO. Still, you can apply for standalone F1/F2 LAT post, which will make your transition into further training easier.

What is Locum appointment for training (LAT) vs Locum appointment for service (LAS)?

LAT stands for “Locum Appointment for Training“. LAS is “Locum Appointment for Service“. By definition, “locum” means a person who stands in temporarily for someone else of the same profession.

Someone may have dropped out of their training, LAT fills that. Hospitals need to fill up some gaps temporarily, LAS fills that. So, an LAT job is a training job, but temporary. On the other hand, LAS is a non-training job and also fixed contract i.e. temporary. Please do not confuse the “BANK doctor” job with LAS jobs. LAS jobs are fixed term basis locum jobs where bank jobs are hourly basis jobs. As an IMG, it’s not wise to start off with a hourly basis bank type locum job as you wouldn’t have that much support.

During these non-training jobs you can get your required competencies signed and thus apply for training when the application rounds open.

Core Level Training

This is the start of specialty training in the UK after successful completion of the foundation training. Whether or not your core training will be continuous with your specialty training, it depends on the specialty you are going to pursue. One of the first things you need to understand is if your specialty is run-through or uncoupled. Now what does that mean?

If it’s run-through:

  • The training starts at ST1. Core training is not separate from the specialty training.
  • You can gain entry from ST1-ST4 level depending on your experience, competencies, and their vacancies.

If it’s uncoupled:

  • Core level training is separate from the higher specialty training.
  • Either you’ll have to finish core training in the UK or have your core competencies signed before you can apply at ST3/4 level where this specialty training starts.

Remember that some specialties need the MSRA exam before you can apply, while others are content with just conducting interviews.

Which specialties are run-through? Which specialties are uncoupled?

Now we know what must be running through your mind: which specialties are run-through and which are uncoupled? Good question. Let’s break it down.

Cardio-thoracic surgeryAcute internal medicine
Clinical radiologyAllergy
HistopathologyAudio-vestibular medicine
OB/GYNClinical genetics
OpthalmologyClinical neurophysiology
Oral and maxillo-facial surgeryClinical oncology
PediatricsClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Emergency medicine
Geriatric medicine
Pediatric surgery
Plastic surgery
Renal medicine

This list is not exhaustive, we’ve just made mention of certain specialties that are most often sought after and asked about.

Alternative pathways to Core Training

There are other alternative pathways to core training like ACCS (for anesthesia, emergency and acute medicine) and Broad Based Training (CMT, GP, Paediatrics, Psychiatry) before getting into ST3/4 onwards.

Higher Specialty Training

This is the final step of the training. As mentioned earlier, the training is separate in case of uncoupled specialties but it’s continuous in run-through specialty.

After ST5 or somewhere in between (depending on the specialty), Specialty Certificate examinations will be held and upon finishing the rest of the training certificate of completion of training (CCT) can be obtained thus enabling to get entry into the specialist register and work as a consultant.

Medical Training pathway in the UK

To know more in detail regarding enter medical specialties, please see our post, Specialty Training in Medical Specialities.

Surgical Training pathway in the UK

To know more in detail regarding enter surgical specialties, please see our post, Specialty Training in Surgical Specialites

Sub-specialty Training

Subspecialties are also a part of this section of the training. It can be taken at ST3 level onwards or maybe after ST6 onwards, depends on the specialty. I’m talking about subspecialties like Paediatric oncology/nephrology (Paediatrics), Maternal and fetal medicine (OBGYN), Hepatology (Gastroenterology), Stroke medicine (Cardiology, Acute internal medicine, Neurology).

General Practice (GP) Training

On the other hand, GP has a very different pathway both in terms of length and progression.

To know more detail about GP training in the UK, please read Specialty Training in General Practice (GP).

Postgraduate Degree vs Postgraduate Training

A lot of people asks about what postgraduate degree they will get after completing the training or residency in the UK. To answer this question, you have to know what exams are integrated in the specific training pathway and how the training pathway is structured.

