Who are we?
We protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. This means we make sure that doctors have the right knowledge, skills and experience to practise medicine safely in the UK.
Fostering good medical practice
We do this by producing ethical guidance that sets out the principles you should follow in your work – the duties of a doctor. Good medical practice is our core guidance, but we also give advice on issues such as reporting gunshot and knife wounds, personal beliefs and medical practice, appropriate use of social media and obtaining consent to treatment from children.
Promoting high standards of medical education and training
We set the standards for the education that medical schools provide.
We also set the knowledge, skills and behaviour that you must demonstrate by the time you graduate. You may want to have a look to see the types of things you will be able to do when you finish medical school, including the practical procedures you will be able to carry out.
Last year we reviewed these outcomes and we published an updated set in June. Your medical school has until summer 2020 to make sure its curriculum meets the new outcomes. Many of the updated outcomes build on the existing excellent practice of medical schools across the UK, so your school may already be covering the new material.
Keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
We control access to the medical register. You will need to register with us and obtain a licence to practise before you are able to begin work as a doctor. We will only register those doctors who meet our standards, so it is important that you understand how your behaviour, even now as a student, is expected to reflect these.
Dealing firmly and fairly with fitness to practise concerns
We have strong and effective legal powers designed to maintain the standards the public have a right to expect of doctors. We take firm but fair action where those standards have not been met. Where any doctor fails to meet those standards, we act to protect patients from harm – if necessary, by removing or suspending a doctor from the medical register or placing restrictions on their practice.
The Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA)
We're developing a new assessment that all medical students from the UK and some doctors from outside the EU will need to sit and pass. Depending on the outcome of Brexit - something that's outside our control - we may be able to ask European doctors to sit the test too.
The number of medical students is increasing. New medical schools are being set up and the number of doctors from overseas is increasing. Recognising this, we want doctors who wish to work in the UK to demonstrate they meet a common threshold for safe practice before we grant a licence to practise.
The MLA will build on the current excellence of UK medical education and our own existing assessments of overseas doctors with the aim of offering patients, the public and the wider healthcare system increased confidence in the consistency and standard of care provided by doctors.
We are still working on the details of the MLA. It will have two elements: a test of applied knowledge (AKT) and a test of clinical and professional skills. We will share more information with you when we can. To manage the number of assessments you are expected to do, we are planning for your medical school's clinical and professional skills assessments to count as the second part, provided it meets our standards.
We are also working with medical school representatives to develop the AKT in a way that means it could replace some or all of the existing range of knowledge tests.
My name is Dan Wynn...
... and I am one of many liaison advisers working across the UK.
The core of my job, and my favourite part, is speaking to medical students about our ethical guidance and our wider role, including how we regulate medical education. If you're at a Scottish medical school you will hopefully see me or one of my colleagues in your first, third and final years.
We really want you and all medical students to know that the GMC is an accessible, open organisation, and one that you can get involved with in all sorts of interesting ways! I look forward to seeing you soon.
My name is Ioanna Maraki...
... and I am a manager in the GMC's Education Policy team.
In my role I look after our policies for teaching professionalism at medical school and for supporting medical students with long term health conditions and disabilities, including mental health.
One of my favourite things is that I get to talk to medical students and medical schools about our work and see how we can work together to improve things. My aim is for you to interact with our guidance and advice from as early as possible in your medical education, so you can see how you can make the best use of us in your career.
My name is Tanita Cross...
... and I am the Digital Content Officer in our Communications team.
I lead on creating podcasts, videos and social media content that helps you understand how to use our ethical guidance and shows you all the other ways we can support you during your career. I'm also one half of the team that will reply to any queries you send us via Twitter or Facebook!
My favourite projects are the ones where I get to collaborate with you to create and share content that showcases the amazing work you're doing, and helps your colleagues too. Find out how you can get involved! I look forward to snapping you on camera one day.
My name is William Curnow...
... and I am an Assessment Design, Development and Policy Manager in the Education team.
I help to shape the standards and requirements we expect medical schools to meet when delivering your education. This includes our recently updated Outcomes for graduates and accompanying Practical skills and procedures. These act as a guide for what you need to learn during your time at medical school and are what medical schools use to develop their curriculum.
We want you to get a great education and feel prepared for practice by the time you graduate. I enjoy being part of the team that is helping to make this happen.
Medical Licensing Assessment
From 2024, if you want to register with us for a licence to practise, you'll need to have a degree that includes passing the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). It's a two-part assessment. There'll be an applied knowledge test and a clinical and professional skills assessment.
Every medical school sets its own exams and decides its own standards for those. We set exams for international medical graduates who want to join the register, and decide the standard for those. The MLA will, for the first time, demonstrate that both UK and international medical graduates can meet a common threshold for safe practice.
We'll require anyone graduating in the academic year 2023/24 and afterwards to have passed the MLA before they can join the register.
If you're starting a four-year course in 2019, you won't take the MLA, unless you take time out during your studies. But you might be able to take part in a pilot.
If you're starting a five or six year course, you will need to gain a degree that includes passing the MLA before you can join the register.
We're working with lots of people and organisations, including your medical school, to develop the MLA. We're keen to keep you and your fellow students up-to-date as we finalise the details. You can keep in touch with the latest information at Our Medical licensing assessment pages.
My name is Rebecca Morris...
... and I am the UK Applications Manager in the Registrations team at the GMC.
I'm responsible for making sure all final year students get their registration in time to start F1. I've been doing this job for nearly ten years so I've overseen the registration of over 65,000 medical students!
The best bit of my job is travelling the UK, speaking with medical students and helping to answer their queries. My aim is to make registration and the move from student to provisionally registered doctor as seamless and stress-free as possible.
I look forward to meeting you when you're ready to join the register.