Information for medical students

Supporting your ongoing education

We understand that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting all medical students. The UK’s health services are under significant pressure. This may mean you're not taught in clinical locations, and your medical school may need to cancel some of your teaching and assessments. You, your teachers, and other staff may also be off sick or self-isolating.

We’ll continue to work with them to limit the impact of the pandemic on your medical education and future progression. Where possible, we’re asking medical schools to:

  • prioritise teaching and assessment for final year students
  • work with local partners to make appropriate contingency arrangements
  • document any adjustments they make to your course and planned assessments

The response of individual medical schools and placement providers will depend on the local situation. It’s likely that each school will need to make different adjustments.

Provisional registration

If you’re a final year medical student, you’ll receive an email from us between 7-9 April, inviting you to apply for provisional registration. We’ll process your application at an earlier point than usual, as part of the UK government’s response to the pandemic. Once your medical school confirms you’ve graduated and we’ve confirmed you’re fit to practise, you’ll be granted provisional registration. This means you’ll be able to work as interim Foundation Year 1 (FiY1) doctor if you’re willing and able to do so. Find out more about this year’s provisional registration process.

Looking after your health

Like the wider profession, as a medical student you must manage your own health. This means not attending teaching sessions, placements or assessments if you’re unwell, and self-isolating in line with national advice. This is particularly important in clinical settings, where patient safety should always be your first priority.

If you’re in a clinical environment, medical schools and placement providers should make sure that you’re suitably equipped. For example, that you have protective clothing, and the right information to minimise the risk of transmission.

If you have pre-existing health conditions that place you at increased risk of infection, you should discuss this with your medical school or local education provider.


The Medical Schools Council (MSC) has set out their expectations on volunteering for employers, medical schools and students.

If you want to volunteer, you must not be asked to carry out any duties of a doctor. You must be supervised to be safe and act within your competence at all times.

Arrangements should be made locally, and employers should give you relevant induction, equipment and support. You can find volunteering opportunities on the MSC’s website.