Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice

The Medical Register

Doctors must be registered with a licence to practise with the General Medical Council (GMC) to practise medicine in the UK.

Why we have the register

Patients trust doctors with their lives and wellbeing. They need to have confidence that doctors are competent in their field and abide by high ethical standards.

Our duty is to protect this public interest. By keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors, we aim to ensure that all registered doctors maintain the standards the public and the medical profession expect.

The principle standards are set out in our guidance, Good medical practice.

Is a doctor on the register and do they have a licence to practise?

You can check if a doctor is on the register and if they are licensed to practise online. Our online register is called the List of Registered Medical Practitioners.

Patients can download a leaflet which explains why only doctors who are registered with a licence to practise may treat patients by law.

Accessing the Specialist and GP Registers

The Specialist and GP Registers are registers of specialists and general practitioners eligible to work in the UK health service. The List of Registered Medical Practitioners shows if a doctor is on the Specialist and/or GP Register.

Read more about the GP Register.

Read more about the Specialist Register.

Information for employers

If you employ doctors you must ensure they hold the appropriate type of registration for the work you have employed them to do. Please read our online help Employing a doctor.

You can find an explanation of the different types of registration and routes into registration on our online help page General information about registration and licensing.

Licensing and revalidation

We introduced licensing on 16 November 2009 and revalidation on 3 December 2012. Today, all doctors regularly have to prove to us that they are up to date and fit to practise medicine.

See more information on licensing and revalidation.