What International Doctors need to work in UK


Guide to what International Doctors need to work in UK

Working as a Doctor in the UK provides a lot of opportunities and a great standard of living. We have put together a short guide on the requirements a doctor needs to meet in order to work in the UK.


All doctors must have registration with a license to legally practice medicine to work in the UK. Registration and license to practice is issued by the General Medical Council (GMC) and is required by all doctors in the UK whether you work for NHS, independent sector, full, part-time or locum roles.

There are also different registration types available and some requirements must be met in order to register. Visit the GMC Website for more information or to apply for registration.

Right to Work in UK

In order to work in the UK, you will have to meet the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigrations Regulations. There are many visa types available to suit your situation. For more information and to apply, visit their website here.

Some healthcare providers can help with visa sponsorship. Our Permanent Recruitment Team are available to discuss this further.

English Proficiency

In order to be placed in a permanent medical role in the UK, you must demonstrate your English Language abilities as part of the tier 2 visa application and professional body registration.

The GMC recognises IELTS and OET examinations to test your English proficiency. Both exams consist of four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking which can be completed on paper or on a computer at local test centres.

GMC require an overall score of 7.5 and minimum score of 7.0 in each section. For the OET exam, GMC require at least a grade B in all modules.

Choosing which exam to take is down to personal preference, while the OET exam is more healthcare and workplace focussed the IELTS exam is a test on the broader English language, which would be beneficial for life outside of work.


The General Medical Council will require you to complete a PLAB Test (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) which helps them ensure that Doctors qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practice medicine in the UK as a doctor starting the second year of their foundation programme would be.

There are two parts to this exam consisting of a written multiple choice test followed by a practical objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). Once both parts of the test are passed, you can apply for GMC registration with license to practice.


Doctors wanting to be placed in a permanent role in the UK with Direct Medics must have Specialist Registration or a minimum of 3 year’s clinical experience as a senior or specialist doctor. We have roles available within a variety of specialties and our recruitment team can discuss potential sponsorship details for a role once registration and work requirements are met.

For more information on requirements or job opportunities available, get in contact with our permanent recruitment team today at permrecruitment@directmedics.com