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Scotland Deanery

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International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

Preparing for life in Scotland - New to NHS Scotland

This page contains key information for non-UK trained doctors (IMGs) to help  prepare for life and work in NHS Scotland. Other otherful information can be found on New to Working in Scotland? 

Scotland Deanery

Scottish Medical Training

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) - integrated adult policy: guidance - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)


Links to the NHS International Recruitment Tool Kit - which is an interactive guide to encourage and enable good practice in the NHS

Also visit NHS Careers. For recruitment, please use this link.

NHS Scotland International Recruitment Service

You can find details on the UK Visa and Immigration requirements here.

Whether you intend to come to the UK for a short or lengthy period. There are a number of things to consider:

  • start early
  • securing job
  • obtain professional registration
  • completing immigration steps – this will take time

Doctors wishing to work in the UK must be registered with a licence to practice.  The GMC website also provides information and guides on how to join the register.

Information can be found here for the GMC Welcome to UK Practice workshops.


The Good Medical Practice 2024 sets the professional standards for all UK doctors.

NHS Scotland have moved to four lead employers model. More information can be found on the Turas Hub.

You will find information about policies, payroll and annual leave etc.

Also see the following links to: 

You are normally covered by the NHS Hospital and Community Health Services indemnity against claims of medical negligence arising from the course of this employment. 

In certain circumstances (especially in services for which you receive a separate fee) you may not be covered by the indemnity. The Health Department therefore advises that you maintain membership of a medical defence organisation.

A Copy of NHS Circular 1989 (PCS) 32 on indemnity arrangements issued in December 1989 is available at http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/pcs/PCS(1989)32.pdf

Trainees are covered by NHS indemnity for clinical negligence claims arising from their work. We would encourage all trainees to maintain membership of a medical defence organisation in line with the circular above.

If you have any queries, please contact your employing Board. For information about lead employer arrangements please see the Turas Hub.

In Scotland, as part of your employment of working in the health service, you will be asked to complete a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) form. PVG is managed by NES central HR department and is delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps ensure that people whose behaviours make them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults can’t do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups.

More information about the PVG scheme can be found here.

If you have spent time working outside of the UK prior to starting this post, you must provide a copy of your criminal record check for your time spent abroad. If you have worked in multiple countries outside of the UK, you must provide a copy of your criminal record check from each country you have worked in. Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants. If the country concerned is not listed, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate for further details.

Contact details can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk. You should submit a copy of your criminal record check or checks, if you have worked in more than one country outside of the UK, with your completed PVG application form and ID documents. 

You can only apply for a National Insurance (NI) number once you are in the UK. Details about how to apply for a NI number can be found here.

Sources of information you may find useful, these guides have been created as resources for people working in health boards to assist them with accommodation queries and maybe specific to the hospital location or area. Please see the links below for further information. 

HMO Properties for International Recruited Healthcare Professionals

Step by Step Guide to Renting in Scotland - NHS Scotland Rental Guide

Accommodation Resources Guide 

Welcome to NHS Lanarkshire Booklet 

NHS Ayrshire & Arran Competency Template 



A list of nominated contacts to support new IMG within the boards. 

Health Board



Email address

Ayrshire & Arran

Hugh Neill

Anaesthesia & Intensive Care



Srihari Vallabhajousula 



Dumfries & Galloway

Anne-Marie Coxon

Nadeeka Rathnamalala





Western Isles

Neil Maclean

Caroline Ross


Med. Ed.


caroline.ross7@nhs.scot or wi.csa@nhs.scot


Babar Akbar

Kimberley Steel

General Practice

Palliative Medicine




Forth Valley

Alison Mackenzie




Kim Milne

Marion Slater

Roby Rajan

Acute Medicine






Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Adnan Tariq

Andy Mackay

Ihab Shaheen


Critical Care






Golden Jubilee 

Fahd Mahmood 




Satinder Bal

Suddhajit Sen






Farhat Mushtaq H

Laura McGregor

Sumaiya Cassim








Goran Zangana

Ishwinder Thethy

Acute Medicine

Acute Medicine




Huw Thomas

 General Practice 



Pauline Wilson




Achyut Valluri

Acute Medicine


There are a number of IT systems you will be asked to use during the course of your employment, both in relation to your clinical work and as part of your postgraduate training.

