What to tell us when you apply guide

Health question 1: Managing conditions

This page will help you answer health question 1 on your application.

Has a medical school, university or employer raised concerns about how you managed a health condition, that led to a formal process?

The formal process could be to support you, or to investigate the concerns. Usually a senior or HR manager, committee, hearing or similar decides what action to take after the process has finished.

What you need to tell us

We only need to know about concerns that led to a formal process

If someone raised a concern about how you managed your health, and this led to a formal process it usually means you needed to take action to stay fit to work as a doctor or continue your studies. We need to know about it so we can check how you are now. 

What do we mean by 'raise concerns about how you managed a health condition'?

A medical school, university or an employer usually raises concerns if they think how you managed a health condition affected your ability to work as a doctor or study. Here are some examples someone might raise a concern about how you managed a health condition:

  • someone raised a concern because your health condition affected your behaviour or performance as a doctor or whilst studying medicine
  • someone raised a concern because you didn’t follow independent medical advice or workplace advice about how to manage any risks relating to your health condition
  • someone raised a concern because you didn’t tell your medical school, university or employer about risks relating to your health condition.

You only need to tell us if the concerns raised led to a formal process.

What do we mean by a ‘formal process’?

We consider these bullet points to be part of a formal process:

  • a formal meeting with an educational supervisor at university or medical school, in which they raise concerns
  • a formal meeting with a manager or supervisor in a workplace where you are providing medical services, in which they raise concerns
  • a referral to a panel, hearing, committee or similar.

Outcomes of a formal process can include:

  • a formally documented decision (in writing or by email) following any of the above that required you to take steps to manage your health condition
  • any action taken, including health-related conditions imposed or undertakings agreed on your practice, if your behaviour or performance was affected by your health.

If someone raised a concern that led to any of the bullet points above, you need to tell us about it when you apply. 

What you don't need to tell us

Informal communication after ill-health or illness

Your medical school or manager/supervisor might talk to you or email you informally after you’ve been unwell to make sure you’re well enough to return to work or study. For example, after a one-off illness or surgery. We don’t consider this to be raising a concern and you don’t need to tell us about this when you apply. 

Informal support processes

Sometimes your medical school or employer will support you with a health condition informally. Informal support is usually given in relation to a single event or a minor issue and is unlikely to continue over weeks or months. We don’t consider this support to be a formal process and you don’t need to tell us about this when you apply.

A formal process to adjust your studies or practice if concerns aren’t raised

If you need to adjust your studies or practice because of a health condition, your medical school or employer will usually support you through a formal process. You only need to tell us about these conditions if they raised concerns about how you managed your condition or how your condition affected your studies or practice.

What to do if you need to tell us

If concerns were raised about your health which led to a formal process, answer yes to health question 1 on your application and give the following details: 

  • what the condition is or was and how it affected your medical studies or medical practice
  • details of the formal process including, who was involved and what the outcome was
  • dates (for example, April-May 2020) when your health condition affected your medical studies or medical practice
  • details of any treatment you’ve received (including any engagement with specialists or support services)
  • the status of the condition now (for example, resolved, being managed, treatment is ongoing).

If I have a health condition, will you refuse my application? 

Having a health condition is not, itself, a reason for us to refuse your application. What we’re looking at is whether your health condition affects your ability to practise as a doctor. Even if your illness is serious, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t practise safely. For our assessment of your application we are looking at how your health condition is now. 

I’m still not sure whether I need to tell you about the management of a health condition. What should I do?

Use our 'What to tell us when your apply' tool to help you decide whether to tell us about your condition. If you’ve used the decision tool and read this section of the guide and you’re still not sure get in touch with one of our advisers.