Training curriculum are made by the respective Royal Colleges and approved by GMC. So, when you complete a GMC-approved training/residency you receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). With that certificate, you can register as a Specialist under GMC and will be able to take up consultant jobs in the UK.

But CCT is not a PG degree, it’s a recognition of your successful completion of an approved training. Some PG degree are integrated in this curriculum.

For example, in the dermatology training pathway – you have to take MRCP as a part of core level training (Internal Medicine Training) and then SCE Dermatology to successfully complete the dermatology training. For Neurosurgery training pathway in the UK, you will have to complete both MRCS and FRCS (Neurosurgery) as a part of your training. So, you end up getting these PG degree/qualifications at the end of your PG training.

If you are still confused – watch this explanatory video by Dr Ibreez Ajaz.

Frequently asked questions

Wrapping Up

  • The very first thing you need as an International Medical Graduate (IMG) is GMC registration.
  • Job in the NHS as a doctor can be non-training or training.
  • Non-training jobs gives a very good opportunity to acclimatize to a new system and enrich your portfolio to apply for your desired specialty training.
  • The duration of training or residency in the UK varies from specialty to specialty. In general the entire training can last from 6-8 years.
  • You

A sound idea about what’s ahead is always needed to succeed in life. Training/residency in the UK is longer in comparison to other countries, especially the USA, but the opportunity to hold non-training jobs and less restrictions to apply for training posts (compared to matching in the USA) are plus points for IMGs who make a big transition from their homeland to a foreign land. At the end of the day, it’s you who will choose what’s ideal for you.

Good luck to you all!

104 thoughts on “Overview of Specialty Training in the UK”

  1. hi there, thanks for answering our quiries
    I have completed 3 years duration of fellowship in rheumatology in home countries. total experience in rheumatology around 5 years but in clinical practice of 11years in totak.
    I was here in UK since March 2020 as specialty training registra( non training) and is fully registered with GMC and fortunately also completed SCE in rheumatology last year, ALS certified recently
    questions are
    1. will getting CESR a better path, and normally how long will it take
    2. how will I qualify to get training post and at what entry level it will be?
    3. how will HEE or trust offer visa sponsorship affect the application of training ? I am currently with tier 5 and plan to switch to tier 2.
    – will I be able to contact HEE to offer CoS if I am at the moment pursuing non training post.
    4. will next job offer of SAS/non training post affect future raining application or even CESR

    1. 1. CESR is an overall difficult path. This is the guidance for rheumatology by GMC for CESR. But this is not impossible. It’s difficult to say how many years it will take as I don’t know how much evidence as per this guidance you already have.
      2. Rheumatology is a uncoupled training. It’s core level is internal medicine training ‘IMT’ (3 years) and higher specialty training is for 4 years. To join ST4 rheumatology training you will need to have alternative certificate of internal medicine competencies along with MRCP (or 3 years of IMT along with MRCP). To get that alternative certificate signed, you need to have worked in geriatrics, MAU and ICU settings in the UK. I know it sounds quite difficult to achieve, but it is what you have to do if you want to bypass going into the core level – internal medicine training from the beginning.
      3. Yes, when you are selected for a training post, HEE (or whichever deanery) will offer you visa sponsorship if you need one. Generally there is never any problem with that.
      4. No. Clinical jobs does not affect your career.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful blog……..
    I have completed speciality training in orthopaedics and also done 2 yrs of fellowship in trauma and orthopaedics from India ……passed MRCS part 1 also……after completing mrcs part 2 at what level of speciality training job I can apply???? I mean which ST level????…….kindly leme know…….

