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The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulator of the medical profession in the United Kingdom. Doctors who wish to practice in the UK must be registered. They have the power to revoke the licence, or place restrictions, in cases of questions about a doctor's fitness to practice.
The purpose of the GMC is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the community by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. They liaise with other nations' medical and university regulatory bodies over medical schools overseas, leading to some qualifications being mutually recognised. The Council is funded by annual fees required from those wishing to remain registered and fees for examinations.
You need to be registered with the GMC if you wish to practice medicine in the UK. The activities that require GMC registration include:
Your eligibility for registration with the GMC and the process for gaining registration generally depends on the place where you obtained your primary medical qualification, your nationality, and the nature and extent of your postgraduate experience.
You must ensure that your registration is appropriate for the type of post or practice that you will be undertaking.
Provisional registration allows newly qualified doctors to undertake the general clinical training needed for full registration. A doctor who is provisionally registered is entitled to work only in Foundation Year 1 (F1) posts in hospitals or institutions that are approved for the purpose of Foundation Year 1 (F1) service.
Provisional registration is available to doctors with the following nationality, rights and qualifications:
You need full registration for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK. Generally speaking, doctors who have undertaken a satisfactory period of experience under provisional registration may apply to move to full registration. Some doctors qualifying from outside the UK may be eligible to apply directly for full registration:
Doctors applying through this route must have completed a 12 month internship undertaken in a resident medical capacity in posts approved for internship training.
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who have completed an internship
IMGs applying for full registration must hold an acceptable primary medical qualification and will be required to submit evidence that they have satisfactorily completed either Foundation Year 1 in the UK or a period of clinical experience that provides an acceptable foundation for future practice as a fully registered medical practitioner.
In addition, they will be required to demonstrate their medical knowledge and skills in one of the following ways:
The GMC maintains a specialist register. Since 1 January 1997 it has been a legal requirement that, in order to take up a consultant post (other than a locum consultant appointment) in a medical or surgical specialty in the NHS a doctor must be included in the specialist register.
The only exceptions are doctors who held a consultant post (other than a locum consultant post) in oral and maxillo-facial surgery in the NHS immediately before 1 January 1997.
It is not possible to hold specialist registration without also holding full registration.
Since 1 April 2006, all doctors working in general practice in the health service in the UK - other than doctors in training such as GP Registrars - are required to be on the GP Register.
To apply for registration, you will need to visit the GMC website to find out which registration route you should take.