The Medical Training Initiative
The MTI is a scheme which allows international medical graduates who are in specialty training from low income and low-middle income countries to train in the UK health system while providing an important service for a period of 24 months. Through this scheme trainees are able to gain experience in their chosen field before returning to their countries of origin.
As this scheme is for a limited period of time, it is suitable for individuals who are looking for the experience of training in the UK health system without necessarily thinking about settling in the UK for the long-term, although this is an option after completing the scheme.
It is important to note that each royal college runs their individual MTI process and the trainee is required to make an application to the relevant college. For example a psychiatry trainee makes an application to the Royal college of psychiatrist while a medical trainee makes an application to the Royal college of physicians. The list of the participating royal colleges can be found here.
Steps to applying to the MTI scheme
As already stated, each royal college has their own processes for the MTI scheme but the following are the general steps that may be relevant when making an application to the scheme.
- Check your eligibility: Before starting your application, you want to make sure that you are eligible to sign up. The following are some of the criteria. You should also check other specific criteria from your college.
- You must hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the UK General Medical Council.
- You must have evidence of English language skills either via IELTS or OET.
- You must be resident overseas at time of application and have no rights of residence in the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland.
- You have not failed PLAB
- Make an application to the scheme via your royal college: The application process is unique to each college, so you have to check for specific details.
- Interviews and offers: The college/hospital interviews you and if successful, you are offered a post.
- Application for GMC registration: This process involves both the applicant and the college. This is because the candidate starts their application on the instruction of the college and the college also sends relevant paperwork to the GMC like the certificate of sponsorship. If the application is successful, the GMC grants a provisional registration.
- Application for tier 5 visa: At this stage you apply for your tier 5 visa using the Tier 5 certificate of sponsorship which would be issued by the college.
- ID check and full registration: When you arrive in the UK, you will complete your GMC ID checks and would be granted your full registration. At this stage you can now start your post, usually with an initial period of shadowing.
Although the MTI scheme is only for a limited period of time, it may be the preferred route for doctors who want the experience of practicing in a different country but at the same time want to return to their home country to continue practicing. It could also be a useful route for those who are not quite sure if they want to practice in the UK in the long-term, but want to explore the option. Whatever your situation is, this scheme is one that is worth considering.