Official Partner The Royal Society of Medicine


Working Abroad

Many doctors travel to the UK to work. The NHS is one of the most well-renowned health services in the world, and as a result, the migration of health workers is very high. However, the immigration of health workers is only half the story, with thousands of doctors emigrating to places such as New Zealand, Australia, the US, and EU every year.

Moving Abroad

Medical qualifications are often described as passports to the world, but it can still require a great deal of preparation and expense to relocate to a different country. Global health policy now places a heavy focus on the free movement of doctors across the world, with many recent articles and news coverage highlighting the inherent problems experienced by both non-UK-trained doctors working in the NHS, and UK expatriates working overseas.

Before a doctor moves abroad, either permanently or temporarily, they should attempt to learn as much about the healthcare system in their destination country as possible. Not only is it good practice to understand the culture of another country, but there are likely to be expenses associated with re-registration.

Doctors may also have to provide proof of address, proof of language requirements, and evidence of any personal indemnity requirements.

Despite the exact figures for emigration of UK doctors, a recent study found that many outgoing UK doctors return for a period of time to work again in the NHS. With that in mind, doctors should make every effort to ensure they are following the guidelines of both the GMC and the validation body in their destination country. Like many careers, medicine is becoming an international vocation, and the movement of doctors between different nations is becoming ever more common. As such, many doctors move multiple times, and following all guidelines makes such migration much simpler.

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