The Influence of Environmental Conditions in Arctic Regions.

Comprehensive Guide to Medical Licensing Exams 2023

Are you soon to be done with your medical studies and wondering about how to begin your preparations for various medical licensing exams? Then here is a complete and detailed guide about some of the most sought-after medical licensing exams after the completion of your medical school.

What Are Medical Licensing Exams?

Healthcare in every country is often governed by statutory bodies, appointed by the government. This body lays out the guidelines defining for structure, checkpoints and eligibility of resources at various levels. Most countries, who invite international graduates, provide them licensure to work in their legislative premise. For this, these international graduates have to appear for and qualify the medical licensing exams. Many times, these licensing exams are also required for the national graduates as well. 

In simpler words, the medical licensing exam reprises the role as the checkpoint of the international students who aspire to practice medicine in any country. 

Shared below is the guide for some of the major licensing exams and their schedule for 2023 to help the students to strategies their preparations accordingly. 

1. Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE)- India

Key Highlights of FMGE



Conducted By

National Board of Examinations for Medical Sciences (NBEMS)

Total Steps/ Parts


Application Fee

INR 7,080


Twice a year (June & December)


Candidates who have obtained Eligibility Certificate (EC) from the MCI before taking admission to medical courses in a foreign institution per Section 13(4B) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

  • Foreign medical graduates must be a citizen of India or should be Overseas Citizens of India.
  • Candidates must possess a primary medical qualification from the recognised institution, which must be confirmed by the concerned Indian Embassy of that country.
  • Candidates must submit the requisite documents as evidence to prove that they have qualified the final examination of Primary Medical examination on or before the specified date.
  • The result of the final examination for the said primary medical qualification should have been declared on or before October 31, 2022.

Number of Attempts


Official Website for Important Information 

Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) is conducted by the National Board of Examinations for Medical Sciences (NBEMS). The exam is conducted twice a year, usually in the months of June and December for Indian nationals or OCIs to obtain the provisional or permanent registration certificate from the Medical Council of India (MCI) or State Medical Council (SMC). 

The exam generally consists of a total of 300 multiple-choice questions that will be asked from Pre-Clinical, Clinical and Paraclinical subjects which are taught during MBBS. Aspirants can read more to know all the FMGE eligibility criteria 2022 for age, nationality and others here.

Important Dates For FMGE 2023-  Latest

Admit card will be released online


Exam date


Result announced


FMGE 2022 Pass Certificates

To be announced

2. United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)


The United States of America

Total Steps/Parts



Year Around

Application Fee

USD 975 (for Step1 & 2)


For students who are studying outside USA:

a medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school that is outside the US and Canada, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements, and that meets other eligibility criteria of the ECFMG

Who It is For: 

To apply for United States (U.S.) medical residency programs, and eventually become licensed in the U.S. to practice medicine

No of Attempts

4 times with the maximum of three attempts in a 12-month period

Official Website 

Unlike the various standardized tests, USMLE focuses on the assessment of expertise and skills, instead of how well the student performs on the day of the exam. 

While taking the exam, some quick hacks may improve your overall performance, but it is less likely that you would be able to qualify the exam without the comprehensive knowledge of topics as well as possess the ability to apply the gained knowledge in a clinical setting. 

The exam is divided into three steps.

Step 1:

Total No. of Questions for USMLE Step-1 : 280

It is a one-day, multiple choice test, usually taken at the end of the second year of medical school. This step assesses the knowledge of basic sciences, including anatomy, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology along with the basic concepts of nutrition, genetics and aging, among the students.

Step 2:

The second step of USMLE is usually taken in the fourth year of medical school. It is a 2-day test, further divided into 2 parts: Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS). In 2021, the composite committee of USMLE announced the discontinuation of Step-2 CS in order to provide a more transparent evaluation of the candidates.

Step-2 CK

In Step-2 CK, the number of questions for each block will vary but will not exceed 40 and the total number of items on the overall examination will not exceed 318.

The questions are usually MCQ type on clinical sciences like surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. 

ECFMG Pathway:

Once after qualifying the Step 2 CK, the candidate becomes eligible to qualify for the ECFMG certification. 

Pathway 1: Already Licensed to Practice Medicine in Another Country

Pathway 2: Already Passed an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for Medical Licensure Administered by an Acceptable Medical School

Pathway 3: Medical School Accredited by Agency Recognized by World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)

Pathway 4: Medical School Accredited by Agency that Has Received a Determination of Comparability by National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA)

Pathway 5: Medical School Issues Degrees Jointly with the U.S. Medical School Accredited by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)

Pathways 3, 4, and 5 are for applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Pathway 1 and are students or recent graduates of a medical school that meets eligibility requirements established by ECFMG for Pathway 3, 4, or 5.

Pathway 6: Evaluation of Clinical Patient Encounters by Licensed Physicians

Step 3 is also a two-day test, generally taken after the first year of residency. This is the final assessment of students’ competency to practice in an unsupervised setting. It includes both multiple choice questions and computer simulations of patient care.

The USMLE is designed for students of allopathic medicine, who are on the path to an MD. Students of osteopathic medicine can take either the USMLE or a similar test called the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMEX).

3. United Kingdom Medical Licensing Assessment (UKMLA)/  General Medical Council (GMC) -Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)


Great Britain

Total Steps/Parts


Conducted (currently)

Outside the Country: 

Twice A Year (March & November)

In UK: 

Four Times a Year (March, June, September & November)

Annual Number of Candidates

15,000 (Avg)

Application Fee

GBP 247 (for Part 1)

(1 GBP= 1.23 USD)


For students who are studying outside UK, EEA & Switzerland:

  • The candidates’ primary qualification must be accepted for limited registration by an institution listed in the World Health  Organisation Directory of Medical Schools.