        1. The recruitment does not happen at those levels. It happens at CT1/ST1 or ST3 for surgical specialties.

  3. Hello, I have a query regarding visa status.
    After passing plab2 with an acceptable pattern of internship, you mentioned that we can enter non-training jobs . So my doubts are :
    1. What type of visa do we apply for on non-training posts?
    2. How long will this visa be valid for ?
    3. You mentioned that non-trainee cant enter core training in 1st round, so what can we do in the meantime? Can we continue to work non-training, will the visa still be valid?
    4. Does entering core training need a different visa type? If yes, at what point do we apply for that ?
    5. Finally, if one has not done any medical work after completing internship, because one took a study break of about 1 and a half years to clear plab 1 and 2, do we need to take clinical assessment/ sjt ?

    would much appreciate a response for the queries.
    thank you.

  4. Thaneswaran Jeyakrishnan

    …into Psychiatry CT1
    Hi. How do one get into psychiatry training pathway in the uk ? If one has mrcpsych uk paper A and degree is recognised for gmc registration…. can this be an exclusion for MSRA or still need MSRA?

  5. I have completed my medical training from India . Will complete my dtmh RCP in April . After I complete plan 2 what level training or job can I get in uk ?

  6. Do we need to go through the pg training after pg degree from a uni in uk? also how to apply for a pg degree after completion of your mbbs course as an international student?

  7. If no posts are left after first round, no IMGs will have seat left right. There are many branches where there are no seats are left after first round. So is it hard for IMGs to get into training jobs? What is the percentage of IMGs who pass PLAB gets into training job?

    1. IMGs can apply in first round now since October 2019. And there is no data like that you asked for. There is no relation to passing PLAb and getting into training. Other than GMC registration, there are many other application and selection crtiteria for a training post which you will fin in the person specifications

  8. Guide me on this please, when should i give my plab 1 and 2 exam to avoid clinical gaps? so, lets say my gmc acceptable pre grad internship will start in 2021 around july, as i am a 4th year medical student right now, then i will graduate in 2022, i am not sure how should i time my both tests with internship such as i directly go to uk for either plab 2 or a non training job right after graduation to avoid any clinical breaks?

  9. My friend who has completed MS in Surgery (Post-graduation ) from India is looking forward to work in UK. Which pathway would be best suited in such scenarios ?

  10. I’ve 4 years of postgraduate training experience in gynae in Pakistan , so if I get gmc registration and pass mrcog 1 , which level of non training job is best to apply at this stage Foundation level or speciality level? And to get my competencies signed as I cannot get thm signed from back home , as I have moved to uk now.

  11. Gurukiran Sugur

    Hi sir/ madam , just check wether its right pathway.
    I’m interested in doing pathology in UK.
    I’m currently preparing for IELTS
    Nexts steps – plab 1 – plab2 – run through training in ST – then clearing FRCPATH all parts exam during my ST,- then getting degree /consultant in pathology ( histopathology) .
    Is correct pathway ,I’m thinking .pls Just correct me if I’m wrong .

  12. Rubina Baloch

    AOA,, can you simplify the GP training route stepwise ,its bit confusing. IS it like this , PLAB— GMC Registration—MRSA exams—-3years of training——MRCGP EXAMS——ENTERING GP REGISTER??

    1. PLAB
      GMC Registration
      (Certificate of readiness to enter speciality training obtained – from home or from the UK)
      GP training application
      MSRA Exams and interviews
      *** Training for 3 years ***
      Successful Completion of training (in regards to MRCGP and other Work based assessments) and obtaining a CCT.
      Apply to GMC to enter into GP register.

    1. Senior Clinical fellow is ST3 (registrar) and above equivalent. Have you ever worked in the NHS? If not then taking registrar equivalent responsibilities at your very first job may prove to be very difficult.

    1. Unfortunately, no postgraduate degree from India is accepted by GMC as PG qualification. And for CCT you would need to train in the UK. For CESR however, you can make an application if you can prove your training in India is equivalent to that of in the UK. More info here: Post-graduation pathways in the UK

  13. Apurva Macwan

    This is very helpful, thank you. I have one doubt though. After a non training job, if you want to get enrolled in a run through speciality what exactly is the procedure? Is there any exam for it? If yes when it has to be given? And how difficult it is for an img to get into one?

