Career Focus


BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 23 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:S3-7106

The rules that govern the employment of overseas doctors in the hospital training grades are complex; “the Birmingham declaration” issued by the Committee of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD) should clarify matters for overseas doctors caught up in the transition to the specialist registrar grade and recent changes to the immigration rules.

Before the change, overseas doctors in registrar or senior registrar posts at the transition to the specialist registrar grade were automatically converted to the new grade only if they had sufficient “permit-free time” to complete the training. Those who did not have enough permit-free time remained “visiting registrars” or were appointed to fixed term (“type II”) specialist registrar posts.

The changes to the April immigration rules allowed overseas doctors appointed to the “type I” specialist registrar grade to remain without a permit until their training was complete. Overseas doctors in the type II/ visitor grade may apply in open competition for type I specialist registrar vacancies; those in the type II posts may also apply for a limited extension if they have still to fulfil their training goal, which all overseas doctors must agree with their postgraduate dean in any case. The certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST)-and therefore eligibility for consultant status-will only be awarded to those in type I posts.

The rules have also changed in general practice: funding is now available for certain overseas nationals who wish to complete the registrar year in practice.

Further advice is available from the regional postgraduate deans' offices.

A guide to the immigration and employment of overseas medical and dental students, doctors and dentists in the United Kingdom (April 1997) is available from the Department of Health PO Box 410, Wetherby, LS23 7LL.

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