Welcome to the South West
This page has been designed to help support international medical graduates working or preparing to work in our region. We hope you find the following information helpful.
Please contact the IMG Support Network if you have any questions regarding resources for International Medical Graduates.
Please note that we have included links to some external resources and content for which HEE are not responsible.
Working in the NHS
The NHS (National Health Service) is a government-funded organisation, employing the majority of health professionals across the UK. The British Medical Association (BMA) is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK.
Below are some links detailing how the NHS works and further information that may be helpful if you are new to the NHS.
How does the NHS in England work? | The King's Fund
This short video explains in full how the NHS works in England. (6:33)
UK Primary Care from BMJ Learning
This short film from BMJ Learning demonstrates the primary care model used in the UK’s NHS. (17:32)
Making the transition to working in the NHS
This is a short you tube video – Making the transition to working in the NHS – health professionals from overseas tell their stories. (9:02) Created by Health Education North Central and East London, Professional Support Unit Health Education North West London.
International doctors | BMA support for IMGs
British Medical Association Advice for International Medical Graduates
Personal Learning and Development Plan
Getting a Job
There are many routes to getting a job in the UK as a doctor who has qualified abroad. Below are links to explain some of them, and the steps required.
Information for overseas doctors | Health Careers
This website from the NHS contains specific information for doctors coming from abroad.
This is the home page for all medical and dental speciality applications, you can navigate from here to the speciality you are interested in, such as the GP National Recruitment Office.
Application Registration - GMC
The General Medical Council (GMC) explains how to apply for GMC registration – something all doctors in the UK must have before starting work.
Recruitment - Severn PGME
This is our region’s recruitment website, detailing job availability and the applications and interviews process.
Health and Care Worker visa
This government website explains about visas. The link takes you to information about the Health and Care worker visa, which you are most likely to start on, but the website also describes the other types.
Right to work checks - NHS Employers
This website from the NHS explains the documents that will be required for working here.
Once you have arrived in the UK and secured a job there may still be challenges ahead, and we would like to provide you with ongoing support. It would be helpful to join/watch an induction course before you start your first job (For example the “Welcome to UK Practice” course, ran by the GMC), and there will likely be some enhanced induction opportunities for you when you do start.
The Professional Support and Wellbeing hub is there to make sure you get the right support for any challenges you are currently facing, and an IMG group has been set up to provide peer-to-peer support too.
Professional Support and Wellbeing (South West) - Peninsula
Professional Support and Wellbeing (South West) - Severn PGME
Our Professional support and Wellbeing service aims to promote the well-being and personal development of doctors in training across Health Education England South West. Our team can provide support and assistance in tackling obstacles or key transitions, whether they be professional or personal.
GMC Welcome to UK Practice
The GMC have produced specific webpages for international medical graduates with lots of helpful resources including links to book on their workshops.
HEE South West and the GMC worked together with some of our international medical graduates to deliver an online workshop on 3rd September 2021.
Your local employer (GP surgery or hospital trust) will arrange your induction.
Induction for International Doctors - e-Learning for Healthcare
This electronic induction package was created by doctors in Manchester. It is presently being updated.
There is information about how to register with a GP (to access most NHS resources) in the “Life in the UK” section.
This guidance explains about good medical practice in the UK and why it is important to inform them of certain health conditions, and advice on managing your own health.
This BMA link talks about keeping yourself well during the pandemic, both physically and emotionally.
Using an electronic portfolio and doing reflective practice can be difficult to adjust to. This is a link to the London and South East Postgraduate Medical Education joint statement about reflective practice.
Your IMG Network
The IMG Network is supported by SW HEE to bring IMGs together to share experiences and ideas of working and training in the UK. It is an opportunity to connect and network within a safe environment where IMGs are given a platform and a voice to share concerns and learn from each other. It is a forum that is set up to embrace equality, diversity and inclusion to celebrate each other’s differences and similarities. Please email the IMG Support Network if you’re interested or would like to know more.
To view IMG postgraduate doctor in training videos
Life in the UK
We recognise that your life is more than just your job. Here is some helpful information to assist with settling into life in the UK.
Registering with a GP
How to register with a GP surgery - NHS
Finding somewhere to live
How to rent: the checklist for renting in England - GOV.UK
Do consider contacting your practice manager or hospital HR department for further help with finding somewhere to live, there may be local hospital accommodation, or you could also look on Airbnb.
Setting up a UK bank account
Getting a bank account - Citizens Advice
It can be difficult to set up a bank account in the UK without a permanent UK address. Your hospital HR department or host GP practice may be able to assist with this.
Driving on non-UK driving licence
Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB licence - GOV.UK
Know your rights | Equality and Human Rights Commission
Advice for refugee doctors
Refugee doctors will face different challenges to those just applying from oversea. The British Medical Association publishes helpful information for refugee doctors, but also many other links in other parts of this website will be useful to you.
BMA page Help for refugee doctors
This website has been developed by two International Medical Graduates working in the Peninsula. They have drawn on their experiences and those of others to produce an excellent resource, which includes videos, top tips and networking opportunities.
This is a collection of blogs, aimed at support International Medical Graduates, detailing one doctor’s journey to, and through the NHS.
Below is a list of acronyms that may be used within healthcare and your life in the UK, alongside their websites/websites containing useful information about that topic.
BMA British Medical Association
CCG Clinical Commissioning Group
DHSC Department of Health and Social Care
EWTD European Working Time Directive
GPNRO / NRO GP National Recruitment Office
IELTS International English Language Testing System
NMPL (also EMPL/NPL/MPL) National Medical Performers List for England
PAYE Pay As You Earn – Tax The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system - Citizens Advice
RCGP Royal College of General Practitioners