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Refugee Surgeons

The RCS is keen to offer support to refugee surgeons and surgical trainees and to assist them with integration into the NHS. Information on careers in surgery can be found on our website and this should be utilised together with the support resources on this page. If you are unable to find the information you are looking for please email us.

Registration with the General Medical Council

In order to work in the NHS in any capacity, including training posts, you will need General Medical Council registration. For more information about GMC registration, including the PLAB you should contact the General Medical Council on 0161 923 6602 or, from outside the UK: +44 161 923 6602 or visit the relevant section of their website.

Affiliate Scheme

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Affiliate Scheme is available to refugee surgeons, surgical trainees and UK Students. The scheme allows individuals access to the Affiliates' area of the website, access to the online Annals and Bulletin, and use of the library facilities.

To be eligible for affiliate membership you must be registered on the BMA/Refugee Council Refugee Doctors' Database

MRCS Concessions

Fee concessions for refugee doctors appearing in the MRCS may be available for those with: 

  • refugee status (having been recognised as a refugee under the 1951 United Nations Convention).
  • indefinite leave to remain (with refugee status).
  • indefinite leave to enter (with refugee status).
  • exceptional leave to remain (granted prior to 1 April 2003).
  • humanitarian leave to remain (also known as humanitarian protection) (granted on or after 1 April 2003).
  • discretionary leave to remain (with no restrictions on working) (granted on or after 1 April 2003).

Candidates wishing to apply for a fee concession must submit an original or certified copy of the letter from the Home Office/Department of Justice confirming their current status.

They should also provide details of their present circumstances e.g. whether they are in employment and, if so, the nature of that employment.

Fee concessions are granted at the discretion of the College. Where granted, such concessions would normally permit free entry for up to two attempts at Part A and a reduced entry fee for any subsequent attempts.

Clinical attachments

The RCS is not able to assist in identifying or arranging clinical attachments. The Associate Dean for Overseas Doctors at your regional Postgraduate Deanery may be able to assist in helping you identify opportunities and we would suggest that you also contact hospitals in your local region. The Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans maintains a complete list of deaneries.


Information about employing refugee healthcare professionals is available from the NHS employers website. 

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