Aug 22, 2015
Hi guys,

I have been spending the last 2 days to figure out how to oversee the UK medical education (after med school), and I am not sure if the problem is with me, or is it really that difficult to oversee?

OK, here is my complicated issue.

I graduated from an EU country med school (yes, it is on the UK list and they take graduates from there), practiced emergency medicine for about 3.5 years between 1996 and 2000. I completed 3 x 3 months rotations during my residency (pediatrics, surgery, and intensive therapy & anesthesiology). Unfortunately, it was back in 1996 (yes, I am that old). I got married in the meantime, and moved to the US (yes, I am a dual citizen, but it is irrelevant for now).

When I arrived to the US (2000), I had issues with the English. Someone recommended to obtain a master degree in public health (epidemiology), to increase my chances to get into residency, so I completed my studies. Then continued into the PhD program (both are US accredited universities). Public health, epidemiology. I am a PhD candidate now. In the meantime I was a teaching assistant in epidemiology for about 15 courses for graduate students, residents, fellows, physicians, health care administrators, etc., and now an adjunct faculty in a community college teaching anatomy and physiology, starting my 6th year (50% time only for 5 years - 5 classes during 3 semesters per academic year, and now 70%, which is 4 classes for the first semester of the 5th year). I am independently lecturing for some time, and as you by now hopefully agree with me, my English got somewhat better.

I had high hopes that my MPH and later on PhD will help in to get into US residency, but as I have participated in Kaplan preparatory courses, it became clear that - according to one of the main instructors - if someone graduated more than 5 years ago, s/he is not welcome in any US program (fact that someone said loudly once that Texas medical schools are for Texans, etc.). I have never tried USMLE, and I was afraid that I am not well-prepared and would fail. I came across numerous medical graduates with all components of the USMLE completed, yet unable to obtain residency, especially after they spent about $30k-$40k altogether on preparatory courses, exams, applications, interviews and all expenses associated with that. Most gave up after 3-4 years, and now looking for to enter the nursing program or trying to get into physician assistant programs (mostly unsuccessfully) or working in physician offices as a medical assistant for $11/hour.

I had a short (6-year) stint as a 50% graduate research assistant at a leading institute specializing in cancer medicine.

I got divorced, and had a family health issue in the meantime which made me to reconsider my life in the future, and now I am looking for a position that allows me to practice medicine in the UK to be closer to my family.

I speak English only (and my mother tongue, but due to the political instability, I am likely to never return), so I considered Ireland and the UK. I went through both registration descriptions, and looks like that there are much less opportunities in Ireland, besides the UK sounds much better for me (and not surprisingly many of my ex-classmates are living and working there now - however, I want to keep this confidential, and don't need 'debbiedowners' advice, so this is why I am looking for an independent answer), and closer to home (although I heard many bad things about NHS).

So, after a long foreplay :)) that I apologize for, here my questions are:

1. What are my chances to get into any medical residency program in the UK? Keep in mind that I am 44, have not practiced medicine in the last 15 years, and my PhD is not finished yet (I financially bled out).

2. Do I have a better chance to get a provisional or a full registration? I know people who got full registration without even practicing a month back at home (basically they have never even practiced medicine).

3. How do I get around the English test? I would not necessarily like to spend $225 on that.

4. I am applying in October or November 2015 for the GMC registration and will personally visit them in mid December 2015. How long does it take after my personal visit to make the decision?

5. I saw the two foundations years, but for F1, someone needs provisional status. If I get full, can I get into F2, or still should start at F1?

6. I also came across a fixed term one-year FY2 LAT - is it something that I would qualify for?

And, no, after looking to competition ratios, I would not like to enter to Public Health :-(((

I have sooo many questions.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I understand that my case is more complicated than any, but if someone could please tell me whom to contact that would be fantastic.

Thanks a lot.



7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2012
Resident [Any Field]
1. If you've been out of practice for that many years you would definitely need to start at FY1. I would just start off with getting advice on the process. Are you currently in the UK right now? I don't think your chances are that great to be honest, but then again it is worth a shot.
2. I think full registration is if you've completed an internship before, if you haven't then you need provisional registration.
3. If you didn't do medical education in English you are probably going to have to prove your english speaking capabilities, one way may be to try and show your employment experience in the US but i'm not sure if it will work.
Aug 22, 2015
Thanks a lot. I would rather not waste ~$700-$800 (plus travel and room, etc.) and $225 for the English test when I don't have great chances, even if my English is impeccable and willing to start working my way up from the beginning.