What is the GMC ?.

GMC is the acronym for General Medical Council. According to its official website, the GMC is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK. The GMC, among many other functions:

Which doctors are qualified to work in the UK (both national and those coming from abroad).

It oversees the medical education and training in the UK and sets the standards that doctors must follow as well as ensuring that these standards continue to be met throughout their careers.

They take action when they believe that a doctor may be putting the safety of patients and / or public confidence in the doctors at risk.

 Register with the GMC.

The procedures are fully detailed in the official website of the GMC. Click here and follow the steps in the link: "For registration with a license to practice (I have never held registration With the GMC)”. We will try to summarize the procedures you have to follow.

For those who register for the first time, the Registration depends on:

The University where one has done the "Primary Medical Qualification" (PMQ), and whether it is in an EU country.

Whether you are or not a citizen of a European Union (EU) country.

Have completed or not your specialist training (Internship), and where.

 The following cases are given, 1 and 2 are the most common:

1. A citizen of a country in the EU, did the PMQ at a university in an EU country or Switzerland, and have completed their specialist training in an EU country.

a. Create an online account in the GMC.

b. Enter your account, complete the online application provided by the GMC (you have up to three months to complete it), pay the fee and then submit the online application. In this order.

c. When indicated, send copies of the supportive documentary evidences you were requested, by post to the GMC and official translation of those not in English. The documents to send are:

 I. Passport of an EU country (or Switzerland if you're Swiss) or documentation of identity.

II. Evidence of your PMQ (title of “Licenciado en Medicina y Cirugía” in Spain), or its equivalent granted by an EU country), or a temporary certificate if you do have the Title.

III. If you have a specialist degree or are a GP you can apply for "Full Registration" and "Specialist Registration". You will have to send a copy of your title of specialist or GP. Depending on the EU country where you got these titles, it may be necessary for the GMC to ask for some extra documentation.

IV. ”Certificate of Good Standing". It is a certificate granted by the regulatory health authority in each country. In Spain it is the “Consejo General de Colegios Médicos” (Madrid), certifying that you have never been suspended or prohibited from practicing medicine, nor have had or have pending any medico-legal problem that prevents you from practicing. This Certificate in Spain is done in English and sent directly to the GMC in London. The GMC does not accept it if it is first sent to you.

V. Work experience of the last five years. Both if having worked in medicine or not. GMC gives you the details here.

VI. References from your employer, whether or not you have worked in medicine. The GMC provides more detail here or you can ask them to fill in a form provided by the GMC.

VII. "Declaration of fitness to practice". It's a series of questions you have to answer about your qualifications and fitness to practice medicine. See here.

* The GMC will likely ask you to provide evidence of necessary Knowledge of English.The easiest way is to do the IELTS (International Inglés Language Testing System) and get at least a score of 7 in every aspect (reading, writing, speaking and understanding), and a total of 7.5 (in the same Test). This test is valid for two years. Or

* Certificate confirming that all the PMQ (less than 2 years old), including clinical activities were taught and examined solely in English. There is however a list of Universities from where this Certificate is not accepted.

*If you do not show evidence of proficiency in English, you can still register with the GMC, but you will not be granted a license to practice, and hence will not able to work in the UK. You can apply later for license to practice after presenting evidence of knowledge of English.


d. Visit GMC offices in London or Manchester for a "check ID" (Identity Check) and bring the original documents copies of which you had sent. Previously you will receive an invitation to for this ID check and they will advise you of the documents you need to bring. On its website, the GMC recommends some commercial translation services, but in Spain there are also companies that offer it. We will get in touch with them. There is no need for documents to be notarized.

 2. f you are a citizen of an EU country, and did your PMQ at a university in an EU country or Switzerland, but have have not completed your specialist training. You can request a "Provisional Registration" (Provisional Record) with license to practice. There is no need for an approval examination (like the “MIR” in Spain). You are elegible to start the "Foundation Year 1" (FY1) and start a training program specialist. Upon completion FY1 you can now drop a "Full Registration". The Provisional Registration lasts up to 3 years and 30 days, not renewable. The requirements are similar to the number 1.

a. Create account Online.

b. Fill the application, pay the fee and submit the application.

c. Mail copies of supporting documents when requested.

* The document to be presented are all of paragraph 1, but the III.

d. Visit GMC offices (when you receive an invitation) for an ID check.

* Must provide evidence of sufficient knowledge, the English (IELTS).

* If you do not provide evidence, you can register without license to practice, and can apply later after presenting evidence of knowledge of English.

3. If your PMQ was outside the UK, Switzerland or the EU countries, whatever your nationality, the process is more complex.

a. You must provide evidence of your knowledge and skills applying for the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board). More information here.

b. You must provide evidence of having an acceptable qualification, postgraduate. That is, the School of Medicine where the PMQ must meet certain criteria set by the GMC.

* For more details, click here, select option 1, then option 3 (unless you are in the exceptions, option 4) and then again option 3 and follow the instructions according to your case.

4. If you are a citizen of UK but your PMQ is from a different EU country, you will be treated as a European doctor.