Disabled doctors exist: celebrating their contribution to medicine

Doctors, like any other professional group, can experience ill health or disability.

There are many medical students and doctors in training who are disabled or have a long-term health condition who successfully study and practise medicine. It is vital to have policies in place to support these individuals throughout their careers.

As the professional regulator, we firmly believe disabled people should be welcomed to the profession and valued for their contribution to patient care. Medical students and doctors are very aware of having to meet the high standards required of all doctors, and tell us their disability can be an asset in achieving these.

Here, disabled students and doctors in training talk about the value they bring to medicine, and what they've learnt from their experience of medical training.

No doctor is superhuman, all doctors are individuals

"Supporting disabled doctors is ultimately about supporting all doctors to work safely and within their personal capacity. Each person has something to offer, and in a team, can contribute to excellent patient care."

More about recognising the benefits that disabled doctors bring to a team

My experiences will help shape me into a better doctor

"As a patient, I experienced and appreciated first-hand the care and sensitivity required for medicine. I want to be able to give back this care to the healthcare service that had significantly changed my life. My personal experiences as a patient have become the foundation of my career in practicing medicine and will shape me into a better doctor."

More about how being disabled goes against the doctor stereotype

Using my experience to become a better doctor

"I am using my experience of being a vulnerable patient to become a better doctor. I understand how lonely and scary being in hospital can be, and how you can be made to feel more like a bed number than a human being… Most importantly, I have learned that my health comes above everything else, and I can only look after my patients if I look after myself first."

More about using your experience as a vulnerable patient to become a better doctor

Able medics podcast

Listen to episode one of our Able medics podcast which explores the experiences of disabled doctors and celebrates their invaluable contribution to our health services.

Read the transcript for episode one

A medical student talking to a doctor in the corridor of a hospital

Shared experiences

Read the full experiences of other disabled medical students and doctors where they talk about what they bring to the profession, how their disability or health condition has been viewed, reasonable adjustments, moving through medical education and training, and what they would change to improve the culture of support.