    1. It is mentioned in the post above that, the exam is called Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). There is a link in the post above as well.

  14. Prashant Neupane

    Dear doctor, thnaks for this amazing website. I have completed OET and booked for plab 1. If i complete MRCS part 1 and part 2 within 2 years from now, will i be eligible for ST3 for surgical training? In long run (after 5 years) will i be able to apply in first list of surgical training?

  15. i have passed my oet exam ,i am specialist in cardiothoracic surgery , can i apply for GP training without plap

        1. You will need to obtain GMC registration before you can apply for GP training. If not by PLAB, it can be done by an acceptable post graduate qualification or via MTI if you meet the requirements.

  16. hello doc!! i had one question that i cant find the answer to.. after my mbbs and internship ,i have worked in different departments (internal medicine, anesthesia, icu) since 2014 but i have been working a non-clinical job since the last 2 years… in one of the blogs somewhere and in the nes website ,, i saw a requirement of recent clinical post graduate work experience for 6 months…
    i am going to sit plab 2 soon and ii wanted to make sure if thats a requirement to work in FY2 equivalent posts in the uk.. The recruiting agents dont give me a clear answer to this… it would be greaat if you could clarify…

    1. Hello. While many posts do ask for minimum 6 months experience in the NHS, it is not necessary to have them in order to get the job. You can show in your job application your other experience and this can be considered.
      Also, why are you quick to settle for an agency when you can apply for jobs yourself? You can apply to FY2/SHO/CT1/Trust grade posts without issue all on your own. Please also see:

      1. Thank you for the prompt reply. so after my gmc registration, does that mean that i dont need clinical experience in my home country within the last 2 years get a FY2 equivalent job in UK >?

        1. That’s depends on the job.
          If they take you without any previous clinical experience for the last 2 years, they take you. If they don’t, they don’t.
          That’s why you have to apply in as many jobs as possible.

  17. Hello, thank you for this amazing blog! I am a little bit confused and i hope you can help me to clarify. I have graduated 4.5 years ago from med school and i have almost completed my psychiatry speciality in my country. I just cant understand which position should i apply or should i take plab or mrcpsych:/

    1. Yes. If you’ve worked under any consultant for a period of 3 months or more after obtaining full registration in your country, you can have them sign it.

  18. Thank u for detailed explanation of different pathways.
    I was wondering if completing MD from Bangladesh would in anyway help getting into a speciality training? Thanks

    1. Completing an MD will give you a few extra points in regards to:
      1. A maaster’s degree in the specialty.
      2. Experience of working in that field.
      So, it will weigh your application to enter specialty training a bit more than other applicants, if you are applying in the specialty.
      But, an MD is not mandatory or necessary.

  19. To get into a training position in the UK, it’s based on a lot of things. Would it be wise to get a master’s degree in medical education/ research after 2 years working in UK, and then applying for residency?

    1. You can. But, a master’s degree is not mandatory to get into training. But if you do, do it related to your specialty, that shows commitment to the specialty.

  20. HI
    thank you and god bless you
    i wanna ask about orthopedics, as i didn’t notice it in the above diagrams , so can IMG apply to it or not?
    also other specialty like ENT as its not mentioned ?

  21. Hey there, thank you for your help. I wanted to know if someone does internship in his own country (FY1), then gets a job as a SHO in UK for one year, gets their competencies signed, will it then be possible for them to apply in Core Medical Training in round one? I’ve heard once you are on a job in UK regardless of your nationality or visa status, you will be allowed to apply to CMT in round one. Can you please clarify?

    1. No, if you are on an NHS trust sponsored Tier 2 visa (which you will be on an SHO job), you can’t apply in round 1.
      The only possible way to apply in round 1 for IMGs who doesn’t have right to work otherwise:
      1. If you are in F2 LAT post. (HEE sponsored tier 2 visa)
      2. After getting ILR/nationality.

