Our permanent recruitment team have extensive knowledge to help you find the right role in the UK. Our experienced teams cover all subspecialties of acute doctors so we’re well placed to find the right job for you.

The UK is home to one of the world’s greatest healthcare systems; the NHS, as well as a large number of private hospitals across the country. We’re proud to have contracts across many NHS Trusts and private hospitals meaning that we can bring the best jobs to our candidates.

Increasing pressure on the NHS has led us to extend our search internationally in order to bring some of the world’s best medical talent to the UK. Working in the UK offers great experience and is a prestigious stamp on your resume.

Whether you’re based in the UK or overseas, we’re looking forward to finding your next position.

Ready to start your healthcare career in the UK?

Check out our permanent roles for acute doctors.

What do you need?

To work in the UK, you will need to register with the GMC. GMC registration is a requirement for all practicing doctors in the UK.

The two most common routes for gaining GMC registration are through a Postgraduate Qualification (PGQ) or passing the PLAB exams if you’ve graduated from medical school outside of the UK, EEA or Switzerland. Only certain PGQs are acceptable for the GMC and an up-to-date list can be found on the GMC website. PLAB 1 costs £230 and PLAB 2 costs £840*, but don’t forget that you’ll need to travel to the UK to take your PLAB 2 test so you’ll need to factor in the cost of travel.

Doctors from within the EU or with an EU passport do not need to complete the PLAB exams or have a PGQ for GMC registration.


From 2019 the GMC are piloting a plan to replace PLAB with the United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA). The new assessment will apply to all medical professionals that are applying for GMC registration, including those from the UK. The scheme is expected to be fully functional in 2021/2022.

*Costs correct as of November 2018.

All doctors where English is not their first language must prove their English language skills by passing either IELTS or OET.

IELTS typically costs around £160 and OET is £349*. To help you pass your English language test first time, we’ve partnered with the UK’s leading medical English provider. We are able to offer discounted access to preparation courses which include 1:1 training and online, self-paced courses for IELTS and OET. Simply email permanent@athona.com to request the discount code.

Over the years we’ve found that passing the English language test can be one of the hardest stages, and will delay your registration with the GMC. That’s why we’ve partnered with SLC, the experts in English language test preparation. The courses not only benefit the you, but also your new place of work, as you will have much greater communication skills which will also help you integrate into UK life.

There are four courses that we recommend and the decision you make depends on what route you need to take to register with the GMC. If you’re undecided about which English language test is best for you, read SLC’s advice on how to chose the right path for you.

1:1 IELTS training

1:1 OET training

Self-paced IELTS training

Self-paced OET training

*Costs correct as of November 2018.

SLC Ielts oet

To work in the UK, you’ll need to provide various documentation. These will range from professional references to qualification certificates. It can be hard to keep track of what you need to send over to your Recruitment Consultant, so we’ve simplified it into a printable checklist of everything you’ll need. Also, don’t forget that we’re here to help and support you throughout the process, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification.

Download our document checklist.

Want to know more?

Download our free Working in the UK guide for IMGs and overseas doctors. You’ll find plenty of information useful information to support your relocation, including:

  • Highlights of the UK
  • NHS and BMA salary banding
  • How to register with the GMC
  • Setting up your UK bank account

Thinking of hiring international medical professionals?

We offer bespoke recruitment packages to our clients, visit our client area to find out more.