Primary medical qualifications for International Medical Graduates

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

If your primary medical qualification is from outside the UK and is not a relevant European qualification, the General Medical Council (GMC) needs to make sure it’s acceptable in the UK.

What are primary medical qualifications?

Primary medical qualifications are your first medical degree. For doctors who gained their medical degree outside of the UK, it must meet the criteria outlined by the GMC to be accepted when applying for registration with a licence to practise in the UK.

What’s the criteria?

Your primary medical qualification must be in allopathic medicine and have been awarded after a programme of study, comprising of at least 5,500 hours over a minimum period of three years.

Your qualification will have been awarded by an institution listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools. There are circumstances where a qualification not listed in the directory might be accepted. The qualification must satisfy all the other criteria.

You must have completed clinical rotations as part of your primary medical qualification which includes medicine and surgery and have had them overseen by the institution you attended for an acceptable duration.

If your primary medical qualification was studied at more than one institution, it should be recognised as part of a twinning programme or a recognised campus of another institution. You need to demonstrate it was not possible to complete your qualification at one institution for justifiable reasons.

Why do I need to show these qualifications?

You show evidence of your primary medical qualification when applying to take PLAB Part 1 and when applying for your GMC registration and licence to practise.

Is my qualification valid?

You can check if your qualification is valid on the GMC’s website here.

My qualification is valid, what should I do next?

You will need to have this verified independently along with your postgraduate qualification, if applicable. You can learn more about EPIC and ECFMG document verification for International Medical Graduates here.

Resources

Gmc-uk.org. 2021. Acceptable overseas qualifications. [online] Available at: <https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/before-you-apply/acceptable-overseas-qualifications> [Accessed 14 December 2021].