From IMG to UK Surgeon: Unveiling the Journey


‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ β€” Henry David Thoreau

Embarking on a surgical career in the UK is a daunting commitment of 5-6 years of medical school, followed by 2 years of foundation and an additional 2 years of core training just to be considered eligible for higher specialty training in surgery. Such a substantial investment leaves no room for half-heartedness.

Here’s the harsh reality: only 30-40% of candidates pass the MRCS Part A exam, with another 50-60% passing the Part B. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) have a 10% lower pass rate than UK graduates. Securing a training post in higher surgical specialty is very competitive with over 500 high-achieving doctors vying for about 150 positions in General Surgery or 30 in Vascular Surgery annually. Only 1 in 4 will be selected. Despite IMGs making up 1/3 of the UK workforce, less than 20% get accepted into specialty training.

As an IMG navigating the UK and NHS, my journey was undeniably grueling. Despite scouring through numerous resources, I couldn’t find a single guide covering everything. I started this website, not only for IMGs but for anyone facing similar challenges.

Drawing from my personal experiences, I offer insight into securing a higher surgical training post. However, success in this process requires both knowledge and the right behaviours. This includes consistency in your daily habits, regular learning, and surrounding yourself with individuals with similar goals. I became a better person, hopefully.

This website covers 2 main areas: i. Preparing for the MRCS, and ii. acing the ST3 interview. I hope this website is useful and makes your journey less daunting.

Conor McGregor – β€œSuccess is never final, and failure is never truly fatal. Indeed, sometimes defeat is the necessary ingredient for true success.”

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