Non-local medical graduates need a license from the MCHK

The rigorous pathway to earn the LMCHK qualification unifies us. With medical school educations outside of Hong Kong, we have worked hard to become local Hong Kong doctors. We now number over 1,200 LMCHK doctors. Please take a look below to learn more about what it takes to attain a medical license from the MCHK and become an LMCHK doctor.

The HKMLE involves many different components such as reading x-ray films.


LMCHK (Licentiate of the Medical Council of Hong Kong) is a medical license qualification awarded to doctors that passed the rigorous licensing requirements set by the Medical Council of Hong Kong. At this time, only doctors who graduated from medical schools outside of Hong Kong need to earn the LMCHK.

LMCHK is a requirement for these doctors to become fully registered to practice medicine in Hong Kong. Key components of attaining LMCHK include passing the Hong Kong Medical Licensing Examination (HKMLE) and undergoing a Period of Assessment.

What's in a name?

The names referring to our community of LMCHK physicians have included various forms over time, such as overseas doctors, overseas-trained doctors, foreign doctors, and international medical graduates.

In Hong Kong, non-local medical graduates is the most accurate and inclusive descriptor of the doctors that make up our LMCHK community.

The Hong Kong Medical Licensing Examination (HKMLE) is a required 3-part exam for non-local doctors


*****  Note: the Spring 2020 HKMLE (both the March written and May clinical exams) have been cancelled by the MCHK due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Official announcement from MCHK here.

The Licentiate Society is closely monitoring the future status of the Fall 2020 HKMLE.  *****

Part of the Licentiate Society's mission is to support candidates for the Hong Kong Medical Licensing Examination (HKMLE). The HKMLE is sometimes described as an exam for foreigners, but in reality all non-local medical graduate must pass the HKMLE to gain full registration to practice medicine in Hong Kong. The HKMLE is the 3-part licensing examination offered twice per year by the MCHK:

  • Part 1 is a written assessment consisting of 240 multiple-choice questions delivered over 2 days. About 92% of the examination is devoted to the major clinical specialities, with the remaining 8% covering pre-clinical subjects. Part 1 is held in September and March of every year.

  • Part 2 is a written English test used to assess candidates command of the language for usage in a professional context. The examination lasts 3 hours and is held at the same time as Part 1, usually one day prior to Part 1.

  • Part 3 is held over a 2-3 week period in late November/early December and late May/early June of each year. It's a clinical assessment focusing on the following 4 specialties: Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics.

After passing the HKMLE, successful candidates are eligible to undergo the period of assessment.

Did you know?

In the latest HKMLE clinical exam (Dec 2019), 27 of the 32 candidates that passed were with the Licentiate Society! We're proud of you. Congrats!


Period of Assessment

The Period of Assessment is the final step of the pathway to attaining the LMCHK qualification, which is required for doctors that graduated from medical schools outside of Hong Kong. Most of these doctors undergo a 12-month internship after passing the HKMLE. The typical Period of Assessment consists of four 3-month Internship rotations in major medical specialties.

Those that are already specialists may be eligible to receive a 6-month exemption from the length of the Period of Assessment. In addition, as of May 2019, doctors that have passed the HKMLE and worked for 3 years in Hong Kong under Limited Registration from the MCHK are eligible to apply for a complete exemption with the time served counting as the Period of Assessment.

More information

The official site for information about the LMCHK pathway, including the HKMLE and Period of Assessment may be found at: