Health Professions May 14, 2019
GMC outlines new guidance to support disabled doctors and medical students

By News Feature - Accountable Care Journal

Disabled doctors and medical students could expect greater support to pursue their careers, following new guidance published today (Tuesday 14 May) by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The regulator has advised medical schools and training providers of the steps they should put in place to make sure all students and trainee doctors, including those with disabilities, are able to fulfil their potential.

The steps, outlined in the GMC’s Welcomed and valued guidance, include allocating specific contacts, agreeing confidentiality arrangements and creating action plans to make sure they can meet the demands of their courses or training.

The guidance also includes a summary of relevant legislation, and advice for educators on how to make reasonable adjustments to support students and trainees through medical school, clinical placements and work settings.

Professor Colin Melville, the General Medical Council’s Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards, commented on the 'inconsistencies' of support faced by disabled medical students. He goes on to call for "all trainee doctors and medical students to be given the tools and the flexibility they need to fulfil their potential and to have successful careers in medicine."

Meanwhile, Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, a disabled doctor who helped advise the GMC, welcomed the guidance saying: "Medicine is a hard career without having to worry about how medical schools and colleagues will address your disability, so the GMC producing this work in conjunction with so many of us is hugely appreciated and has the potential to make much-needed change."

The new guidance builds on the GMC’s previous ‘Gateways to professions’ guidance, and follows independent research and an extensive consultation with doctors, students, educators and the public.

The full guidance can be viewed here.


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