Language Tests and Registrations

USMLE for GMC Registration


What is the USMLE and can it be used for GMC registration?

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, known as the USMLE, is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the U.S. The examinations assess a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.

The USMLE is accepted by the GMC as evidence that a physician has the appropriate skills and knowledge required to be granted registration with a license to practise, however, other eligibility criteria must also be met.


What is the eligibility criteria to register with the GMC?

IMG’s who are registering with the GMC via this route are eligible if they have:

  • Graduated from a medical school outside the UK or Switzerland

And:

  • hold an acceptable primary medical qualification.
  • have completed an internship.
  • have passed USMLE Step 1, Step 2 clinical knowledge and Step 2 clinical skills.

It should be noted that:

  1. Physicians must have passed each part of the exam – including the knowledge tests and clinical skills components – in four attempts or less. They will not be eligible to register via this route if they have sat any part of the exam more than four times before passing.
  2. Your pass for step 2 clinical skills must be on or before 13th March 2020.
  3. If a physician takes and fails PLAB 1 or PLAB 2 after they have passed any component of USMLE, they will not be eligible for GMC registration via this route.
  4. If a physician’s pass in the clinical skills component of USMLE is more than two years old, they will need to have carried out medical practice for three out of the last five years, including at least six out of the most recent 12 months before they submit their application. They will not be eligible for this application if their pass is over two years old and they haven’t completed this pattern of medical practice.

Evidencing your Primary Medical Qualification

Your primary medical qualification (PMQ) is your medical degree.

Before you begin the GMC application process, you will need to check whether the GMC recognise your primary medical qualification. You can do this by following this link.

Verifying your Primary Medical Qualification

Once you’ve established whether your primary medical qualification is accepted by the GMC, you will need to have it independently verified. This is carried out by the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) using a system called EPIC (Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials). 

To read our guide to EPIC verification, click here.


Evidencing your pass in USMLE

You will need to evidence that you have passed an acceptable overseas registration exam – in this case, USMLE – as part of your GMC registration application.

If you do not hold evidence of your USMLE pass already, then you can request and download a transcript from the Federation of State Medical Boards. Note that you will need to select ‘General Medical Council (UK)’ from the drop down list of options on your account.


Will I need to provide anything else as part of my GMC application?

Yes, as part of your GMC application, you will need to provide the GMC with a number of additional documents, including:

  • The GMC application form; You will need to complete and return this to: img@gmc-uk.org.
  • Your passport
  • Evidence of your English language skills
  • Your Certificate(s) of Good Standing
  • Evidence of your internship or experience
  • Details of your activities for the last five years
  • A declaration of your fitness to practise

The exact requirements for your application with the GMC will depend on your individual circumstances. Additional evidence may be requested from you by the GMC, as well as any translations for documents that aren’t in English.

For more information about the GMC registration process, take a look at our GMC registration blog here.


If you’re interested in working in the UK and would like to discuss the positions available in your specialty, and how we can assist you, please contact our team.