Young Internists groups in the UK

There are several trainee groups in the UK, as Internists are organised in several different societies. There are three Royal Colleges of Physicians (representing three different geographical areas of the country) and there is also the Society for Acute Medicine, representing Internists working in Acute Medicine, the part of Internal Medicine dealing with acute medical problems.

All these societies have trainee representatives on their boards / councils and have trainee committees, who mainly work on issues concerning training structure, assessment and education.

Links to the societies:


Training in Internal Medicine in the UK - structure

Postgraduate training in medicine in the UK is structured as follows:

After graduation from university, all junior doctors do two-year generic rotation (Foundation Programme) usually including Surgery, Internal Medicine, General Practice, often Emergency Medicine etc. After this, they apply for specialist training – in the case of Internal Medicine, this is usually a two-year ‘common trunk’ rotation through all major medical subspecialties (‘Core Medical Training’). During this time, they have to pass the Internal Medicine postgraduate exams (MRCP) and can then apply for a subspecialty rotation. The vast majority of trainees do subspecialty training in both Internal Medicine and a subspecialty (e.g. Nephrology, Rheumatology), which takes a further 5 years after completion of CMT. Only after this time do they gain specialist status (‘Certificate of Completion of Training’ or CCT) in both Internal Medicine and their chosen subspecialty.


Moving to the UK to train in Internal Medicine

If you have achieved specialist status in Internal Medicine and/or a subspecialty of Internal Medicine in a EU member country, you can apply to have your qualification recognised and achieve specialist status in the UK (and entry to the specialist register). However if you have not worked in the UK before and have less experience than the required 9 years it takes to achieve this qualification in the UK, it is unlikely you will be appointed to a specialist (‘consultant’) post straight away. Most people would work in non-training posts such as ‘specialty doctor’ positions for a period of time when they first come to the UK.

If you have not completed your residency / specialist training, it is easiest to move to the UK soon after university as you will need to prove that you have achieved the ‘Foundation Programme’ (generic two year training rotation, see above) before you can apply for specialist training. Even if you have more than one year experience in your own country, it may be easiest to apply for the second year of the Foundation Programme (‘FY2’) as a first position in the UK, as you get a bit more support and you can gain the UK experience needed prior to starting specialist training.

Alternatively, you can apply for a non-training position (such as ‘speciality doctor’), which will not count towards your overall training but will still give you the UK experience to then apply for a training programme later on. This might also be a very good option if you only want to come to the UK for a few years and do not need to achieve specialist status in the UK.

For more experienced residents, there may also be the option of applying for time-limited clinical or research fellowships of 1-3 years duration depending on your interest, experience and availability.

Most medical jobs are advertised on

Further information about how to move to the UK as a doctor can be found here:


Working in the UK - professional registration

Anybody wanting to work as a doctor in the UK needs to first apply for professional registration with the General Medical Council, where your medical degree, language competencies etc will be validated. This can take a few months to arrange at is quite expensive. Once you have your license, there are no specific restrictions regarding place of employments but as well as paying an annual renewal fee, you will have to apply for revalidation every five years and need to fulfil certain requirement e.g. CPD, clinical experience, appraisal etc for this.


This page was prepared by Frauke Weidanz, Young Internists assembly representative for the UK, April 2015.


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