Working with doctors Working for patients

Acceptable overseas medical qualifications

This page is for medical students and doctors from the UK, EEA and overseas, and explains which overseas qualifications are acceptable for the purposes of sitting the PLAB test or applying for registration with a licence to practise.

If a qualification or medical school is not included on either of these lists, it does not mean that it is acceptable. A qualification is only acceptable where it meets all of our criteria.

I am a medical student or doctor

If you are an UK, EEA or overseas national with a primary medical qualification (PMQ) from outside the UK or EEA, your qualification will need to meet the criteria set out below. Please read our guidance carefully, because the criteria for EEA and UK/overseas nationals is different. If you have any queries, please contact registrationhelp@gmc-uk.org.

I am an administrator of a medical school on one of your lists

If you are from a medical school and your institution appears on one of our lists, you can request a review of your institution's qualification at any time. Simply download and complete this form, and send it to us, along with any evidence, for assessment. We also have guidance to help you with completing the form. If you have any queries, please contact GMCRegInvTeam@gmc-uk.org.

 

Please refer to our Glossary of Terms to see what we mean by acceptable overseas qualifications.

Our criteria for acceptable overseas qualifications

1. To be eligible to sit the PLAB test and/or apply for GMC registration, applicants must satisfy the GMC they hold, or have passed all the qualifying examinations necessary for obtaining an 'acceptable overseas qualification'. An acceptable overseas qualification meets all the criteria approved by the GMC. A qualification which does not meet all of the criteria, cannot be accepted.

2. The criteria are set out below:

a. It must be a primary medical qualification in allopathic medicine that:

  1.  i. has been awarded by an institution listed on the World Directory of Medical Schools;

  2. AND
    ii. is currently acceptable to the GMC

b. Primary European medical qualifications will always be acceptable. Where a qualification is not listed in the directory, it will be otherwise acceptable to the GMC only where the reason that it is not listed is because:

    1. i. the country, under whose auspices the qualification is issued, is not recognised by the United Nations

    2. AND/OR
    3. ii. the qualification was awarded by an institution that no longer exists or no longer delivers medical education and the GMC can be satisfied as to the veracity of the individual's qualification.

    In each of the above circumstances, the qualification must satisfy all of the other criteria for an overseas qualification to be acceptable.

  1. c. Where relevant, the institution listed in the directory must have sufficient contact details (address or email address, fax number or telephone number) to allow verification of the qualifications it has issued.

  2. d. It must have been awarded after a programme of study, comprising at least 5,500 hours over a minimum period of years, depending on circumstances.

  3. Please click on the relevant link below, which explains the basic medical training requirements your qualification must meet, depending on whether you are:
    1. i. an EEA national or person relying on EC rights, with a non-EEA PMQ
    2. ii. a UK or non-EEA national not relying on EC rights with a non-EEA or UK PMQ.

 

  1. e. If you have studied at more than one institution and that study has contributed to the award of your primary medical qualification, it will only be acceptable where:

    1. i. the institution is part of a recognised twinning programme or a recognised campus of another institution

    2. OR
    3. ii. it has not been possible to complete your qualification at one institution for justifiable reasons

    4. AND
    5. iii. the course credits which contributed to the award of your qualification must not have included credits transferred from another institution where you failed.

  2. f. You must have undertaken clinical rotations (clinical clerkships) as part of your primary medical qualification which have provided you with appropriate clinical experience, meaning:

    1. i. the clinical rotations must have been of an acceptable duration

    2. AND
    3. ii. have included exposure to medicine and surgery
    4. AND
    5. iii. were overseen and/or approved by the institution you attended

    6. AND
    7. iv. formed part of your overall programme of study

  3. g. Where the qualification held by an applicant fails to satisfy any one or more of the above criteria, that application must be refused (on the grounds that the applicant does not hold an acceptable overseas qualification).

3. Qualifications which meet the above criteria are currently acceptable for the purposes of taking the PLAB test and/or applying for GMC registration, but that does not necessarily mean that they will always be acceptable.

Overseas qualifications which we do not accept

We do not accept applications to either sit the PLAB test or for registration, from graduates of the medical schools listed below. This approach reflects our primary duty to protect, promote and maintain the heath and safety of the public in the UK.

We take the decision to place an institution on this list very seriously. We only place a medical school on this list, once we have carried out a full investigation and concluded that it is the most appropriate course of action.

Any queries about this list should be sent to: gmc@gmc-uk.org 

There are a number of reasons why a qualification may be added to this list. These include, (but are not limited to):

  • where we have information that demonstrates the qualification does not meet our acceptability criteria
  • where we have questions about the acceptability of the qualification, and after investigation, we cannot satisfy ourselves that the qualification is acceptable
  • where we receive information about irregularities relating to the programme of study or the awarding of qualifications, and cannot satisfy ourselves that the qualification is acceptable.

