Doctors with disabilities

This page provides useful information about doctors with disabilities.

A disability or mental health condition will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a doctor. In fact, it is felt that doctors with health conditions often make excellent doctors, as their experiences mean they can offer patients genuine empathy.

Before you submit an application for medical school via UCAS, you should contact medical schools to request advice about your individual circumstances. Each medical school has a disability support adviser who can help.

The Equality Act 2010 states that employers have a duty to make adjustments in the workplace for people with disabilities. This includes the local HEE offices, deaneries and other employers who recruit doctors. Medical schools must also make similar adjustments. They also have a legal duty to avoid unlawful discrimination, whether direct or indirect.

For those starting medical school, reasonable adjustments should be made so that students with special requirements can successfully graduate. The medical school will also need to consider the impact of a disability on the applicant’s fitness to practise medicine.

Disabled doctors will need to fulfil the GMC’s demands of professional fitness to practise as a newly-qualified doctor.

Mental health problems such as depression are relatively common in medical students, and they will almost never prevent a student from completing medical school.

The BMA also provides support on working with a disability for its members. Please telephone 0300 123 1233 for more information. 

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