Your health and patient safety

Why your health matters

Medicine is a rewarding profession, but we understand it can also be challenging and stressful. Taking care of your patient is the first duty of every doctor. To do this, you need to look after your own health and wellbeing. 

You may not need to tell us about every health condition. This is because the effect that a health condition has can vary from person to person.

Whether you need to declare it will depend on the seriousness of your condition, the help you may be receiving, and how much insight you have into its impact on your practice. Your ability to work safely can be enhanced by the support network you have, whether that is at medical school, at work or at home from the clinician(s) treating you.

We need to know about the effect that a health condition may be having on your ability to care for your patients, rather than about the condition itself. 

Even if you answer yes to one of the questions, if you can show that you are managing your health and that it will not affect patient safety, it is unlikely there will be an impact on the outcome of your application.

What does Good medical practice say about doctors’ health?

Paragraph 28 of Good medical practice says that if you know or suspect that you have a serious condition that you could pass on to patients, or if your judgement or performance could be affected by a condition or its treatment, you must consult a suitably-qualified colleague (an independent licensed doctor or health professional).

You must follow their advice about any changes to your practice they believe necessary. You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk to patients.