A list of shared experiences from doctors, trainee doctors and students
A doctor discusses how a road traffic accident during medical school meant they needed to adapt their studies and practice. They talk about how individualised support and less than full time training allowed them to pursue a career they love, but that information about their disability didn't always travel with them as they moved through training.
An intercalating medical student with a visual disability talks about how their medical school has provided adjustments based on their disability, but that perceived stigmas and negative reactions initially prevented them from disclosing their disability.
An FY1 doctor with a physical disability talks about the prejudices and assumptions they've faced during medical school and the challenges they've had to overcome to secure reasonable adjustments.
A locum GP writes about how supernumerary flexible training benefited them, but how negative attitudes from colleagues affected their health and confidence.
A GP trainee who was diagnosed with dyslexia while at medical school reflects on how perceptions about the condition have affected their training, and how the reasonable adjustments which helped them complete their degree stopped once they graduated from medical school.
A GP locum with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, shares their experience of moving through education in a complex system that offered little support or flexibility.
A deafblind medical student shares how their disability has been viewed, the challenges they've faced in securing reasonable adjustments, and the benefits they see in connecting with other disabled medics.
A trainee doctor who is taking a year out to work as a Clinical Research Fellow writes about the advice they've received as they've moved through medical education and training.
A Foundation Year 2 doctor shares their experiences of being steered away from medicine because of their mental health condition, and having to take the lead to get support throughout their training.
A trainee doctor with a serious congenital bone deformity highlights the valuable contribution every individual doctor brings to medicine, and how a flexible working pattern helped them finish the Foundation Programme.
A post-Foundation year 2 doctor who is taking a year out to work as a Clinical Fellow, talks about their experiences of moving through education, dealing with how disability is viewed, and securing reasonable adjustments.
A palliative care consultant with systemic lupus erythematosus , shares their experience of accessing reasonable adjustments over 20 years of medical practice, and what they think could be done to improve the culture off support for disabled doctors.
A doctor with a mental health condition talks about the respectful way their colleagues have treated them during their training, and what could further improve the culture of support.
A student explains how inflexible reasonable adjustments led them to leave medicine and shares their tips for medical schools on building a culture of support.
A doctor embarking on their core medical training reflects on the reasonable adjustments that give them a good work-life balance, the ones they had to fight for, and how they deal with questions from curious colleagues.
A medical student shares how they are using their experience as a patient to become a better doctor. They talk about the stigma surrounding mental health and why tailored support is so important.
Able medics podcast
Listen to Able medics, our podcast series that explores disabled doctors' reflections on what they bring to the profession, how they're viewed by patients and colleagues, and what support makes a difference to them.
Supplements to our Welcomed and valued guidance documents
Useful resources from our previous Gateways to the professions guidance
Examples of reasonable adjustments
View examples of potential reasonable adjustments organisations could make for disabled learners. The examples given are not exhaustive, and are not examples that are automatically considered reasonable by us, as this can only be decided on a case by case basis.
List of disability officers (or others in a related role)
If you have a query or concern about the support available to you, you can contact your medical school, deanery or Health Education England (HEE) local team disability officer (or related role). Here you can find the relevant contact details for some organisations. The list is not complete, but you can contact HDReview@gmc-uk.org if you'd like your organisation's contact details to be added.
|HEE local offices or deaneries||Contact|
|HEE East of England||Welcomeandvalued.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|HEE East Midlands||PSU.email@example.com|
|HEE Kent, Surrey and Sussexfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|HEE National email@example.com|
|HEE North East and North Cumbria||EducationSupport.NE@hee.nhs.uk|
|HEE South West||PenTraineeSupport.SW@hee.nhs.uk
|HEE West Midlandsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|HEE Yorkshire and Humberemail@example.com|
|Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)||HEIW.ProfessionalSupport@wales.nhs.uk|
|NI Medical and Dental Training Agency||Roisin.Campbell@hscni.net|
Support for doctors and medical students
- BMA support services
Information about the BMA's support services, including their confidential support line which is available, free of charge to all doctors and medical students.
- Disabled Doctors Network
Support network set up by disabled doctors and medical students aimed at chronically ill and disabled doctors, medical students, their colleagues, educators and trainers.
DocHealth is a confidential, not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors across the UK.
- Doctors' Support Network
A confidential peer support network for doctors and medical students with concerns about their mental health.
- Health for Health Professionals Wales
Face to face counselling service for all doctors in Wales.
- NHS Practitioner Health Programme
A free and confidential NHS service for doctors with issues relating to a mental health concern or addiction problem, in particular where these might affect their work.
- Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
Support for doctors and their families through all stages of their career and beyond, ranging from financial assistance in the form of grants and loans to a telephone befriending scheme.
- Sick Doctors Trust
Support and help for doctors and medical students who are concerned about their use of drugs or alcohol.
Workplace support for employees and employers
Organisation who support disabled people to use digital technology at work, at home or in education, including information on reasonable adjustments for both employees and employers.
- Access to Work
Information about reasonable adjustments employers should make and the Access to Work scheme.
- Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
Provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.
- Disability Rights UK
A charity run by disabled people to provide information and advice on employment issues, education and equality and human rights
Provides advice and support for disabled students and graduates on making the transition to the work environment.
- Faculty of Occupational Medicine
Information for employers and employees about improving health in the workplace.
Information on disability equipment, disability rights and Access to Work.
- Higher Educational Occupational Physicians/Practitioners
HEOPS is the professional association for all occupational health professionals working in the UK higher education sector. They develop sector specific policies and guidance.
Remploy provide employment and skills support for disabled people and those with health conditions, as well as services to help employers become more disability confident.
- Return to practice guidance
This guidance aims to help facilitate the safe return to practice for doctors who have been absent for three months or more.
- Disability Law Service
Provide free legal advice to people with disabilities and their carers, including advice about employment issues.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission
Advice and guidance for individuals and organisations in England, Scotland and Wales about adjustments for disabled people, discrimination, equality law and more.
- Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission
Advice and guidance for individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland about disability discrimination, equality law and more.