The key question asked by students and teachers who are thinking about studying Medicine in Europe is: will I be able to practise in the UK once my degree is finished? And what are other options?
If you choose to pursue Medical studies in Europe (by this we mean in the European Economic Area) then your qualification is recognised across Europe.
This means that you are eligible to apply for registration with the GMC without sitting the Professional Linguistic and Assessment Board (PLAB) test (provided you are a European citizen).
As you complete the equivalent of your FY1 year (usually called an ‘internship year’) in your chosen study destination, you will be applying for full registration with a license to practise.
This makes you eligible to apply for vacant FY2 posts when you return to the UK. Some returnees will also apply for vacant FY1 positions. Please note that you are still required to comply with all the UK’s health and criminal record disclosure requirements.
At the time of your application to a European Medical School, you will probably be planning on coming back to the UK when you qualify in six years’ time. However, there are two important things to remember.
Firstly, going to university (and especially going to university in another country) changes you. You grow and mature a lot in these years and after you graduate you may decide that pursing a medical career in the UK is not the be all and end all.
Secondly, nobody can predict what the employment situation will be in six years’ time. The NHS’ conditions may be better, the same, or worse. And as the UK health services undergo constant change, so does the number of available employment opportunities.
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