The names given to different grades of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the UK may differ from what you are used to. Doctors in training or trainee refers to doctors who are in clinical training. They have completed a medical degree and could have up to eight years' experience working as a hospital doctor, or up to three years in General Practice. All doctors in training work under the supervision of a senior doctor. This could be a Hospital Consultant, GP (general practitioner) or SAS (staff grade, associate specialist and specialty) doctor, depending on specialty and location. Doctors who perform surgery may, due to historical reasons, use the titles 'Mr', 'Mrs', 'Miss' or 'Ms' instead. A doctor that is a university professor may also use the title ‘Professor’ instead of 'Dr'. 

Titles of Doctor in Training



Foundation year one junior doctor  


Foundation year two junior doctor 


Internal Medicine Trainee 


Core Surgical Trainee 


Senior house officer (old fashioned term for grades between FY2 and ST). The use of this term should be discouraged. The Deanery and Service Leads do not support the use of this term as it creates uncertainty about the level of experience and competence of an individual doctor which can confuse staff and colleagues.  


General Practice Specialty Trainee 


Specialty Trainee who is a doctor in training in a hospital specialty – the term can be associated with a number which signifies the amount of years spent in training in the specialty, e.g. ST4 psychiatry 


Other members of the MDT (Multi-disciplinary Team) 



Nurses in the UK have a degree in nursing and work in either adult, children, mental health, or learning disability care 

Ward Sister/Charge Nurse 

A charge nurse is a nurse who is 'in charge' of a ward in the hospital or other healthcare facility where they work. These nurses perform many of the tasks that general nurses do, but also have some supervisory and managerial responsibilities 

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) 

CNSs have specialist knowledge of a particular area of nursing e.g. cancer, diabetes, and palliative care  

Healthcare Care Assistant (HCA) 

HCAs work closely with patients to ensure their comfort and safety under the direction of a qualified professional (usually a nurse). They help patients with personal care including infection prevention and control, food, and personal hygiene  

Physiotherapist (PT) 

Physiotherapists help patients recover from injury, illness, and surgery through physical rehabilitation 

Occupational Therapist (OT) 

OTs consider all of a patient's needs - physical, psychological, social and environmental. They can help people overcome the effects of disability caused by illness, ageing or accident so that they can carry out everyday tasks or occupations 

Roles and Responsibilities Checklist

Click here for the roles and responsibilities checklist.

Are you new to UK practice or is this your first post in a Scottish Hospital (NHS Scotland)?

Simulation courses, to help IMGs with some of the challenges they might experience if new to practicing in the UK.  Not assessed. Purely a learning experience in a safe environment.  These are currently available in the following health boards - Lothian, Tayside, Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Forth Valley. 

You may have already been approached to attend.  If not, and you think this might be beneficial, please contact the following:

 Health Board                          Contact Details 
 NHS Lothian  goran.zangana@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk
 NHS Tayside  achyut.valluri2@nhs.scot
 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde  mark.ullrich@ggc.scot.nhs.uk or kirsty.barnes4@ggc.scot.nhs.uk
 NHS Forth Valley   fv.scschf@nhs.scot
 NHS Ayrshire & Arran   sushmitha.gudla@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or AAMedicalEnquiries@aapct.scot.nhs.uk

The following websites have been identified as being of particular use to IMG doctors who are preparing to begin work in Scotland: 

UK Government Information

Citizens Advice Bureau

Driving in the UK on a non-UK licence

Equality rights

Registering with a GP

Police Scotland Tel: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency)

Spikkin Scots: Listen to the different dialects of Scotland (The Press and Journal)

This page was last updated on: 04.07.2024 at 07.52