Medical politics and ethics

This page outlines opportunities for working in medical politics and ethics, the skills you will need and how to maximise your chances of getting in.

What opportunities are there?

If you are motivated to make a difference to patient care or to improve working conditions for healthcare workers, you may be interested in getting involved in medical politics or ethics. With an interest in and knowledge of local or national issues, you could aid decision-making or improve representation to your specialty or region. Doctors usually pursue this career option alongside a clinical career. 

Activities you could be involved in include:

  • strategy development
  • medical ethics
  • work with medical defence unions
  • research
  • risk management
  • attending and presenting at conferences
  • The following skills will be useful:

    • administrative
    • analytical ability
    • written and spoken communication
    • negotiation
    • decision-making

    Studying a course in medical ethics or law could also be advantageous.

    • get involved in local politics
    • get useful experience through employment in Medical Councils, the GMC, the BMA, Royal Colleges and practitioner boards or committees
    • show early commitment to representing others by becoming a BMA or specialty rep
    • become involved with your NHS Trust in a strategy development or decision-making role
    • teach medical ethics to undergraduate medical students
    • have a relevant article published in a medical journal, such as the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
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