  • The candidates should have appeared for and secured a minimum score of 7 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all of the four language modules.

  • Additionally, the candidates should complete a minimum of 12 months of postgraduate clinical experience at a teaching hospital

Who It is For: 

Those seeking medical residency programs or postgrad in the UK to eventually be licensed for independent practice.

No of Attempts:

PLAB-1: 4

PLAB-2: 2 years from the date of passing PLAB-1

Official Website 

The PLAB Exam aims to assess the application skills of the gained knowledge particularly in patient care. The exam is fairly practical and does not evaluate knowledge on the basis of memorization. The exam usually consists of the questions concerning current best practices and equipment frequently used in the hospitals of the UK. 

One of the key parameters of eligibility is Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). That means, the student is required to have qualified the final term exam to appear for the exam. A provisional degree would also do. The student is then required to proceed with the GMC Registrations after the completion of the inhouse/ internship as required. 

The GMC PLAB is divided into 2 parts namely PLAB Part-1 & PLAB Part-2.

    PLAB Part- 1
This exam is conducted in MCQ format consisting of 180 questions that have to be solved in 3 hours. Each starts with a short scenario followed by a question. 

The Part-1 of GMC PLAB is conducted in various countries such as India, Egypt, Bulgaria, Dubai, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The exam includes the evaluation of various management skills to monitor & interpret various long-term conditions observed in primary care as well as the common, important, or acute conditions (those common in emergency departments). 

PLAB Part-2

PLAB Part- 2 is an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE). It's made up of 16 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes and aims to reflect real life settings including a mock consultation or an acute ward. It tests your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients, not how well you can remember and recite facts. The student is assessed on the maximum score of 216.

GMC PLAB is likely to be replaced by UKMLA from 2024 onwards. As per the current details, the GMC MLA exam would also be conducted in two parts- Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Clinical & Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA) to test the core knowledge, skills and behaviors of doctors new to medical practice in the UK. The exam will be the new threshold of eligibility for the doctors aspiring to practice in the region.

One of the key difference between GMC PLAB and UKMLA/ MLA is that the first part, i.e. AKT would be mandatory and a part of the final exam for all the medical schools in the region. The AKT would also be computerized instead of the paper & pen format of GMC PLAB.

4. Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC)- Registration Exams


CARICOM Countries 

Total Steps/Parts



Twice a Year 

(April/May and October/November)

Annual Number of Candidates

9,000 (Avg)

Application Fee

USD 800


For students who are studying in CARICOM nations:

a medical student officially enrolled in, or a graduate of, a medical school that is, listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting eligibility requirements, and that meets other eligibility criteria of the National Accreditation Council. 

Who It is For: 

For the students seeking to pursue medical career in the Caribbean region, and eventually practice independently

No of Attempts

Part-1: unlimited

Part-2: 3

Official Website 

The Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC) the medical licensing examination for trained medical practitioners who wish to practice within the contributory CARICOM Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago). The standard of the examination is defined as the level of attainment of medical knowledge, clinical skills and attitudes required of newly qualified graduates of accredited medical schools. 

The CAMC examinations consist of two components: 

Part-1: MCQ/ Written Test

The multiple choice examination is a test of the principles and practice of medicine in the disciplines of internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, community health, and psychiatry. The MCQ is in two parts (morning and afternoon sessions) each of three (3) hours duration.

Each part contains 100 questions. The MCQ examination is held over one day, simultaneously at approved centers in the Caribbean.

Part-2: Clinical Examinations

The Clinical Examinations aims to evaluate the clinical competence in terms of medical knowledge, clinical skill and professional attitudes for the safe and effective clinical practice of medicine in the Caribbean region among the students.

The exam generally consists of a multi-station structured clinical assessment of clinical skills. Disciplines covered include Medicine and surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, community health, and psychiatry. 

The students can proceed to the Clinical Examination only after qualifying the Written Test. After more than 3 failed attempts at the part-1 would require the student to restart from Part-1. 

5. Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) grants a qualification in medicine known as the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) to physicians who have met its requirements. The LMCC is a part of the Canadian Standard, the set of requirements physicians need to meet to apply for a full license to practice medicine in Canada.  To attain the complete licensure, the student has to qualify 3 exams.

NAC Examination

The NAC Examination is a one-day exam that assesses the readiness of the student for the Canadian residency program. It is a national, standardized examination that tests the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for entrance into postgraduate training in Canada. It is a mandatory examination to proceed to the next level. 

The NAC Examination is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). For a given administration, all students are required to rotate through the same series of stations each being 11 minutes long. The score is measured on the scale of 1500. 


The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I assesses the critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making ability of a candidate at a level expected of a medical student who is completing their medical degree in Canada. You must pass the MCCQE Part I and meet other eligibility criteria to obtain the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). 

The MCCQE Part I is a summative examination that assesses the critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making ability of a candidate at a level expected of a medical student who is completing their medical degree in Canada. 


The MCCQE Part II is an objective structured clinical examination that is one of the last steps in your journey to becoming a licensed and independent physician in Canada. The exam consists of a series of clinical stations. These stations assess the ability of the students in regards to applying medical knowledge, demonstrate clinical skills, develop investigational and therapeutic clinical plans, as well as demonstrate professional behaviors and attitudes at a level expected of Canadian physicians. 

botão whatsapp