Returning to medicine

Returning to work after maternity leave or after a period of illness (or if you have had some time away for another reason) can seem quite daunting, but remember that you are not the first doctor to be in this position.

Returning to work

You may not have opened a medical journal since your last job or feel you are ready to start performing practical procedures right away. Here are some ideas that can help you boost your confidence:

Supported Return to Training Programme

Health Education England (HEE) has developed the Supported Return to Training Programme (SuppoRTT) to help trainees based in England when returning to training. Download the Supported Return to Training booklet. Please contact your local HEE Office/Deanery SuppoRTT team if you are:

You may also like to contact the relevant royal college for advice and support. 

GMC registration and licence for those returning to medicine

Any doctor who has been out of practice should contact the GMC for specific advice on their situation. This is because the rules are complex and subject to change. 

Any foundation doctor thinking of applying to a training programme should refer to the current Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook - it changes every year. Visit the Oriel website resource bank to view the latest version.

General practice

The General Practice National Recruitment Office has details of the GP induction and Refresher Scheme. This operates in England and Wales and enables GPs who have taken a break to return to work

If you have worked overseas as a GP this scheme will enable you to have your experience gained abroad recognised.

You’ll have the opportunity to integrate your previous skills into the current NHS and you’ll also be given learning opportunities to bring your skills to the required level.

This scheme can involve a supervised placement of up to six months in a GP practice to build up skills and restore confidence, Bursaries are also available.

Similar schemes are also available in Scotland.

Working less than full time

See our information on LTFT training.


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published information for those returning to practice. Find out more and download the guidance.

BMJ Careers has published an article on return to practice schemes for GPs.

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers