Postgraduate medical training in the UK


Doctors resident outside the EU will no longer be able to apply for postgraduate training posts in the UK under new immigration rules.

The Home Office announcement follows sustained criticism from doctors’ bodies that UK graduates are unable to find work due to the competition.

The new rules will come into effect for the 2009 recruitment round.

Read the BBC news dated 6th February 2008 here.

Does anyone know about PLAB? The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test (PLAB) is the assessment procedure conducted by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom that is required for overseas doctors outside the European Union before they can practice medicine in the UK. For more information on PLAB – read here.

Here are the summaries underlined by Palmdoc of Malaysian Medical Resource on pursuing postgraduate medical education in the UK:

  1. All doctors wishing to work in the UK from outside the European Union (EU) will be required to have a work permit from April 2006. The move means that any NHS trust wishing to employ a doctor from outside the EU will have to prove that a ‘home-grown’ doctor cannot fill the vacant post, ending the current permit free training arrangement for international doctors. If there is one British or EU applicant for a certain training post, Malaysian doctors who have no Permanent Resident (PR) status in UK will not be eligible to apply. Practically, Malaysian doctors in UK without PR status can forget about post-graduate training in UK
  2. Non-EU doctors who studied in UK universities are allowed permit free training to complete their TWO years Foundation Programme which is equivalent to the previous Pre-registration House Officer (PRHO) & first year Senior House Officer (SHO) level of training. This is to enable them to register with the General Medical Council (GMC). Thereafter, they too will be subjected to Work Permit requirement practically excluding them from further post-graduate training in UK.
  3. Malaysian doctors who are currently working in UK will be allowed to complete their remaining contracts. After then they will not be eligible for further application or extension of post-graduate unless the Work Permit condition can be fulfilled (which is practically impossible). Those whose permit free visas are expiring but whose employment contracts remain valid will be allowed to extend their visa in the form of Work Permit to complete the remaining terms of their employment. There after they too will only be eligible to apply for posts that cannot be filled by EU or UK doctors. Effectively, if you are in the Type I Specialist Registrars’ post, you are safe. As for the rest, you have missed the boat.
  4. Malaysian doctors who are in the process of applying for jobs will find their CVs literally thrown into the bins.
  5. Those short-listed will be barred to proceed in their job application.
  6. This is a tragedy to many Malaysian doctors affected by the new ruling. It means they will have to uproot their families, sell their houses and cars etc, come home and start from the bottom again, unless the Malaysian government is prepared to do something to bridge and complete their post-graduate training. The announcement came with virtually no warning and no grace period for people to adjust or make necessary arrangement.
  7. Those who intend to sit the PLAB exam please stop doing it. PLAB has practically lost its reason to exist.
  8. Malaysian prospective students and parents SHOULD NOT send their children to UK unless they are certain that they only want to come to UK for undergraduate training only. JPA on the other hand no longer has to worry about the issue of non-returning scholars.

2 thoughts on “Postgraduate medical training in the UK

  1. nonsense! UK doctors should then not be allowed to go to countries like australia, newzealand and others to train. UK doctors should again not be allowed to go to places like africa to do research for their masters and phd using other people to their benefit.
    That is very colonial treatment.A british citizen is not in anyway superior. one people one world

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