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Guidance for refugee doctors

The RCOG is aware of the large number of refugee doctors in the UK, a number of whom have previous experience in O&G and who are having difficulty keeping their medical knowledge up to date. We therefore provide refugee doctors access to a number of RCOG resources, as outlined below.

Definition of refugee doctors

To be eligible for College assistance as a refugee doctor, you must provide original evidence that you:

  • Have your passport stamped by the UK Home Office as a refugee
  • Have been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK with refugee status
  • Are not currently in employment

RCOG concessions for refugee doctors

The following concessions are available to refugee doctors for 1 year only, from the date of registration:

  • You will be entitled to attend, free of charge, a maximum of 3 courses during 1 year's registration. These courses are subject to availability but do not include the Part 2 Virtual Revision Course, Part 3 MRCOG Revision Course which regularly hold a waiting list, the Annual Professional Development Course, the RCOG World Congress.  No Franchised courses are offered as they are organised by partners not the RCOG.
  • Library staff will offer support and access to associated resources
  • You will have free online access to The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG), the College’s quarterly CPD journal
  • You can attempt the Part 1 MRCOG exam up to 2 times at a discretionary fee of £50 (please note there is no discretionary fee for the Part 2 MRCOG exam)

To access these resources, you need to register as a refugee doctor with the RCOG. For more information, please email the MTI team at .


Applying for posts

Refugee doctors applying for posts in the UK have the same rights as British and European doctors. The first level of post is designated ST1 (first year of specialty training). However, it’s unlikely that refugee doctors would be appointed to an ST1 post (the first level of post – year 1 of specialty training) unless they’ve previously undertaken work in the UK and have knowledge of how the British system works.

At the moment, it’s difficult to get on the ST1 ladder. If you have a mentor or have obtained a clinical attachment, your consultant colleagues will be able to help you get an ST1 post.

Find out more about training in O&G in the UK

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulatory body for doctors in the UK. To practise in the UK, you must be registered with the GMC. For more information, visit the GMC website or call the GMC helpline on +44 (0)161 923 6602.

No, we’re unable to sponsor refugee doctors for registration.

We suggest that you approach consultants at your nearest local hospital. You may also be able to get information about potential clinical attachments from the Associate Dean for Overseas Doctors at your regional postgraduate deanery, and also from local refugee organisations.

Regardless of your level of experience, most hospitals would be reluctant to take on any doctor who hasn’t previously worked in the UK at anything other than ST1 level. These posts are advertised in BMJ Careers.

All UK training posts are advertised in the BMJ or the Lancet. The adverts will include instructions on how to apply.

Further sources of information

The British Medical Association (BMA) will be able to advise you on any issues, particularly those that are not within the remit of the RCOG. We encourage all refugee doctors to register with the BMA as part of their Refugee Doctor Initiative, a special package of free benefits available to refugee and asylum-seeking doctors looking to establish their careers in the UK.

Non-governmental organisations also offer help and advice.

For details of help available in your area, please see the local resources section of the ROSE website, an online information resource for refugee and asylum-seeking healthcare professionals.