Emigration remains a huge concern for UK general practice, and along with retirements, burnout and poor uptake of training posts continues to pose a threat to plans to recruit 5,000 new GPs by 2020.
A GPonline survey this month revealed that more than half of practices have lost a GP in the past 12 months to retirement or emigration.
Latest data from the GMC show that between 1 January and 10 August 2015, 500 GPs applied for a certificate of current professional status - a document often used to register and practice in another country.
The figure - for just over seven months of 2015 - looks broadly in line with the number of certificates issued in recent years. Just over 800 a year were issued by the GMC in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
But the GMC says that not all doctors who apply for a certificate of current professional status are planning to emigrate. Many work abroad temporarily for experience and return to UK general practice.
If a GP is registered and 'connected to a designated body' - an essential step for taking part in revalidation - this is a 'good indication that a doctor is still working in the UK', the regulator believes.
In the years 2009 to 2014, 4,419 GPs were issued a certificate of current professional status. Of these, 2,118 (48%) are still registered with the GMC and connected to a designated body.
Certificates of current professional status - previously known as certificates of good standing - show that no fitness to practise proceedings are currenly underway or contemplated.
GMC data on GPs issued certificates of current professional status (CCPS):
|Year||Number of GPs issued CCPS||Number currently registered||Number currently connected to a designated body|