  22. Sanjeet Chaudhary

    Hey There
    Thank you so much for writing this.
    I want to ask what if my specialty is only Round 1. As an IMG am i not eligible to apply in that specific specialty ever?

    1. If all posts are filled in round 1, you can’t apply for that specialty as long as you have settled visa of the UK. After 5 years of Tier-2 visa (provided you follow the rules for settlement) you can apply for settlement visa, and with that you can apply in round 1.

  23. Hey !
    Thank you so much for this blog , it’s cleared more then many doubts
    So I’ve finished my medical school in India and that includes a year of internship
    Other then the IELTS , plab 1&2 followed by CT & ST , what would be the movement of training if I’d like to take up dermatology? Would I be required to take up CT 1&2 ?

    1. We are glad the blog has helped you.
      For dermatology training pathway in the UK, you will have to get into CMT first (Get MRCP DONE) and later on get into ST3 Dermatology. Details here,
      But, unfortunately, it is one of the most competitive one. If you look at the competition ratio in 2017, for 31 posts 173 applications were there. This is the highest ratio among all the ST3 specialties. For an IMG it is almost impossible to get because of the RLMT law (which bars an IMG to take up a post if equally qualified UK/EEA candidate is there).
      So, if dermatology is your target I would suggest you to think harder before you make a decision of moving to the UK.

  24. I also like to add that all my clinical rotations during medical school were done in the UK NHS hospitals so not sure if that count for anything such as exposure already negating the need to do non-training jobs.

  25. Hi,
    Not sure where to start from, but first thanks a lot for this informative blog. I am an IMG ( non -EU), I like to list my credentials in hope of getting good advice on what future pathway suits me. I am in entering my late 30s and am a family man so I really would like to be done with training in a medical specialty as soon as possible.
    MD 2007 (Caribbean)
    Internship 2014/2015 (Caribbean ).
    Between year 2007 and 2014, I have been mostly involved in academic work rather than clinical practice which explains the delay in doing internship.
    Other credentials
    MRCP 1 and 2 (written). Not done PACES
    PLAB Part 1 ( not done part 2, Scheduled for next year)
    ECFMG Certified ( Usmles), Canadian MCCEE, MCCQE1, NAC-OSCE
    PGDip (Medical Genetics) from the UK.
    Once I get GMC registration, noting that I have a year of internship but over 5 years of academic teaching as a professor in medical school, what level can I get into FY2 or CT1 ? Training or non-training ? Internal Medicine or GP? Which would be shorter in duration because at this point, I do not mind either specialty, I just want to get into training and be done in very few years for personal reasons.
    Honest advice and if none, thanks for atleast admitting that as well.

    1. Hello, we’re glad to hear the blog has been of use to you! To be as succinct as possible, GP route would offer you the shortage duration of training out of all of the medical specialties. Unfortunately your MRCP will of be no use, you will need to appear in the MRCGP during training as mentioned above.

  26. Hello, I would like to know what type of visa would I need to apply for if I would want to do my specialty/ run through training in UK being an IMG?

  27. I would like to have your kind advice for my situation.
    I am a family physician from Egypt, finished my training in Family Medicine in 2012. I have the Egyptian Fellowship in Family Medicine 2012 and I also earned the International Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners as this college supervise our training program.
    Currently, I’m waiting for PLAB 2 result and I would like to become a GP in the UK but I think it is better to work in a service job first to get a UK experience and to have MRSA exam there while working.
    1- What is the specialty that I should pursue? A&E or Medicine or other?
    2- For how long should I work in this job?
    3- Would they consider my experience as a Family Physician/GP in my country and reflect it in my salary?

    1. Hello Dr Ahmed,
      I think it’s known to you that even with your MRCGP (Intl) you will have to go through GP training here in the UK in order to be a GP here. And you are right, doing a service job (non-training) first will put you to the right track in understanding how healthcare works in the NHS.
      1. A&E should be a good place to start as here you can see varied presentation here. But again you can consider WAST training,
      2. 6 months to 1 year should give you enough footing.
      3. You would have to negotiate that while taking the non-training post. Some trusts do and some don’t. The above mentioned WAST training won’t take your experience into account to reflect on your salary, but it is more streamlined training towards GP training.
      Good luck.

