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The trials and tribulations of immigrant professionals such as international medical graduates (IMGs) to the UK have been a topic for discussion and debate over many years. Many challenges faced by immigrant doctors have been reviewed and reformed over time and many rules pertaining to the registration and induction of international doctors to UK practice has been modified to facilitate safe delivery of care in the UK National Health Service (NHS). The General Medical Council (GMC), NHS employers, and the UK Home Office contribute to a three-tier filtration sieve for selecting suitable IMGs who aspire to either education and training or pursue a career in the UK health and care sector.
This article pertains to the cohort of IMGs, who have been cleared by immigration regulations to reside in the UK but have not been able to initiate a career or active employment in a medical profession. The process of GMC registration referred to and discussed in this article is based on GMC rules prior to Jan 2021. The perspective from which some of the attributes of the current system has been observed has shown it to be efficient but not uniform, robust but not considerate, thorough but not perfect. During the research for this article, we realised that there are many different opinions or conflicting views on this topic, which have all developed either from an individual or a group’s own experience in the UK. There are similarities and differences in opinions and thus to broaden the scope of the discussion, we report the results of a survey exploring where and how the IMGs (currently resident in the UK) are at the start of their careers in the UK.
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