This post is for young doctors who have recently graduated or are about to graduate from medical school and wish to work in the UK.
Why Go To The UK?
This is a personal choice, depending on individual circumstances. I have discussed in detail the benefits of working abroad, the benefits of choosing PLAB, comparison of USMLE with PLAB, comparison of working in the UK vs the USA. I have also made a short video to compare USMLE with PLAB.
I will list a few benefits of working in the UK here:
- Easy to enter the system.
- Takes less time, effort and money than moving to USA or Australia.
- Better training compared to home.
- Better pay compared to home.
- There are more jobs and fewer doctors in the UK.
- Very helpful IMG community.
How Do I Decide?
Going to the UK is a life-changing decision and might not be straightforward for everyone. Gather as much information as you can about going to the UK from these links, also gather information about going to other countries or working in your home country. Talk to people with experience. Make a well-informed decision based on the knowledge you gain.
Once you do decide to move to the UK, this should be your plan:
Gather as much information as you can from these links. If you have any questions, post them on Facebook groups. Doctors in the UK are extremely helpful.
- Begin House Job as soon as it becomes available. Do not waste time; you can easily pass IELTS and PLAB 1 during House Job.
- Make sure your House Job is according to GMC’s acceptable pattern.
- Try to learn and brush your clinical skills during House Job, which would be helpful once you start working in the UK.
House Job is also known as Internship or Foundation Training/Program in some countries.
It is ideal to not be jobless for even a single day during your career. When you apply for GMC registration or jobs in the UK, you will have to give an account for every single day since graduation. If you have been working during this time, it can be easier to explain. If you were jobless, you will have to explain the reasoning behind this.
The period during your graduation and the first day of House Job can be explained by mentioning the truth that House Job was not available to you before that.
Make your own personalized timeline and roadmap for when you should be taking the exams.
Homework for PLAB Visa
You do not actually have to do anything, but there are a few things that you should be aware of in terms of your visa homework before you begin your journey, as mentioned here.
Start studying for IELTS right away. Pass your IELTS as soon as you can or depending on your roadmap. IELTS can be easily managed along with any job. Do not remain unemployed because of IELTS preparation.
Start studying for PLAB 1 as soon as you pass IELTS or depending on your roadmap. PLAB 1 can be easily managed along with any job. Do not remain unemployed because of PLAB 1 preparation. PLAB 1 is held outside the UK, as mentioned here.
Visa for PLAB 2
PLAB 2 is only held in Manchester, UK. After you pass PLAB 1, apply for your visa for PLAB 2 depending on your personal circumstances or your roadmap.
Once you pass PLAB 2, GMC registration is only a formality, provided you do not have any long career breaks and provided you have an acceptable pattern of House Job.
Employment in the UK
Every single doctor who passes PLAB finds a job in the UK.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will it take from the day of graduation until I start working in the UK?
This is difficult to answer because everyone has their own circumstances and timeline. Some people pass IELTS, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2 in 6 months. But for most people, it takes 18 to 24 months from the day of graduation until they start working in the UK.
2. Do I need to get my degree attested by the Higher Education Commission (HEC)?
No, you do not.
3. Can I find a job in the UK if I have not completed my House Job?
You can, but you would be seriously limiting your options of finding employment and options of career progression in the UK. This route is not advisable at all.