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What are the implications of fitness to practise findings for a student’s future career?

The implications of student fitness to practise for a student’s career depend on circumstances of the individual case. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this will not be a barrier to qualifying as a doctor, as long as the student cooperates with their medical school’s fitness to practise processes.

In our professionalism guidance (jointly developed with the Medical Schools Council), we state that student fitness to practise can be a positive process, that can enable students to get the support they need in order to in order to successfully complete their course, remediate and gain provisional registration.

Medical schools must only graduate medical students who they deem fit to practise and who have met our published Outcomes for graduates. In rare occasions, the medical school may decide that the student’s behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a doctor, and decide to remove them from the course.

The criteria where this would be applicable are also in our guidance - Outcomes of an investigation or fitness to practise committee or panel. To give an example for how rare this is, self-reported data submitted to the GMC from medical schools show students being expelled because of fitness to practise concerns related to behaviour in eight cases (out of over 40,000 medical students in the UK).

As mentioned, the GMC decision to register is independent to the schools’, and provisional registration has been refused to a very small number of UK graduates. A brief description of each case where provisional registration was refused is included in our annual report - you can see the most recent cases on pages 21-23 of the 2015 report.

Also see our FAQ on advice for students who may not be able to meet the required outcomes to attain a primary medical qualification in the UK.