The following guidelines apply to physicians who have passed USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK and CS, as well as completed their medical degree and residency in the United States. The information here is for those applying for UK’s full GMC registration with a license to practice, and hopes to provide an overview of what to expect in the process, based on the experience of an Internal Medicine physician.
Step One: Review the GMC Website
It is important to carefully review the GMC website on how to join the register. It would be wise to get in touch with a GMC representative by phone if you have any questions or need any clarification on the content.
Step Two: Application Request
You will then need to place an application request, after which the GMC will send you an e-mail with the application form and instructions on which supporting documents to submit.
Step Three: Application Submission
You will need to include certain documents with your application. Importantly, this includes proof of your medical degree (referred to by the GMC as your primary medical qualification), evidence of passing USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK and CS, and a certificate of good standing from every medical regulatory authority with whom you have held registration in the last 5 years (of note, this certificate of good standing is only valid for 3 months from the date it is issued, so if your application takes longer than 3 months to process, you will need to re-send an updated certificate).
Expect that it may take 4-6 weeks to gather all the appropriate documents and submit the application. You will need to pay the application fee once you submit your application, The GMC aims to process your application within 5 working days assuming that you have correctly submitted all the documents requested.
Step Four: Further Assessment
For physicians who do not meet the GMC internship criteria, you can expect to receive an e-mail from the GMC that flags this. At this point, you will likely need to refer your application to an assistant registrar for further assessment. The assistant registrar will decide whether you still possess the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for practicing as a fully registered medical practitioner in the UK even though you do not meet their internship criteria. This decision will be based on additional documents that you will be asked to submit.
At a glance, you will likely need to provide:
- Evidence that during your internship/residency training, you have successfully completed the procedures which appear on the list of core clinical skills and procedural skills for provisionally registered doctors.
- An official breakdown of the dates of your clinical rotations undertaken during intern year and each year of residency.
- Separate evaluation forms filled out by a supervisor that covers a) your intern year b) the remaining years of residency and c) subsequent years of employment post-residency
- A reflective statement that demonstrates how you have the necessary experience for practicing as a fully registered medical practitioner in the UK even though you do not meet their internship criteria
- Evidence of continuing professional development (CPD)
Be warned that this stage may take a lot of time and effort, and heavily relies on engagement and support from your residency program. Furthermore, you will need to provide all the documents in exactly the format requested by the GMC, otherwise they may ask you to re-submit them.
The GMC Registration and licensure process requires patience and good communication between yourself and those you are relying on to help you prepare the documents (particularly members of your residency program), as well as the GMC.
The author is an Internal Medicine physician who completed medical school and residency and practiced as a hospitalist in Boston, USA prior to moving to the UK.