General Medical Council
To be eligible to work in the UK, you are required to be registered with the UK equivalent of the Australian Medical Council (AMC), the General Medical Council (GMC). Provided you have successfully completed one year of postgraduate training, namely an internship, you will be eligible to apply for full registration. The GMC will require evidence of four particular areas to support applications for registration (http://www.gmc- uk.org/doctors/registration_applications/join_the_register.asp).
Of particular note, the GMC does not recognise the College of Intensive Care Medicine as acceptable for the purpose of registration. Therefore the FCICM is not a recognised qualification with regard to proving the requisite medical knowledge and skills for registration.
Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)
If you have not sat both the written and clinical anaesthetic or physicians exams, it is highly likely that you will have to sit the PLAB. PLAB consists of two parts, both parts ensuring that you would have the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a FY2/resident. Part 1 is a 3 hour written paper. It can be sat in numerous centres throughout the world but there is no centre in Australia or New Zealand; the nearest one is India! There are currently four sittings a year in the UK and two a year overseas. It takes about 4 weeks to get your result.
Part 2 is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It consists of 14 clinical scenarios or ‘stations’ as well as a rest station and at least one pilot/trial station. Each station lasts five minutes. It can only be sat in Manchester, UK. You must pass Part 2 of the test within three years of the date you passed Part 1. PLAB 2 is held every 2-3 weeks.
Once you have pasted PLAB Part 2, you are eligible to apply for GMC registration. You must be granted registration within three years of passing Part 2 of the test. Otherwise you will have to take Part 1 and Part 2 again. Even when your application for GMC registration is approved, you still need to jump through one more hoop. You are required to present, in person, to the GMC offices in London or Manchester, for an identity check. You must have this identity check within 3 months of your application for approval being approved, but your GMC registration will not be finalised until you have had this identity check. Furthermore, if you fail to attend for the identity check within 3 months, you will need to complete a new application.
It is apparent from the above that it will take several months from initially applying for GMC registration, to finally being eligible for work. The GMC were unable to give me a rough timeframe within which one could realistically pass both parts of the PLAB and attend for an identity check. In the meantime, you will not be able to work and equally well need to be in the UK to sit PLAB Part II and probably also Part I, plus then go for an identity check within 3 months of being told to.
You are also likely to need to complete other paperwork, depending on your employer: Occupational Health clearance Criminal Records Bureau/ID check Satisfactory Police Certificate of good conduct from home country