Qualifications we do not currently accept

  1. 1. Belize
    • St Matthew's University School of Medicine
    • Grace University School of Medicine
  2. 2. Cook Islands
    • St Mary's Medical School
  3. 3. Curacao
    • Avalon University School of Medicine
  4. 4. India
    • Ranchi University - Mahatma Ghandi Memorial Medical College
  5. 5. Liberia
    • Saint Luke School of Medicine
  6. 6. Saint Maarten (formerly the Netherlands Antilles)
    • American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
  7. 7. St Lucia
    • Atlantic University School of Medicine
    • Spartan Health Sciences University (where course of study commenced on or before 31 December 2008)
    • St Mary's Medical School
  8. 8. St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • St James School of Medicine (St Vincent, Anguilla and Bonaire campuses)
  9. 9. Senegal
    • St Christopher Ibrahima Mar Diop College of Medicine (for students who graduated before 2003)
    • St Christopher Ibrhamia Mar Diop College of Medicine - UK Campus
  10. 10. Seychelles
    • University of Seychelles American Institute of Medicine (USAIM)
  11. 11. Sri Lanka
    • South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Faculty of Medicine, Malabe
  12. 12. Ukraine
    • Lugansk State Medical University, located in Lugansk (students who commence or completed their studies after 30 September 2014)
    • Crimea State Medical University named after S I Georgievsky (students who commenced or completed their studies after 1 March 2014)
    • Crimean Medical Institute (students who commenced or completed their studies after 1 March 2014)

Overseas medical qualifications which we may accept

This list contains qualifications which we know are acceptable for some, but not all, graduates. We need to carry out further checks before we can decide whether the qualification awarded to the particular graduate meets our criteria. The acceptability of the qualification will depend on the arrangements that applied to the individual graduate.

About the list of qualifications which may be acceptable

For the medical schools listed below, the acceptability of the qualification will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

There are a number of reasons why a qualification may be added to this list, and these include (but are not limited to):

  • where we have information that the awarding body may accept transfer students who complete less than 50% of the programme of study in the country awarding the qualification
  • where we have information that some of the medical schools listed, may offer courses leading to qualifications which do not meet the criteria, alongside some courses which meet the criteria.

Qualifications which may be acceptable

  1. 1. Aruba
    • Aureus University School of Medicine - formerly known as All Saints University of Medicine (until 2011)
    • Xavier University School of Medicine
  2. 2. Caribbean Netherlands (formerly the Netherlands Antilles)
    • University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine
  3. 3. Cayman Islands
    • St Matthew's University School of Medicine
  4. 4. Commonwealth of Dominica
    • All Saints University School of Medicine          
  5. 5. Guyana
    • American International School of Medicine
  6. 6. India
    • Rajiv Ghandi University of Health Sciences - Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences
  7. 7. Philippines
    • University of the East Ramon Magasaysay Memorial Medical Centre
  8. 8. Russia
    • Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy
    • North-Western Medical University, named after I.I. Mechnikov
      Formerly known as:
      • St Petersburg State Medical Academy, n.a. I.I. Mechnikov
      • St Petersburg State Medical Academy
      • Saint Petersburg Medical Institute of Hygiene and Sanitation and Leningrad Medical Institute of Hygiene and Sanitation
    • Ryazan (Rjzan) State I.P. Pavlov Medical University
      Formerly known as:
      • 1st St Petersburg IP Pavlov Medical Institute
      • 1st Leningrad IP Pavlov Medical Institute
      • St Petersburg State Medical University
      • Sankt-Petersburgsij Gosudarstvennij Medcinskij Universitet
    • St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy
      Formerly known as:
      • St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Institute
      • Leningrad Red Banner of Labor Medical Pediatric Institute
      • Leningrad Medical Pediatric Institute
  9.  9. Samoa
    • Oceana University of Medicine
  10. 10. St Kitts and Nevis
    • Windsor University School of Medicine (for students who graduated on or before 30 October 2012)
    • International University of Health Sciences
    • University of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • St Theresa's Medical University
  11. 11. St Lucia
    • Destiny University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
      Formerly known as:
      • College of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • International American University
    • Spartan Health Sciences University (for courses commenced on or after 1 January 2009)
    • College of Medicine and Health Sciences, St Lucia
    • College of Medicine, International American University
  12. 12. St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • All Saints University College of Medicine
  13. 13. Tanzania
    • Hubert Kaikuri Memorial University
  14. 14. Uganda
    • Kigezi International School of Medicine
  15. 15. Ukraine
    • Kyiv (Kiev) Medical Institute of UAFM (Ukrainian Association of Folk Medicine)
    • Lugansk State Medical University located in Rubizhne
    • Lugansk State of Medical University based in Lugansk (students who completed their studies before 30 September 2014)
    • Crimea State Medical University named after S I Georgievsky (only for graduates where study commenced before 1 March 2014)
    • Crimean Medical Institute (only for graduates where study commenced before 1 March 2014)
  16. 16. United States of America
    • Touro University of California College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM) (this only applies to students who graduated on or after 1 January 2010)

My qualification is on this list. What should I do?

If you are a graduate of any of the universities listed above and are thinking of applying to sit the PLAB test or for GMC registration, please email gmc@gmc-uk.org.

You must include your GMC reference number (if you have one) and full details of your medical school(s). We will pass your information to the relevant team, and they will contact you directly.

Timescales

If we need to assess your qualification, we try to do it as quickly as possible. However, assessments can take some time, especially if we need to get information from a third party such as the medical school.

 

Important notes

The criteria defining an acceptable overseas qualification may change from time to time. Because we accept a qualification now, it does not mean that we will accept it in future.

Similarly, our lists may also change. It is important to be clear that the fact that a qualification is not included on one of our lists does not mean that we will accept it.

The acceptability of a qualification will be decided when we start assessing an application for registration. It does not happen often but it could mean, for example, that a qualification which allowed a doctor to sit the PLAB test may not be acceptable at the point at which the application for registration is decided.

The information on this page is subject to change. You are advised to check these pages regularly for up to date information on qualifications which are not currently acceptable. Any application to sit the PLAB test or for registration will be assessed in line with the legislation, procedures and criteria in place at the time such an application is received.