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. Teaching in clinical and academic settings and many assessments have been modified or cancelled. You, your teachers, and other staff may also be off sick or self-isolating.

We’re continuing to work with your medical school to limit the impact of the pandemic on your medical education and future progression. Everyone recognises that the graduation of new doctors each year is of vital importance. We, medical schools and others are committed to making sure that students can continue to progress as planned and are not unfairly disadvantaged. 

Now the immediate response to the pandemic is well underway, medical schools are turning their attention to minimising the disruption in the coming months for students not graduating this year. The response of individual medical schools and placement providers will depend on the local situation and it’s likely that each school will need to make different adjustments. We will continue to work with all schools to ensure the changes they make mean their courses still meet our standards and outcomes

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.


We know many of you will want to volunteer during this time. We’re also aware that some of you may be unable to volunteer for a wide range of reasons. Whether or not you volunteer will not impact your future progression.

The Medical Schools Council (MSC) has set out their expectations on volunteering for employers, medical schools and students. This stresses that your education and studies should remain your first priority, and you should not jeopardise your progression by taking on too many additional responsibilities.

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.

Provisional registration

If you’re a final year medical student, you can now apply for provisional registration, if you haven’t already. 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 an 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.