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New English Language Requirements for Foreign Doctors in the U.K.

The U.K. has recently changed the basic English language requirements for licensed foreign doctors to practice medicine in the country.
BY Rimi Chakraborty |   11-07-2014
As of 18 June, 2014, medical doctors will now have to score more on the IELTS  (International English Language Testing System) test in order to qualify for the General Medical Council (GMC)  requirements for doctors to be registered to practice medicine in the U.K.

The IELTS tests English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, and is administered to those for whom English is not a first language.

The minimum accepted IELTS scores for the GMC will now be a score of 7.0 in each individual area of testing; with an overall score of at least 7.5. This is an increase from the former requirement of an overall  score of 7.0 out of a possible score of 9.0.

The new IELTS score requirement then enables medical doctors to go on and take GMC’S PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) test.

PLAB is the main test for international medical graduates or doctors to prove their potential and knowledge to practice medicine in the U.K.  After taking the IELTS test, you must take the PLAB test within two years.

Post the changes the GMC also have reign to test the English skills of European doctors (earlier EU doctors were not required to prove English competency) if language skill concerns are raised regarding safe treatment of the patients. 

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