Becoming a UK Doctor

Take your medical career to the next level

Are you a passionate Doctor who is keen to develop your medical expertise in the most respected and highly regarded health service in the world? If so, you have come to the right place!

Drake Medox are recognised for their excellence of service and dedication in supporting overseas Doctors to find the best and most suitable jobs, in prestigious UK healthcare organisations.

We provide free expert consultancy and recruitment services in order to assist you through the entire process, including preparation for job interviews, GMC (General Medical Council) registration, visa application and ongoing support throughout your employment here in the UK.


Below we outline the two routes to becoming a GMC Registered Doctor in the UK:



Further Information on becoming a UK Doctor via the PLAB route

Primary Medical Qualification

International doctors applying for full registration with a licence to practice need to have their primary medical qualification independently verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) through their online system Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC).


English Language Proficiency

Before you can take the PLAB 1 exam, you need to prove that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely in the UK. You can use either an IELTS or OET certificate or an Acceptable Primary Medical Qualification.

  • IELTS certificate - must have at least 7.0 in each testing area (speaking, reading, writing and listening) and an overall score of 7.5.
  • OET certificate - must show you got at least a grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
  • Acceptable Primary Medical Qualification - must be less than 2 years old when you apply for registration and must have been taught and examined solely in English.

Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test

The GMC uses the PLAB test to ensure that international doctors have the basic medical competence and communication skills to practise in the UK. The first part of the PLAB can be completed overseas, and the second part must be taken in the UK.



PLAB 1 is a 3-hour written exam comprised of 180 multiple choice questions with the aim to test your ability to apply your knowledge for the care of patients. The PLAB 1 test is held 4 times a year in the UK; March, June, September and November. Additionally, PLAB 1 testing is run twice a year at a number of overseas venues in March and November by the British Council.

You can prepare for PLAB 1 by using the GMC's PLAB Blueprint which covers all the topics and skills needed to pass the test.

Download the Blueprint here


It is also a good idea to check out Good Medical Practice which sets out the professional values and behaviours when you take the exam and when you medically practise in the UK.

Download Good Medical Practice here



PLAB 2 is an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) made up of 18 scenarios, each with a duration of 8 minutes. The exam is to test your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients through real life settings including a mock consultation or an acute ward. PLAB 2 must be taken in the UK, therefore, you will need to apply for a visitor visa to come to the UK to sit the exam.

As with PLAB 1, you can use the Blueprint and Good Medical Practice to prepare for PLAB 2. Many international doctors also choose to take an independent PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 course in preparation. 



Further Information on becoming a UK Doctor via other routes


Acceptable Postgraduate Qualification (PGQ)

The GMC accepts the evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience without PLAB test if you have acceptable postgraduate qualifications.

View the full list of acceptable Postgraduate Qualifications here



MTI stands for Medical Training Initiative which is a national scheme designed to allow a small number of doctors from overseas to work and benefit from training and development in NHS services for a maximum of 24 months before returning to their home countries.


Any Questions?


For more information on the process of becoming a UK registered Doctor, please provide your details via the link below and one of our Medical Recruitment specialists will be able to assist you: