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Key stakeholders

If you decide to start a career in O&G in the UK, there are a number of professional bodies you will interact with.

This page explains the different organisations and what they will require from you, as well as how they can support you.

  • The General Medical Council (GMC)
  • The National Health Service (NHS)
  • The British Medical Association (BMA)

The General Medical Council (GMC)

The GMC sets standards for professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours of all doctors working in the UK. The GMC is responsible for registering doctors to practise medicine in the UK, regulating doctors and ensuring good medical practice.

GMC registration and identity check

GMC registration is mandatory for those who wish to provide direct patient care. Before you apply to join the UK medical register, we recommend that you visit the GMC’s website to find useful information on the different types of registration, the application process, the evidence required, and completing a GMC identity check. The GMC have developed a short video explaining the UK medical register which you may find helpful.

Please note that nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) no longer benefit from automatic recognition of professional qualifications. For further information, please visit the BMA website.

Evidence of your knowledge of English

When applying for registration, the GMC will need evidence that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practice in the UK. To find out more about how you can demonstrate this, such as by taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test, please view the GMC guidance here.

GMC revalidation

All doctors need to revalidate every five years. The GMC’s revalidation tips for doctors new to UK practice and their video on the revalidation process will be able to provide you with more information.

The RCOG can support you through revalidation. There is more information about this on the revalidation section of the hub.

Additional GMC Resources for IMGs

The National Health Service (NHS)

The National Health Service (NHS) provides medical, health and wellbeing services to everyone living in the UK. As a publicly funded healthcare system, its services are largely paid for with taxes rather than through individual treatment bills being sent to patients.

The structure of the NHS

Healthcare through the NHS is provided in two ways:

  • Primary care is delivered by general practitioners (GPs) in the community. It’s not possible to get secondary care without initial referral from a GP, except for emergency treatment.
  • Secondary care is provided in a hospital setting. All referrals are made by a GP and each patient is allocated to a particular consultant (specialist) who will retain overall responsibility for that patient’s care, whether as an inpatient or an outpatient, until the patient is discharged.

The NHS is comprised of:

To find out more information about the structure of the NHS, please see the below resources created by the health charity King’s Fund:

Additional NHS Resources for IMGs

We also encourage you to visit the NHS guidance for doctors whose primary medical qualification (PMQ) is from outside of the UK, providing information on working and training in the NHS: a guide for international medical graduates and information for overseas doctors.

The RCOG recommends all IMGs engage with the NHS Induction Programme for International Medical Graduates before commencing their work in the UK. This programme is endorsed by the General Medical Council, British Medical Association, Health Education England, and the Royal Colleges including the RCOG, and has been designed to ensure that all IMGs are welcomed, valued, and supported as they transition to UK clinical practice in the NHS. 

Further information provided by the NHS for IMGs can be found here.

NHS medical indemnity

As a doctor working in the UK, it is a legal requirement that you hold adequate and appropriate indemnity cover. There are different types of medical indemnity.

All NHS trusts and health boards are members of NHS medical indemnity schemes which manage claims arising in the course of NHS duties and employment. The below are the indemnity schemes for each of the four nations:

However, there are limits to the protection afforded by these NHS medical indemnity schemes. The BMA and the RCOG strongly urge all doctors to arrange appropriate personal indemnity cover.

Further information please see the below:

The British Medical Association (BMA)

The BMA is a registered trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK. It is a member-led organisation that represents, supports and negotiates on behalf of all UK doctors and medical students.

We encourage you to visit the BMA website as they produce lots of useful resources to advise and support on a wide range of issues such as pay and contracts, ethics, career progression, complaints and concerns. They also have a section dedicated to advice and support for international doctors, which you can find here, including a useful toolkit for doctors new to the UK.