  28. Thank u sir for this amazing post ..
    After clearing my plab 2 ,in how much time i can get a job(work as a resident to earn good salary )and thereis another thing ,after completing my speciality programme ,then in india i will be working as specialist (like neurologist ) it ??
    Regards .

    1. After PLAB 2 you can get a non-training job (pays same as a training job) within 2-3 months.
      If India’s responsible body (MCI) recognizes the training as equivalent in India, then yeah you surely can. I’m positive they do.

  29. Hi, many thanks for your outstanding blog and explanations.

    Now as I understood in your post about the difference between PLAB and MRCP is that in MRCP you can start Specialty training directly without the need for Core Training.

    But in this post you say that run through specialties do not have this division between Core and Specialty.

    I am currently at the end of my first year of pediatric postgraduate training in my home country.
    Since Paediatrics is my chosen speciality will it make any difference to my roadmap whether I take the MRCP or the PLAB?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello, we’re glad to know the blog’s been of help. If you want to do pediatrics, appear in the MRCPCH.
      Getting into training midway for run through specialties is not impossible, it’s just that there are hardly any openings at that time.
      But as it’s still a shortage occupancy job chances are with equivalent competences signed off it may be possible to get into ST3 level.

  30. thanx again for your promptness.
    following up my query regarding img path/s into uk gp training.
    i will start with LAT/LAS into nhs.
    how to improve my competitiveness for gp entry?
    i appreciate your support.

    1. As mentioned in the post, to get into GP training you will have to pass three stages of selection process.
      Doing well in those makes your chances of getting an offer easier.

  31. Hi doc, i echo et al readers gratitude. We are in debted to your good work, Roadtouk is a beacon shining the pathways into UK.I like your impartial effort in presenting.the info.

    I am writing to see your advice. I have always aspired to train in GP. i just missed the deadline for ukfp eligibility application. so now, just go ahea with full gmc and enter into lat/las, or defer anothet year for ukfp commencing 2020.

    I am a fresh MBBS graduate from China with Australian citizenship. I have completed the 12month pregraduation internship in China.

    in the meantime, i am preping for the ielts and the plabs. your posts mentioned Foundation Program is difficult for imgs to obtain. LAT/LAS are probable.
    i somehow feel i will have a better chance to gain entry into gp trainjng if i finishi the majn stream uk student the Foundation program path.

    isit feasible to go ahead with full GMC registrations and enter nhs as lat/s, or
    to defer another year to apply for 2020UKFP intake.

    Now,theres the WAST route.

    i am quite hesitant, which path to tread down.

    appreciate ur comment.

    ithink my question is,how does a fresh graduate img improve the prospectives to enter into gp training in uk.


    1. Hello, great to hear you’ve found our site useful.
      First things first- does your internship fulfill the criteria outlined by the GMC? If so, you cannot enter the UKFPO.
      Secondly, WAST may also have closed it’s selection process for this year, so it is better for you to enter the job force via LAS/LAT if possible.

    1. For LAS posts, there is hardly any strict rules for IELTS, as those are trust based. But for processing they may need a valid IELTS. Again, it highly depends on the trusts.
      For LAT posts, “English language skills as per the eligibility criteria and as demonstrated by registration with the appropriate regulator.” So if the LAT posts are maintained by UKFPO, logically the English Language should require 7.5 in all. But, I think it all depends on the “person specification” on that specific job.

  32. Hi, thank you for this great article.
    There’s a part I wanna ask about, you said that IMG generally can apply only in round 2 ? Why so ? Is it a law matter ? Or does it have anything to do with PLAB test dates ?
    Because after seeing the speciality recruitement acceptance and fill rate, almost every speciality is filled in the 1st round. So as an IMG, Should I only hope to get the spots which are left in the second round ? Thank you.

