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The General Medical Council (GMC), the UK regulator for doctors, uses the following ways for an international medical graduate (IMG) to demonstrate their knowledge of English if they are applying to register to practise in the UK.
Doctors should have an overall score of 7.5 in the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from the last 2 years. As part of this, a doctor must score a minimum of 7.0 in each of the four papers: reading, writing, listening and speaking. These scores must be achieved in one sitting of the test.
Doctors should have an overall grade of B in OET Medicine from the last 2 years. As part of this, a doctor must score a grade B in each of the four papers: reading, writing, listening and speaking. As in IELTS, these scores must be achieved in one sitting of the test.
OET and IELTS are how most overseas doctors demonstrate their knowledge of English. The GMC may accept test scores that are more than 2 years old if a doctor can show that their English language skills have not deteriorated in that time. They may have worked in a country where English is the first language for example, or they may have taken a postgraduate course of study which has been taught and examined in English.
The GMC requires the PMQ to have been taught and examined in English and to be from the last 2 years. As part of this, at least 75% of the doctor’s clinical interaction, including personal contact with patients, relatives, and other healthcare professionals, must have been conducted in English.
The GMC may be able to accept confirmation from an employer if an IMG has worked in a medical capacity for at least the past two years in a country where English is the first and native language. A list of accepted countries is provided here.
The GMC requires written confirmation from the UK healthcare organisation that an offer of employment has been made, and that the healthcare organisation must be a designated body. A detailed reference needs to be completed by the employer evidencing English language level.
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