    1. It’s a “law thing”, you can say. It’s placed to ensure that UK & EEA graduates get the training seats first.
      And I don’t think all the specialties get filled in round 1. IMGs can get into core medical training pretty easily.

  33. Dr.Musarrat Tasnim

    Hello again Ivan i will enter for plab after completing my Msc med in Canada? Dat degree will b counted as my fy2 eligibility? Thnx vaia ? ur blog is so rich with thankful i found ur blog!!!!

  34. Thank you for this very useful bit of information. You have shed light on practically all grey areas. I am an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, trained (& working) in Kenya, with 2 years of experience post-training.
    a) If I followed the suggested pathway; IELTS > PLAB 1/2 > GMC Registration > Non-training Jobs, will it be possible to get SAS jobs or I have to start from LAT/LAS?
    b) If I am considering pursuing the pathway mentioned in A, should I go ahead & pursue MRCOG 1 this early i.e will it make any difference for me?
    c) If I pursued the alternate pathway of MRCOG (as opposed to A), will getting MRCOG 2 help me get a job in the UK? and will it help me get into Subspeciality training?

    1. I am glad that you found it useful.
      a) With 2 years of PG experience and without any membership (MRCOG) it is unlikely that you will get an SAS post. You can surely find and apply and see the person specification for that job.
      b) MRCOG part 1 will enable you to apply in advanced non-training posts. As O&G is a run-through specialty, the ST1 level is for doctors with just completed foundation training. So, O&G experience and MRCOG part 1 will surely give you a competitive edge over other LAS applicants.
      c) You can’t get into sub-specialty training directly, without being in the specialty training first. If you look at the O&G training pathway, MRCOG part 2 & 3 is a requirement to proceed to ST6. So, finishing part 2 early may give you an advantage to get into ST3 when you apply.

  35. i have passed my MRCOG part 1 exam and now i am preparing for PLAB.
    can you please tell me that after clearing PLAB will i get direct training into OBGYN or will i have to start from SHO level.
    furthermore is PLAB necessary for me at this stage after clearing part 1 of MRCOG to get training in the UK?

    1. Getting direct training is possible if you get your foundation competencies signed from your home country and that is accepted by the deanery.
      But it’s recommended to start off with non-training or LAT as having UK experience helps you to get into training.
      For training in the UK, you need to be registered with the GMC first. That can be possible either by PLAB or completing MRCOG. Only part 1 means nothing for GMC registration.
      Please read more here about pathways:

  36. Should one prefer writing plab after mbbs or go for post graduation in india and then write mrcp exams and continue further?

  37. I’m a Chinese surgeon, if I could take part in the GP training pathway and become a GP in the future? How could I alternate certificate? First of all, Should I join the LAT after PLAB? Thank you so much!

  38. i meant my postgraduate master degree
    so if i applied for ST1 non training job first, would it be easy to shift to training job????

    1. It’s always good to have UK experience before you apply for training post.
      And as you have master’s degree, it will help in getting a training post. And how to get into training is well discussed in above post with appropriate links.

  39. let me see if i got it correctly….. in pediatrics if my certificate got accepted i can search for job offers at ST1 without a certificate for foundation competences???

    1. If you are asking about job offers at ST1 level – “NON-TRAINING”, YES. Whenever you are going to apply for training in the Oriel, you will need to get your alternate evidence of foundation competences signed (which you can get signed in your non-training job or from your home if the criteria are met).
      What certificate acceptance are we talking about?

  40. Then, I will have to apply for ST1 directly with no need for CT1 once I have signed my comptencies, right? Thank you so much indeed.

    1. There is no separate CT1 in OBGYN. In run through specialties, CT1 is termed as ST1. As in medicine, there is no ST1 as the “Core Training” module is separate and termed as CMT (thus CT1).

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